Asked on Jul 17, 2013

Hydrangeas are turning brown

Decor&DineLinda AndersonRobert Wright
+23

Answered

One of my hydrangea bushes is in full boom, this is the year with the most blooms but the flowers are getting brown spots. Last year they lasted until early fall when I actually picked them and let them dry. We had a lot of rain for a while and this week it is extremely hot ...could this be the reason?
hydrangeas are turning brown, flowers, gardening, hydrangea
26 answers
  • Mary Sullivan
    on Jul 17, 2013

    Is it getting enough acid? I know that you can stick a tablespoon of Epsom Salts in a gallon of water to raise the acidity of the soil. I am looking forward to seeing what more expert folks have to say.

  • Decor&Dine
    on Jul 17, 2013

    Not sure about the acid, but that thanks for letting me know about the epsom salts.

  • Town Pride Lawn Service
    on Jul 18, 2013

    I suspect a blossom blight disease due to favorable weather conditions for many fungus pathogens.

  • Beverly
    on Jul 18, 2013

    I'm having the same problem--and same weather. Anxious to review all the responses. I will try the Epsom salts. Is it too late for a fungicide?

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 18, 2013

    Hot and wet weather could definitely bring on a fungus issue. @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) may have some suggestions.

  • Decor&Dine
    on Jul 18, 2013

    Thanks, would love to hear more.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jul 18, 2013

    I have also noticed that conditions are ripe for thrips as well as fungus related diseases. To find thrips, take the bloom in one hand and sharply tap the blooms into the palm of your hand. Thrips look are tiny critters but you can see them and feel them crawling on your hand. You can find chemicals to treat them in any garden supply department or store. I think the smartest treatment would be something like the Bayer 3 in 1, to control fungus and critters. I will head out to the greenhouse in a bit to check mine for thrips. I did have some on some roses about a month ago.

  • Decor&Dine
    on Jul 18, 2013

    Thanks @360 Sod (Donna Dixson), I will check mine as well.

  • Amy Merriam
    on Jul 19, 2013

    Hydrangea blossoms do this when they are getting too much hot sun. Hydrangeas prefer more shade than sun. It won't hurt them..it just makes them look bad. Can you rig up some kind of shade "structure" during the hottest times of day..just to get them through the worst of this summer? And then maybe think about moving them...or planting something next to them that will block the worst of the hot sun.

  • Rex White
    on Jul 19, 2013

    What about small brown spots on the leaves, is this fungus ? Thanks

  • Sue Weiker
    on Jul 19, 2013

    We're having a severly hot and humid summer with a lot of rain also, and mine is doing the same thing. My hydrangea is in mostly shade and has never been anything but prolific in floral display and beautiful. They have never done this before. I am gonna try donna's advice. Thanks much donna and Doug, both

  • Rosalie M
    on Jul 19, 2013

    I haven't had much luck with hydrangea and finally got one growing and blooming this season. My plant did the same thing. I dead-headed the bush. Is that something I should not have done? The instructions with my plant said to: "plant in full sun". How can one really know what to do. Incidentally, same weather conditions in PA...rain/hot, hot, hot.

  • Susan Duff
    on Jul 19, 2013

    You've described my hydrangeas as well - half eaten leaves and brown/black leaves. I wondered about cutting them back to just a few inches? I began treating them with a 3 in 1 fungicide/insecticide/organic spray three evenings ago. The directions indicate to treat consecutively for 7-14 days. I just planted them early this summer and they were very healthy at the time. Cut them back or leave them alone?

  • Lizz
    on Jul 19, 2013

    hydraengeas like partial shade,also I use coffee grounds weekly for my plants...they are very blue!

  • Linda Anderson
    on Jul 19, 2013

    what do you do with the coffee grounds?

  • Susan Duff
    on Jul 19, 2013

    Add the grounds to your soil. I will also add egg shells.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jul 19, 2013

    well I did not find any thrips on the Hydrangeas I check yesterday afternoon and I do have them in control on my roses, thank goodness. @Susan Duff, not being sure what type you have, I would err on the side of caution and not cut them back yet.

  • Decor&Dine
    on Jul 19, 2013

    No thrips on mine either checked this morning and mine are in partial shade but I think it is the very very hot weather that we have been having. Thank to all for your responses.

  • Susan Duff
    on Jul 19, 2013

    Thank you @360 Sod (Donna Dixson)

  • Robert Wright
    on Jul 19, 2013

    blossom blight disease

  • Natalie Scarberry
    on Jul 19, 2013

    I agree with Amy Merriam. It's too much heat and sun. At least that's what it is when it happens to mine here in Texas.

  • Trish Ross
    on Jul 20, 2013

    I live in Alabama where there is 'heat' all summer long. I have also noticed more beautiful Hydrangeas here than when I lived in Michigan. We have several types such as cone shaped blossoms and puff ball blossoms. The 'natural' colors depend on soil and landscape. I have noticed them growing on mountain sides in shaded areas where they begin with white/brown blossoms. Cultivated ones in yards with beautiful long white cones of blossoms that 'droop' in a beautifully shaped bush that grow to 8-10 feet in height. There are beautiful blues and beautiful pinks that are always in 'puff ball' blossoms. Color depends on soil ph. They seem to grow well in any type of sun/shade as long as they get at least 6 hours of sun a day. They all eventually turn brownish before they begin that journey to sleep but the blossoms remain beautifully intact. Have you ever seen dried hydrangeas? They never have any color...just a beautiful brown tone.

  • Susan Stambaugh
    on Jul 22, 2013

    I live in Pennsylvania and have grown beautiful Hydrangeas for years. This year they just look terrible. We have had 2 spells of 95 or above temps lasting for days only going down to around 70-75 at night.It actually hit 102 on my thermometer the other day and the humidity is oppressive. After about 5 days of this weather they just started to "burn" as I call it. Everything here is showing heat exhaustion including the plants.I just keep watering daily and hope for the best. Even my beans aren't growing as well and they are usually my best growers.

  • Robert Wright
    on Jul 27, 2013

    You can use some Epson salt, to give them extra magnesium!

  • Linda Anderson
    on Jul 28, 2013

    how much epson salt and water do i use?

  • Decor&Dine
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I have many dried hydrangeas from previous years but they did not have brown spots on them, they dried very nicely into a very pale colour.

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