Hydrangea acting funny...

hunnybuddy(9)March 21, 2009

Hi there! I am brand new to the board and gardening for that matter (nice to meet all of you!). I recently planted a big leaf hydrangea in my garden and it has been acting a little funny. It was a Valentines Day gift from my fiance and I REALLY want to keep it alive.

It was of course a potted plant, and I waited for the blooms to die before I planted it. It has been in the ground for about a week, and the leaves are turning BLACK. It seems like the black coloration is starting at the leaf tip and working back toward the plant. Any ideas?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Welcome to the forum hunnybuddy but, hmmm, that does not sound good. Is the plant in standing water or is it wet soil? It may also help if you can post some pictures.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 9:18PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Did you gradually acclimate your florists plant to real life in the outside world before planting it? Similar to hardening off seedlings started indoors so they can become accustomed to sun, wind...Most likely your hydrangea had never been outside, had only been in a climate controlled greenhouse when you received it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:59AM
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hunnybuddy(9)

Thanks for the response! I will try to get some pictures up shortly. I did notice today that there is A LOT of new growth, but the older leaves still look so sad. :(

To answer your question morz8, I did wait a while before actually planting it outside, but I don't know if the transition from indoors to outdoors was gradual enough. It lived on the front porch but still in it's pot from a few days after Valentine's Day until mid March, but didn't go into the ground until about a week or so ago. The first week of March it sat potted in the exactly location where I planted it. Was this right, or should I have done this differently? This is my favorite flower, and if I can figure out how to make this one thrive, I plan on buying a LOT more.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:12PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I think if you had begun with out for a few minutes the first day, increasing to a little longer the next, and the next - you may have had less of a reaction of the older leaves. Without a photo, I guessing that is the only problem with the discoloration you're seeing.

If it's putting on some growth now and you are keeping it watered, it's probably fine. If you plan on adding more, buy them at a nursery and not a florist or the grocery store. The florists types may do well outside in milder climates like your own (and mine), but they've been on a regime of special lighting, fertilizers, growth hormones, to force them into blooming to coincide with particular dates/holidays without regard to long term plant health.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:58PM
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hunnybuddy(9)

Good to know! Thanks!

I hope I am posting this picture right...this is a close up of one of the leaves.

This is the whole plant. So sorry these images are so huge. I don't know how to make them smaller. :(

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:47PM
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ginkgonut(4)

Agree, if you are seeing new growth it will probably be fine even with the old leaves looking bad. It is early in the season. Figure this plant has gone from the greenhouse to the florist, to your house, porch, outside and then transplanted. You could probably cut the old leaves off when there is sufficient new growth if they bother you.

Also looks like it could use a layer of mulch, especially before the hot weather arrives.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 6:58AM
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