Will Hydrangea Roots Damage Foundation? Expert Answers

Hydrangeas are a popular flowering plant that can add a beautiful touch to any garden or landscape. However, many homeowners are concerned about the potential damage that hydrangea roots may cause to their foundations. While it is true that some plants can cause damage to foundations, hydrangeas are not typically one of them.

Hydrangea roots are relatively shallow and do not usually extend more than a few feet below the surface. This means they are unlikely to cause any significant damage to a foundation, especially if it is in good condition. Hydrangeas can even be planted near a foundation without causing any harm, as long as they are not planted too close and are properly maintained.

Hydrangeas and Foundation Damage

How Hydrangea Roots Grow

Hydrangea roots are known to grow shallowly and widely, expanding up to 3 times the width of the plant canopy. They are also known to be strong and persistent, capable of penetrating through cracks and crevices in soil and foundations.

Factors that Contribute to Foundation Damage

Hydrangea roots can potentially cause foundation damage if certain factors are present. These factors include:

  • Proximity: If hydrangeas are planted too close to the foundation, their roots can grow and damage the foundation.
  • Soil Type: If the soil around the foundation is loose or sandy, it can encourage root growth toward the foundation.
  • Moisture: If the soil around the foundation is consistently moist, it can encourage root growth toward the foundation.

Preventing Hydrangea Root Damage

To prevent hydrangea root damage to foundations, it is recommended to:

  • Plant hydrangeas at least 6 feet away from the foundation.
  • Use a heavy plastic or metal root barrier to prevent roots from growing toward the foundation.
  • Ensure proper drainage around the foundation to prevent moisture buildup.

Overall, while hydrangea roots have the potential to cause foundation damage, taking proper preventative measures can greatly reduce the risk of damage occurring.

Signs of Foundation Damage

Cracks in Walls or Floors

One of the most common signs of foundation damage is the appearance of cracks in the walls or floors of a building. These cracks can be either vertical or horizontal, and they may be wide or narrow. Sometimes, they may be accompanied by other signs of foundation damage, such as uneven floors or sticking doors or windows.

Uneven Floors

Another sign of foundation damage is uneven floors. This can be caused by several factors, including settling or shifting the foundation, moisture problems, or poor construction. Uneven floors can be a tripping hazard and indicate more serious structural problems.

Sticking Doors or Windows

Sticking doors or windows can also be a sign of foundation damage because when a foundation shifts or settles, it can cause the frame of a door or window becomes misaligned, making it difficult to open or close. In some cases, this can also cause the glass in a window to crack or break.

In conclusion, if you notice any of these signs of foundation damage, a professional must inspect your foundation. Early detection and repair can help prevent further damage and save you money in the long run.

Repairing Foundation Damage

Assessing the Damage

Before repairing foundation damage caused by hydrangea roots, it is important to assess the extent of the damage. The following signs may indicate foundation damage:

  • Cracks in the walls or ceilings
  • Uneven floors
  • Doors and windows that stick or do not close properly
  • Gaps between the walls and the ceiling or floor

If any of these signs are present, it is recommended to consult a professional to assess the damage.

Choosing a Repair Method

There are several methods for repairing foundation damage caused by hydrangea roots. The most common methods include:

  • Piering involves installing steel piers or concrete pilings to stabilize the foundation.
  • Slabjacking involves lifting the foundation using water, cement, and sand.
  • Underpinning involves strengthening the foundation by excavating the soil and installing additional support.

The choice of repair method will depend on the extent of the damage and the type of foundation.

Hiring a Professional

Repairing foundation damage caused by hydrangea roots is a complex and specialized task. Hiring a professional with experience in foundation repair is recommended to ensure that the job is done correctly. A professional will have the necessary tools and expertise to assess the damage, choose the appropriate repair method, and complete the repair work safely and efficiently.


While hydrangea roots can potentially cause damage to a foundation, it is not a common occurrence. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures and monitor the growth of hydrangea roots near a foundation, but there is no need to panic.

Homeowners can take steps to minimize the risk of damage, such as planting hydrangeas at least three feet away from a foundation and regularly pruning the roots. A root barrier can also help prevent roots from growing too close to the foundation.

It is also important to note that not all hydrangea varieties have aggressive root systems. For example, some varieties, such as the Annabelle hydrangea, have relatively shallow roots and are less likely to cause damage.