Newly Planted Pinky Winky

Ibanez540rAugust 26, 2012

Just planted this pinky winky Thursday. It's been in the upper 80s the past couple days and the first day it wilted pretty good, so I watered it and by evening it came back fine. Saturday it looked OK I guess. This afternoon it was wilted real bad so I watered again (is on a drip system to water every three days and not sure when it is due to go on, may have already)but doesn't seem to be coming back like it did Friday.

This look like normal acceptable transplant shock? Too much water? To little?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Perhaps a little of everything (except too much water). Summer is a difficult/stressful time to be planting just about anything.

Suggestions: I noticed that you do not have much mulch so I would suggest maintaining 3-4" of mulch thru the drip line, year around, so the soil moisture does not easily evaporate during the day and night. Let the drip irrigation run long enough to give the plant about 1 gallon of water; the amount of time needed to do that differs from one drip system to another but, in my drip system, I have to turn on the station for 1 hour to give it 1 gallon of water. Also, I find that the small surface roots in the top 4" do not get much water from a drip system so, during the worst of the summer, I water with a regular hose once a week to complement the drip system. That and the mulch helps greatly.

Be aware that this wilting behaviour is common during the Summer and during the first few years. At the same time, it is also common for hydrangeas to recuperate on their own by the next morning. So when I see them wilting, I leave them alone if the soil feels moist. Generally speaking, if the wilting episode looks extreme or if the soil is dry when you see the plant wilting, give it 1 gallon of water right away.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:34PM
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If you remove the flowers that can also result in less stress to the newly planted hydrangea.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 12:31AM
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Luis - the picture may be deceiving, but if you look at the lower fence, there is actually 4" of mulch.

The hydrangea is also on a 1 GPH emitter. How many times a week do you run yours at 1 hour?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:34AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Hand-water one gallon every couple of days if no rain has occurred, especially if newly planted. Mist the leaves and flowers. My new limelight tree is sucking up water like nobody's business!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 1:30PM
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This post made me laugh. Not because of your poor stressed plant but because I did the same exact thing last week. I bought 2 pinky Winkys in full bloom to replace 2 that were sold to me as PW but in reality are Little Lambs. Anyways, bc it was hot I had every intention of waiting til fall to plant. The OWNER of the nursery insisted I plant right away and against better judgement I did.
Immediately the plant started drooping. Within a couple days the leaves started to yellow and drop (more so than the usual yellowing/dropping that occurs with freshly planted Paniculatas).
What I did was cut off all of the flowers and babied it. (kept it well watered, misted leaves, lots of mulch, etc). Just today I noticed some new leaves forming so I think it's going to make it.
Here's a pic of mine the day after planting. Looks familiar huh? This is why I chuckled :)

I love that whenever I'm having an issue in my garden I can come to gardenweb and find someone else in my shoes too and great advice.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:40PM
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In your area with this year's heat and drought, I would be watering any newly planted hydrangea on a daily basis. This plant is suffering drought stress in a big way. Wilting may be common but it is not natural and it's not helpful to the establishment of the plant to go through it on a routinely cyclical nature.

It may be helpful to know that "hydrangea" translates from the Greek to "water vessel"......indicating this plant's love of consistantly moist conditions. As long as you have very good drainage, I don't think it's possible to overwater them.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 4:30PM
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