Will limelight hydrangea leaves grow back?

beatricitaJuly 18, 2012

I have two limelight hydrangeas in large containers. I was away for 1 month and left them to the mercy of the elements (no irrigation). Of course, it turned out to be extremely hot with no rain. One hydrangea is fine; the other had most leaves turn brown and dry (I got rid of them and watered the plant). The flowers are slightly brown ans still have a few green leaves close to them. Can I save this plant? Will the leaves grow back this summer?

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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

The best you could do is get the plant into nearly all-day shade and start watering lightly and then moderately until Fall. Then hope it recovers. Do not fertilize, do not attempt sunny or overly dry/ windy locations.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 7:32PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I had one such plant but with no green leaves left last year. As soon as the summer temperatures moderated in the Fall, I saw two green leaves around early Oct. The plant went dormant a month later or so. This year, it recovered and had more leaves. If you were to live in a location where your growing season is shorter, the hydrangea may not have time to produce new leaves now but might do it in Spring 2013 so maintain the soil as evenly moist as you can and keep it well mulched. Once the plant goes dormant, you can reduce watering to once a week or once every two weeks, as long as your winter is dry and the soil has not frozen.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Thank you both! I will move my hydrangea to the shade, water carefully and hope.

Since I have your attention, may I bother you with another question? I am in zone 5 in New York State. I have the hydrangeas in large pots to bring life to a large patio that is all stone - no soil to plant anything. Winters here are harsh here, however. Do you think these plants have a chance of surviving winter if I plant them somewhere else around here in late fall or bring them into a garage? What would you recommend?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:40PM
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I have seen limelights in pots survive winter but then this was a mild winter. I just wouldn't risk it without proper insulation and near a protective space *away from strong winds*. Roots can get exposed to deep cold, and the freezing and thawing can destroy it further. I also wouldn't bring them into a garage. Hydrangeas do need the cold to keep healthy. You can 'bury' the container in a pile of mulch if you wish to keep your hydrangea. This will mimic the plant being the ground.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Thank you, Ianna! I have the option of actually burying the pot in the ground. Would this be more helpful or would the mulch insulation do the job?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 7:44AM
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jonijumpup(z5, GR MI)

burying the pot would be safer, even if only half buried, then heap your mulch around and over it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:02AM
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