Hald Dead Hydranga

dee_43September 5, 2008

Hi my name is Dee and I just rescued a Hydranga that looks dead BUT there are small green leaves on some of the branches and some of the limbs are still green because they don't snap like dead ones do It is a mophead Nikko blue, that is in a large pot. I watered it look's kinda root bound too. Can this poor plant be saved and how would I do it? Trim all the dead stuff off? Put it in the ground, or keep it in the basement? I have never had hydrangas before but couldn't help rescuing this one. Any help would be appreciated Thank's

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

The plant is also going through transplant shock so try to supply adequate light and moist soil. Prune the dead wood but prune nothing else until the proper time. That should be after it blooms in Spring 2009 but before the months of August-September 2009. The potting medium will need some fertilier refreshers about once a month. Consider bringing it into your garage when it goes dormant but do not forget to water it. Once every two weeks might be enough. While outside, water when the potting medium feels almost dry or dry to the touch at a depth of 4". Mulch well and make sure the drain holes are clear so water can get out.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 10:39AM
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Thank's Luis Can I put it in the basement since I don't have a garage? Also The roots look like they are all balled up on top of the soil. What lind of mulch? Can I just take it out of the pot and repot it with new potting soil? or plant it in the ground? Thank's again for your help............Dee

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 12:48PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

That sounds good but only during winter. Hydrangeas do not tend to do well inside the house once they leaf out. If the roots look like they are root bound then sever then with a knive cutting downwards at 2" intervals. I cut the roots at the bottom of the pot by cutting in an "X" type of cut. Put it back with new soil and any type of acidic mulch. By the way, I assumed that you wanted to grow it in a pot but if you have a location where it could grow and you want to plant it on the ground, that is fine too. Watch the soil moisture after you cut the roots though. If planting on the ground, I would do that once the plant has gone dormant.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Thank's Luis No I don't want to raise it in a pot, too confining. I think I will plant it in the ground I have a shady spot that only gets about 1 hr. of afternoon sun, northwest side.I'll do it sometime in Nov. or late Oct. would that be ok?.......Dee

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 3:50PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I have planted hydrangeas when temps were in the upper 30s and mid 40s so, if that is what you expect things to be like in Oct/Nov, that should be fine, Dee. It was cold for me but the hydrangea did not care. It "slept" through the whole experience.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:14PM
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lol lol Ok that settles it, I'll plant it outside, making an x in the bottom and use potting soil when I plant it, make sure it has water about every 2 weeks or so, except if it's really cold out.oh and I'll put a acidic mulch on it and burlap around it to protect it from the wind, and I should have flower's next year right? lol Thank's Luis I'll keep you posted.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 7:25PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Yeah, right! LOL! Hee hee hee.

Flower buds for next year develop now (in August-September) so the shrub needs to be well cared between now and blooming time. If one forgets to water -for example- the flower buds may be the first thing to go if the plant needs water and does not get it. If one prunes stems that are alive, there go the flower buds. If it is too cold for the plant, there go the flower buds. And so forth. They are the first thing to go or one of the first things to go.

By the way, Dee, watering during winter (when the plant is dormant) is only needed if winter turns out to be dry. I almost lost a camellia several years ago due to that.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:30AM
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