What's wrong with my hydrangea?

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I planted 5 of them last fall and they've all been doing great. But today I noticed that one is looking sickly. I gave it a good dose of water, hoping that's the problem since we've been having hellacious heat recently. Here's the sickly one and one of the other healthy ones.
q what s wrong with my hydrangea , flowers, gardening, hydrangea, plant care
q what s wrong with my hydrangea , flowers, gardening, hydrangea, plant care
  24 answers
  • Leslie Leslie on Jun 18, 2016
    Have you fertilized it? With this weather, effective temp 120, you need to water daily. Best time is late night or before dawn. Also, these are quite small for 5 plants, and if 5, should be much farther apart. Hydrangeas ger big!
    • Louise Louise on Jun 18, 2016
      I read online that they don't need much fertilizer. The other four are doing really well. I don't understand what you mean by they're quite small for 5 plants. I took a photo of two -- the healthy one and the sickly one. I planted them 3-4 ft apart like the directions said to do.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 18, 2016
    Watering should be done first thing in the morning to get flowers,trees,and shrubs through the intense heat of the day. Newly planted shrubs as hydrangea do not get fed until it has established. In this case not till next year. What type of soil or amendments were done prior to planting?
    • See 1 previous
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 19, 2016
      Ok . It may not have gotten enough water when first planted. I would just keep watering int the morning with a sloe drip so to speak to allow the water to get deep to the root system.
  • JOHNNY JOHNNY on Jun 18, 2016
    I suggest that you infuse he watering w/ ammonia sulfide, he highest 1st number you can get or mirical grow
  • Jennifer Browning Jennifer Browning on Jun 18, 2016
    It looks like an Endless Summer Hydrangea. I would contact them for suggestions.
  • Leslie Leslie on Jun 18, 2016
    Try HollyTone. It's an organic fertilizer. Just put out per bag instructions and be sure you water or that it rains soon afterwards. Hydrangeas like some shade in the heat of the day, so mine are on the east side of our yard. HollyTone is also good for hollies, azaleas, rhododendrons, Camillas, boxwood,most shrubs. I put some in a bucket, dry, and use a cheap measuring cup to toss it at the roots of the plants I am feeding. Feed spring and fall. Do not cut your hydrangeas back as they bloom on what appears to be dead wood. If you're having extreme Temps like here in west Tennessee, water when they seem dry or look droopy. Hydrangeas, like azaleas like dry feet. So they need to be in a well drained bed. We only use triple hammered hardwood mulch. I'd remove the pine straw, and put down 2 inches of the hardwood. Pine straw don't hold moisture as well as pine straw, and it leaches it's internal chemicals into the soil. Have over 120 azaleas and 30 hydrangeas on our half acre. Also about 20 crepe myrtles..Which I use Holly Tone on. , . My hydrangeas are blooming like crazy..We had almost no blooms the past 2 years due to late, hard freezes. You might also want to do a soil test. Usually you can buy a test kit from the State's extension service. Money well spent. I wouldn't try to force a specific color bloom until the plants are well established. Good luck! Leslie
  • Deh7220306 Deh7220306 on Jun 19, 2016
    Test the ph of your soil; hydrangeas need an acid soil. You can buy soil acidifier to add if that is the problem. They look to be planted a little closely and might be a problem as they grow and become quite large.
  • Bryan's Workshop Bryan's Workshop on Jun 19, 2016
    Hello! My opinion is "heat stress." I have potted hydrangeas and this occasionally happens. Nice green leaves, but the flowers brown quickly. It might sound silly, but put up a make shift cover. Something like four tomato stakes and a cloth. The flowers like afternoon shade and will brown away if they're in sunlight the whole day. The plants look good, but the flowers look "heat stressed." Good luck! :)
  • Ranger Ranger on Jun 19, 2016
    That one may be to close to the rocks/stone and get heat reflection from it. A lot of plants don't do well close to concrete or some stones.
  • Patti @Hearth and Vine Patti @Hearth and Vine on Jun 19, 2016
    Yeah, hydrangeas don't do so well with all day heat. I like Bryan's idea about giving it some shelter during the afternoon.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jun 19, 2016
    Is it in more sun than the others? Is it planted more shallow or more deep than the others? Are there any holes dug around the root area that you can see? It look like it has suffered for sometime as compared to the healthiness of the other one. But if they are in the same area getting the same amount of water it might be a disease or root issue (planting depth or animal damage in the root area) It could have been let dry out even before planting that has weakened the plant leaving it more susceptible to water or sun issues. At this point the advice has been valid. Give it plenty of water, some shade and no fertilizer. Also check underneath the leaves just in case it is insect invasion though I see no evidence of this on the upper leaf condition.
  • Barbara Null Barbara Null on Jun 19, 2016
    It may not have been healthy to begin with. Keep it covered a tad bit like stated. Cut the flower off so all the energy doesn't go to a sick "flower" and focuses on the root system. If all else fails, look at the "root" of the problem. See if the root is healthy. Check for insects and other diseases. In the end... as hard as we try, we can't save them all.
    • Louise Louise on Jun 20, 2016
      It's been in my yard for nearly 5 yrs and has been very healthy until this brown stuff. But others say the brown is natural, so I'll cut it off and see what happens.
  • Jom7476171 Jom7476171 on Jun 19, 2016
    my grandmother always said they should be planted on the east side of the house. Less sunlight.
  • 861650 861650 on Jun 19, 2016
    Okay, I know this may sound a little crazy but after I looked at your pitiful little hydrangea a thought popped up. How about using an umbrella or two or maybe one large one. Depending on your taste, purchase one that blends in with the background, or, something floral and/or a funny theme...What do you think?
  • Gayle Gayle on Jun 19, 2016
    I live in Florida and hydragea plants are sold as sun loving. But in our sun and heat of summer they wilt and look dead. I have been using a large umbrella to cover the ones that get too much sun and sure they have lots of water and they are doing much better.
  • Ellie Smith Ellie Smith on Jun 19, 2016
    Too much sun will cause this problem. Mine,on the North side of the house, do very well. On the east, they need some shade. This has been my experience over the years at different homes. My granny used this 'rule' too, and I'm 68
  • Lynne Krywulycz Lynne Krywulycz on Jun 19, 2016
    There could be an ant next in amongst the roots. dig it up and wash the roots, then dig another hole and replant it after trimming to remove the flower. Or replant in a tall pot and sit at the back of the others -- making a nice layered affect. They don't like too much direct sun.
  • Martha Jane Childers Martha Jane Childers on Jun 19, 2016
    I don't know what you need to do but I think I woud wait until fall if it lives that long. Mine wilts when the sun hits up then perks up later. I would not try to dig it up if there is a fire ant's nest. That is asking for trouble. If there aren't any maybe you shoud do what someone suggested about putting it in a pot and moving it to the shade. However I have one planted that gets very little sun and it doesn't bloom or grow. It leafs out each spring and sits there.
  • Lisa Falkenthal Lisa Falkenthal on Jun 19, 2016
    I think you need to discover why that one is different than the others; is it getting mare sun or sun at a hotter time of day, is the soil less moisture retentive. Your leaves and flowers are wilted, but the flowers look like they have been suffering for a while. if you can't find he source of the problem, the umbrella may be a good interim option. But I would advise a longer term view; this hellacious heat (perfect description) may continue for longer than we'd like (global warming). I actually think the Hydrangea pictured would be happier in partial shade, Mine always have been, even in Massachusetts.
  • Marie Alesi Caruana Marie Alesi Caruana on Jun 19, 2016
    I've taken numerous cuttings and always plant them in partial shade with no direct sun, just filtered light. They're all doing very well, including the ones I had to trim back after a late frost decimated the new leaves.
  • Patty Patty on Jun 20, 2016
    It's not getting any water. Look at the flowers. They are dry. The sprinkler is missing this one. Hydrangeas need daily watering in the summer, and if very warm weather occurs, water twice a day.
  • JOHNNY JOHNNY on Jun 20, 2016
    If you do discover ant's, try a mix of making soda & sugar
  • Rosanne Rosanne on Jun 20, 2016
    hydrangeas should be watered at the base and out towards the drip line. don't water the leaves
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 21, 2016
    Hello fellow Georgian, we sure have been having some heat and my hydrangeas droop too here in Dunwoody! I am just north of 285. We have not been able to water often enough...I can't take the heat!
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