Hydrangea Alive or Dying Slowly?

MFIXOctober 19, 2012

Just planted Endless Summer variety in May, and it appears to have taken a bad turn, but I think it may be responding to a cold snap we had last week, where a light frost was present. I recently saw other hydrangeas at the nursery that look similarly shriveled though not as badly. Any thoughts?

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ginkgonut(4)

It froze. It will look like that after an earlier than normal hard freeze. Nothing to worry about.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 4:36PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a)

I would add 3-4" of mulch. If it rained recently or the sprinkler went off just before the picture was taken then never mind but otherwise, see if you can tell why there is so much water (if it does not drain well, that can start another set of problems). By the way, do not fertilize it. It is too late to be doing that.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:10PM
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ginkgonut(4)

It froze. It will look like that after an earlier than normal hard freeze. Nothing to worry about.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Pull those dead leaves off and pile them around the crown. Then add a few more inches of leaves, all for winter. If the stems are not dead, they may or may not produce foliage or buds next season, but you may need to wait until around Memorial Day to be certain, and then trim the dead ends back to where there is new growth.

ES will produce thicker and longer stems each year, but shrub size and bloom quantity will increase very gradually in zone 5.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:23AM
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MFIX

Thanks everyone. Yes, it did rain quite a bit recently, so the soil was a bit moist. I try to not overwater the area, since it was backfilled (by previous owner who built the home) with native heavy clay soil. I added organic mulch the last two years, and will also by applying some thin compost come spring. The new buds can be seen if you look closely at the plant (not in pic) so it may put out new growth fine next year, we'll see. It also got moved once this season, due to an ornamental tree that needed to be removed. So, not only was it moved, but its amount of light received was raised rather quickly and dramatically. It also received a rabbit prune, and it appeared to have some powedery mildew on some leaves in July. In all, it has endured alot, if it makes it through the winter and early spring, I will be pleasantly surprised. I will try to remulch a little when the weather starts to turn in a few weeks, to protect this, and some other new plants. Any thoughts about a hard prune in the spring as well? I only slow release fertilized when it was purchased (very little sprinkle of hollytone) nothing since, I dont like to overfertilize newer plants. I am a little new to hydras, but I have another Annabelle which is doing very well, in the same bed, so we'll see. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:21PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a)

There should not be a need to prune unless the plant is too big for its location. If the stems dry out over winter and do not leaf out by mid to late May then these stems can be pruned off.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:14PM
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