Sad little hydrangea?

SneaselKat(7)April 11, 2012

I planted a nice hydrangea on our school campus a few weeks ago, perfectly healthy. now it looks like its about to hit the dust, and im wondering why?

What it looks like: http://www.iaza.com/work/120412C/iaza19732984582700.jpg

Where its planted: http://www.iaza.com/work/120412C/iaza19732954768900.jpg

All the flowers were a light violet color, now all of them have died except for some turned pink, and the leaves are crumbling. I wonder what went wrong, and what I can do, if i can do anything, to salvage it?

Its planted in partial shade, in between two trees, but with no root competition. If it helps, the bed it is planted is mostly of a clay texture. There are several other plants in this bed, all thriving, maybe it just cant live here?

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

What it looks like:

Where its planted:

It looks like maybe there's a "bowl" dug into mostly solid clay with a little "good dirt" added when you planted the bush, like it's moist where the bush is and very dry beyond that. That could be causing water to sit in the hole, but that's really hard to gauge from a picture. If it were me, I would take some long, sharp thing, even an unrolled wire hanger, and poke some holes around the perimeter of the shrub's root ball, as deeply as you can, to help water drain away.

The color of Hydrangea flowers is closely related to the PH of the soil. You may want to do some reading at the Hydrangea forum to get a handle on that, not something I mess with much.

I'm also a little concerned about it getting mowed over. See if there's some kind of barrier, rocks, bricks, whatever, you can make around this little shrub so the mowers know to go around it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:48AM
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jay_7bsc(8a)

There are two important things you didn't mention in your post. First, did you disturb the hydrangea's roots when you planted it, thus enabling them to begin to reach out into the soil? Second, did you water the hydrangea copiously after planting it, and have you kept it watered since then? If not, there's no wonder it looks pitiful. Another thing to consider is that if it's a florist's hydrangea--a hothouse hydrangea--it may not be suitable for outdoor cultivation. You may, therefore, want to run to one of the big-box retailers and replace it with a reliable landscape hydrangea like 'Endless Summer,' 'Penny Mac,' or 'Dooley.' I don't think this plant has been in the ground long enough for the Ph of the soil to change the color of its blooms.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Good questions, jay.

I don't think this plant has been in the ground long enough for the Ph of the soil to change the color of its blooms.

I totally agree, mentioned it for future reference. But I did forget to say that as Hydrangea blooms age, they can become darker or completely change color.

Did you fertilize this plant?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:04AM
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