Did I kill my Hydrangea's

puzzelmaster24April 18, 2008

I live in south florida, Homestead to be exact. I recently purchased two mopheads at lowes and re planted them. I first had them on the north side of the house getting sun from 3 pm to 6 pm. I noticed when I came home from work they were wilted. so i moved them to the east side of the house to get a morning sun. They are still wilted in the afternoon but they are fine in the morning when I leave to work. They have plently of fresh water but only one drain whole in the bottom of the pot. Please help.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Hello, puzzelmaster24. Wilting is a common behaviour of new hydrangeas that are not established. They wilt when they do not have enough soil moisture, when the temperatures are hot or when it is very windy.

The cause (when talking about 'new' shrubs) is due to a small root system. The roots cannot absorb water as fast as the large leaves loose moisture. The plant's reaction to that problem is to wilt the leaves; this looks awful but the plant looses less moisture through them because the curled leaves have less contact with sunlight.

What to do? Most of the time nothing but, until you get used to this, here are some suggestions:

* CHECK: insert a finger to a depth of 4 inches and make sure that the soil feels moist. If it feels dry or almost dry then water right away. If the soil feels moist or feels wet, take no action.

* MULCH: maintain about 4 inches of acidic mulch up to the drip line or a little further away from the drip line.

* WATER: if the wilting episode looks extreme, water immediately. But most of the time, the shrubs will recover by either sun down, bed time or by the next morning. If the plant is still wilting by next morning, water it (half the usual amount of water). Water the soil around the base of the plant, not the leaves.

* BE CAREFUL: Try to control the urge to water as soon as you see the plant wilting. Excessive moisture can cause root rot and this would kill the plant.

In about a year, the plant will have established a good root system and the episodes will be limited to really hot times during the summer or when there is a wind advisory. If you know a very hot or very windy day is coming up, you can water the night before. Or you can move the pot to a more protected location one that one day.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 7:15PM
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I am so glad this post is still here. I feel better about my Hydrangea now.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:55AM
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I bought 2 ES at the nursery early this spring and i placed them where they got full direct sunlight. i noticed that both of them werent thriving very well (they didnt tell me in the nursery that theyre partial shade). so i transplanted both of them where they only get morning sunlight. am in zone 6b btw and we get hot and humid summer here in TN. The other is thriving very well, i was able to resuscitate i before it die. But the other ES isn't. Some of the leaves were burned possibly due to direct scorching sunlight. The stems turned brown and it's wilting a lot of times so i put some stake on it. It had some buds on it that will probably start to bloom soon. but it just wilts a lot of times esp in late afternoon. Today i found that the buds had turned brown (well some of it), some of it are already pink. I don't know what to do with it. I applied some root stimulator to it as what the lady from the nursery said, but it did little help. You know that its not thriving well because i bought 2 of those at the same time and the other one is taller, has a lot of buds that ae starting to bloom, and the leaves are greener. will this die eventually?? What can i do to save it? and bw am new to this forum hing...how d'u post pictures here??? so you guys can help me sve my hydrangea.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:09AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Fannie, you will probably get more responses if you ask your question in a separate post rather than at the tail end of someone elses.

As for posting pictures, go to photobucket.com and set up a free account. Their directions are easy to follow. Once you have uploaded your pics to photobucket, run your mouse below the pic--there will be several different kinds of address codes. You want the HTML code. Click on it and then come over here and paste the code in the message box. You can type before it and after it if you wish. Then click "PREVIEW" and you should be able to see your pic and make any editing changes needed.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 1:23PM
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