Asked on Jun 13, 2013

Hydrangea's Are They Dying ?

Is it something wrong with my hydrangeas? I have always loved hydrangeas and remembering them from my Grannies lawn so I would love to be able to grow them. Soil checked and it was good for the blue and it is on the side of my house that gets morning sun only. Hope to get some advice from all my garden hometalk friends.....
they bloomed good and i know the flowers will die but something is eating the plant up ??????
  23 answers
  • Mary Tonningsen Mary Tonningsen on Jun 13, 2013
    Are they getting enough water? Mine will brown out if they get too dry or when it's really hot. It helps to keep the ground mulched around the plant (keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem, though), I planted my hydrangeas because of the wonderful memories of my grandmother's plants, too. They were so beautiful! Mine always start out great, but I didn't plant them in a shady-enough spot, and I live in the Sacramento area, so they tend to get sunburned on the hottest of days. By the end of summer they look awful! They look beautiful right now, though :) Good luck with yours!
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 13, 2013
    thanks Mary I bought some mulch but i was worried about putting it around it so now i know it is ok i love getting advice from here when someone has already tried it and it worked for them..i am keeping my fingers crossed but on the water ummm if no rain here for a week should i water them once a week or every day ??
  • Bonnie Lewenza Bonnie Lewenza on Jun 14, 2013
    Mulch gets wet when you water and keeps the plant cool, as well it does the opposite in the winter protecting it from the cold. So don't forget to remulch in the fall as well. Try to add some epsom salt and sugar to boost them. Epsom salts give them the nutrients, I use 3 tbls. of each to 2 litre of water. Good luck
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 14, 2013
    Trent-Tonya, you should worry more about not mulching than mulching. Take a walk in the woods: Everything there is mulched by mother nature. You can't water on a chronological schedule. Hydrangeas do not like to dry out, so you need to try to keep the soil moist, but not wet. If you need to stick your finger the dirt to figure that out, that's what you'll have to do! I personally would not worry about a few chewed leaves unless it becomes a significantly bigger problem.
  • Laura Slavin Laura Slavin on Jun 14, 2013
    appearance of blooms leads me to believe combination of too little water on a consistent basis and too much acid in soil-do not try to change colors by amending soil-it may affect blooms
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on Jun 14, 2013
    Anthracnose is a disease that Hydrangeas get. They also get powdery mildew. Spraying with a fungicide will help. Keep the plant evenly watered and some food will help too! :)
  • Connie Barber Connie Barber on Jun 14, 2013
    I use pine straw as mulch instead of wood chips. seems to breakdown quicker. the worms like it too. worms work in the soil and add their castings and keep the soil from becoming compacted. They seem to solve all my problems. the morning sun and evening shade is a good thing. They do love water. "HYDRA" is a part of their name. Good luck. Gardening is fun and therapuetic.
  • Ellawatson Ellawatson on Jun 14, 2013
    Do I see a little caterpillar on the the bottom leaf on the right? Somethings eating holes n your leaves. I hope you figure it out. These are beautiful flowers!
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 14, 2013
    thanks to all will post an update on it next week
  • Toni S Toni S on Jun 15, 2013
    It does look like a gypsy moth Ellawatson. If it is act quickly with spraying they will destroy any & everything. I use the fungi soap or a vinegar dishwashing liquid mix - whatever I have on hand.
    • Lorrie B Lorrie B on Apr 21, 2014
      @Toni S Can you use the vinegar, dishwashing mix without hurting the plant?
  • Jann Cox Jann Cox on Jun 15, 2013
    I agree with Nancy Hand, looks like fungus
  • Terry Baker Terry Baker on Jun 15, 2013
    Are they in the direct sun?? They like part shade and burn easily. I moved mine to the shade and they do great. They also need lots of water and can take on water through their leaves. So when watering them sprinkle the leaves too...but not when the direct sun is on them...evening or mornings
  • Helen Helen on Jun 17, 2013
    Not sure what zone you live in but I live n VA. I have morning and part noon sun and I really have to make sure mine get a lot of water. I decided to invest in a soaker hose so the water gets down in the soil rather than just the top. Mine looked like that last year when we had drought conditions..
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 17, 2013
    I caught my Weimaraner dog using it as his bathroom so could it be that ? I put some pine straw around it, fertilized it and have been watering it we live in zone 8 and my soil was tested. I think it is looking a little better so will post a photo of it soon.
  • Deborah Harvey Deborah Harvey on Jun 17, 2013
    I use Bayer 2-in-1 Systemic Rose & Flower food on my hydrangeas & roses.. it feeds them over a 4 to 6 week window & controls pests too. Hydrangeas don't do well in strong sun and need a lot of water.. I mulch mine to keep the soil cooler in the summer & warmer in the winter. I don't think the damage is from your dog.. the leaves would be burnt .
  • Sharon Burton Sharon Burton on Jun 18, 2013
    Just pinch off the dying flowers and new shoots will come on within a month.
  • Bonnie Lewenza Bonnie Lewenza on Jun 19, 2013
    Pinching back is usually the case with many flowers. The plant pays too much attention to the parts that are dying so pinch off or dead head when needed. You will get new growth.
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 19, 2013
    going to go pinch away lol thanks ladies
  • CindyandGeorge Schaeffer CindyandGeorge Schaeffer on Jun 25, 2013
    Send your question to Douglas Hunt, he seems to be the Hometalk expert on plants!!!!
  • Holly Graves Holly Graves on Jun 25, 2013
    I just started a Hydrangea in water..I have recently planted indoors.When is a good time to plant outdoors and what kind of soil do they prefer..I live in Michigan..
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 25, 2013
    Holly I just googled it when I wanted to start mine and put my Zone number to see.. to check your zone number use your zip code
  • Erin G Erin G on Aug 26, 2013
    They need FERTILIZER!! Hydrangeas are very heavy feeders at bloom-time, those booms take up most of the plant's resources, and good soil can only do so much! My hydrangeas that I just bought in June -- one of them drooped & the blooms were more cream-coloured (they were supposed to be pink, it was the Proven Winners Invincibelle Spirit), so I checked on their website & facebook page, and I decided to try fertilizer first, since everything said "heavy feeders". I used Miracle-Gro Ultra Bloom (15-30-15), and gave it a double-dose -- as soon as I did that new buds started forming all over the shrub, and I could see that the buds were dark pink!! YAY!! So the next week I stirred in a double-dose of slow-release Miracle Gro, AND I have been hitting it with Ultra-Bloom every week. I trimmed off the flopping icky flowers so the plant wasn't using its energy on them, and I now have LOTS of nice pink blooms!! My Little Lime Hydrangea, I hadn't planted it yet, I was scared it was going to die like the first one, so I hit it with Ultra-Bloom still in its pot, and it immediately opened its buds in a beautiful green and grew 6 more flower buds! So, hit those hydrangeas every week to keep your blooms nice & the colour they are meant to be! And make sure you water it often! I water first then fertilize. Good luck!