Wilting Leaves On Hydrangea

joe_in_maine(5)July 6, 2007

We have a hydrangea about 5 ft tall that gets beautiful white flowers in the late summer - it's my wife's favorite. The leaves are now wilting badly and I am very worried about it. Well, more worried about me, but, that's beside the point.

History:

About 5 weeks ago it was looking raggedy so I cut all all the dead "twigs" on it - they were very brittle.

3 weeks ago I planted some new daisies ajacent(couple feet)to it in the bed. We've been watering the daisies daily.

About 2 weeks ago i put one of those fertilizer shrub stakes 3 feet from it - and I pulled what was left of the stake the other day after it started wilting.

Did I totally stress this hyrdrangea out that now it is going to die? Please help, it could save my life!

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Don't know how things are going where you are, but hereabouts it's been hot and dry. My established hydrangeas wilt daily, and some are burning.

Some things to think about --
What's the weather been like? Hot? Dry? Soil condition? Any rain or irrigation? How much sun is it in?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 2:19PM
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joe_in_maine(5)

It hasn't been too hot here and we've been keeping up with the watering. It gets partial sun in the mornings and pm. It's just that I've never seen the leaves wilt like this and have never had any issues with it. Thank you

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 3:58PM
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yellowgirl(z9aOrlandoFL)

Oh no, not the dreaded fertilizer stake. (miracle grow tree and shrub?) I thought that might be a good idea last year so I tried it in two spots.
One Veitchii and 2 Nikkos (both hydrangeas) are still trying to recover. Don't know if that's your problem or not but those stakes darn near killed three established hydrangeas in my yard......yg

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 3:59PM
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joe_in_maine(5)

yellowgirl: I was afraid of that :¬[. There was about 1/4 of the stake left and I pulled it out of there. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 4:30PM
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ben78_2007

i put some plant food on my hydrangia and now the flowers look dead and the leaves are wilting, what do i do? ive tried just washing it with water to get the feed off it

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 3:18PM
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yellowgirl(z9aOrlandoFL)

All you can do is keep watering and wait to see what happens. If the hydrangea is small enough, you could dig it up, remove surrounding soil and move it to another (unfertilized) spot or pot, but that won't undo the damage already done, just hopefully prevent more. The plant I had closest to the stake (formerly about 3 x 4) had to start over again from the ground this year and I lost half of one that was about 6 ft away. All of the strong old stems died. Won't make that mistake again!! WARNING: Those fertilizer stakes are supposed to feed for 6 months (?) but they can break in the ground and release all six months worth at once. Not Good.....yg

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 4:18PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Joe I don't know if you got any of the rain today, but many parts of Maine have been very dry this season. I'd concentrate on watering that hydrangea. I'm guessing the daisy watering is not as deep as the hydrangea would like. You're going to have to give it some really good soakings if you want to wash away what those spikes left behind. Try not to drown the daiseys though. Good instincts BTW on removing the spike. Better late than never. =)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 5:43PM
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joe_in_maine(5)

mehearty - thanks for the words of encouragement. We got some good rain today (7/9/07). The hydrangea seems to have stabilized but not improved. Here are a couple of pics, if anyone can identify the cultivar (don't know if it's possible without seeing flowers)it would be much appreciated! Thanks

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:58PM
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EGO45(6bCT)

For established paniculata tree the whole story sounds and look strange.
Is it any chance you have a pool and someone use chlorinated water from it to water the plant?
Wild guess, but I've seen 12' Styrax died in 3 weeks after pool was backwashed into its root zone.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 3:35PM
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joe_in_maine(5)

ego45, yes it's strange...but true ;). We have a pool but the backwash drain is on the other side of the yard and would have no impact on the tree. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 3:54PM
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yellowgirl(z9aOrlandoFL)

Joe,

Was this picture taken before or after the rain? If it's before, could you post an after shot?....yg

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:48PM
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joe_in_maine(5)

yellowgirl, those were taken today after a few days of off and on rain - it's looked this way (the same) for a week or so. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:56PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Have you checked the soil with a trowel to see if it really is moist? Perhaps it's only very superficial rather than deep.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 2:28AM
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yellowgirl(z9aOrlandoFL)

Joe,
If it's looked this way for a week then you may be ok in the end. Nothing looks dead, only very stressed. Your hydrangea, being a good sized paniculata, is made of sturdier stuff than my macrophyllas and therefore may be able to withstand the stress of a)lack of water or b) fertilizer stake damage. Personally, barring any other unknown factors such as disease, I'm sticking with 'B'. Paniculatas are the most drought tolerant of all the hydrangeas and your paniculata looks too well established to be wilting like that after having been watered. Heck, my H. paniculata 'Limelight' doesn't wilt like that until it's been really neglected in Florida heat!! Just my humble opinion.
Either way though, deep watering (flushing) is still the answer. Don't overdo...and please keep us posted. Good luck.....yg

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:27AM
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dicentra(z6B)

I'm thinking with Jean in checking that the water actually penetrated any real depth to the soil. My paniculatas are hardier than my other hydrangeas and I've notice only a few times when their leaves were drooping. Even after a good rain, only the top 2 inches or so were wet. The water did not even reach deep enough to water the tree. Try to deep water the tree, to water the roots and to flush the soil, and be careful that the water actually goes down into the roots and does not run off to the side. (Side note: I use chloronated water/pool runoff in my garden and never had a problem.)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:03AM
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joe_in_maine(5)

dicentra,yellowgirl,and jean - thank you all very much. I'll do the deep watering and post some pics when it (hopefully) blooms! -Joe

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:18AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

dicentra wrote:
"(Side note: I use chloronated water/pool runoff in my garden and never had a problem.)"

If that's from a chlorinated swimming pool, you've been lucky.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 2:42AM
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