I have had the best luck with hydrangeas on the North side of the house. They typically like the more shaded, cooler areas and the North side seems to meet that criteria. Generally the first year or two they do not grow quite as big; however, a couple of mine have been in the ground for 3 years now and are doing great. Feed them miracle grow hydrangea fertilizer and keep the soil moist but not too wet. Good luck. FYI: To change the color of the blossoms, put a rusted nail by the plant. It changes the acidity of the soil.