Hydrangea dying?

gardenerforeverJuly 7, 2011

I have many hydrangea plants that are all doing extremely well this summer, except for one. It is a macrophylla mophead and has been planted in the same location for about 6 years with no problem. It got really big and has flowered every year. It gets only late afternoon sun and is in the shade the rest of the day. This year it is blooming on one side of the plant and seems to be dying on the other side. Every day I go out and several more of the "branches" have wilted and are drying up. I have cut them off when they do that, so now only about 1/2 of the plant remains. I have watered, and wonder if I may have overwatered?? We had a very wet spring here in NY, but now it is very hot and dry, so I water every couple of days unless we have rain. I have seen chipmunks in that flower bed and wonder if they have anything to do with this problem, or is it a fungus or something. What's left of the plant looks healthy, but tomorrow more branches will probably die. What can you tell me? HELP? Should I dig it up and plant it somewhere else or what should I do?

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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Sometimes deer and other animals can urinate repeatedly in the same places along their paths, and from what I've seen this can kill much of the vegetation it hits. However, I'm not positive on how badly it would affect a mac, or even how to remedy the situation if this were the case. I'd assume the damage would be bad, as I've seen things as hardy as evergreens get toasted by this. You could try moving it, but it may or may not attract the animals to the new location since the scent gets into the soil and everything.

This all said, next year you should still get new growth from the base in the affected area, as long as there isn't some other fungus or disease in play.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:04AM
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gardenerforever

Thanks for your feedback. I know it's not deer as they don't ever come that close to my house. The plant is only about 3 feet from the house. The only animals that I've seen in the flower bed are chipmunks, squirrels and sometimes songbirds. I don't think any of these is the problem unless the chipmunks chew on the roots.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:12AM
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