How can I rescue my climbing hydrangea plant (pic)?

Ms Marianne
by Ms Marianne

We had a company washing our house and windows last Friday and now this climbing hydrangea of mine is starting to die, though they're especially advertising their products DONT kill any plants. Now what?! We've paid (with veteran discount) more than $800 for the service and I sure wouldn't like to see losing this precious plant on top of that! Is this valuable giant still going to survive, or should I start asking for some compensation, and if so, how much? On the top it's lost almost all its leaves already, and needless to say I'm very upset it was thriving just beautifully before they did their job. The company is very co-operative and wants me to ask about the prognosis, so if there is anyone here who can advice me about this, I'd greatly appreciate it! ♥️🌷 Thank you❣

  8 answers
  • Wait. What??? You paid someone $800 to wash your house and windows? How big is your house? That sounds excessive. Really excessive.

    If the company is so "cooperative" have them tell you what product(s), they used to wash your house with.

    I smell a dead fish here, something just isn't right.

    Once we know what they used, we can figure out how to remedy.

    • See 2 previous
    • Well this is disturbing on so many levels. Let's start with their advertising. False representation. At this point their mix is not proprietary, they must give you the ingredient list. Chlorine is the chemical killing your plant. It just depends on how far you want to take this. I certainly would not use this company again. And when you do hire again, find out what they are using before you hire. Honestly you do not need chemicals to wash the house or the windows. A proper power wash is typically all most homes need. I will go and see what you can do to counter act the chlorine. In the interim, I would water several times a day to flush out all the chemicals. Take note of any other plants that might be affected. If it were me, my house and my plants, I would put in a claim to their insurance carrier. I would also entertain a small claims action for the amount you paid for this service.

  • Veronica Veronica on Aug 15, 2019

    I would saturate the ground a couple of times around the plant with plain, fresh, water to try and move any chemicals away from the plant. I’m guessing that’s what happened here? My mother has a couple of these plants and they take over her deck. Nothing seems to bother them so I think it might be chemical burn in your case. Wait until November to trim them back. They should recover the following year.

    • Ms Marianne Ms Marianne on Aug 15, 2019

      Thanks Veronica! I will do that, yes, was reading that suggestion about it elsewhere, too, so let's hope that helps a bit. They used a detergent with chlorine in it, they said...

  • Judy Judy on Aug 15, 2019

    These are a pretty hardy plant. I grew them in Michigan and really trimmed them back before the weather got to freezing. Also really water the ground several times heavily to dilute the chlorine. The mist from the spray did most of the damage to the external plant.

    • Ms Marianne Ms Marianne on Aug 15, 2019

      Thanks Judy! Yes, I've been watering thoroughly this morning and will do again later today, and continue doing the same rest of the week, too. We have pretty warm days ahead of us, so it's gonna be absorbing a lot of the water before it can even dilute any chlorine away in the ground, but gotta water tons then to prevent that happening...

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Aug 15, 2019

    I would write a letter to the company, send it registered mail, return receipt so you have a written record. Yes, drench the ground often to try to wash away the "detergent" and chlorine. Trim back only after you've taken many pics from all angles. Include any pics you may have of the plant before the work and now with your letter.

    Trim as needed from now through fall/winter and then assess things in the spring. Alert the company in your letter that you "are willing to nurse the plant and do all you can to ensure its survival" but that you "cannot give them a cost for the damage until next spring as it will take that long to properly see what is involved".

    IF you then have an issue in the spring you've already set things up to make a claim against them whether it be via their cooperating or taking them to Small Claims Court. Good luck saving that gorgeous guy!

    • See 2 previous
    • Ms Marianne Ms Marianne on Aug 18, 2019

      Well, nothing of that is written in the stone yet, and besides, since 4 other trees are now dropping leaves and showing signs of dying as well - a magnolia, a huge dogtree, a type of nut tree and a tree I don't even know the name of, all dropping their leaves, so not such a small matter after all as I initially thought. This garden was built originally by a horticulturer and lots of gorgeous plants/tree can be found all over, so this neighbourhood "pride" is now losing its curb appeal a lot and even the value in the viewer's very eyes...

  • Ms Marianne Ms Marianne on Aug 15, 2019

    Picture on the left taken today, and on the right just a few weeks ago...😢

    comment photo
  • 17335038 17335038 on Aug 16, 2019

    Hi Marlene,

    Did both you and the company who did the washing both sign a contract before any money changed hands, and before any work commenced?

    If there was no written contract, then unfortunately you will most likely not be able to file against the company for breach of contract in small claims court, simply because no contract exists.

    While at times, a verbal agreement may be considered a contract, it is problematic to seek enforceable reparations, as generally neither a verbal agreement, nor a handshake, is regarded as a binding contract.

    In this case, as the printed advertising promises no damage to any plants, you are definitely entitled to compensation. If you are unable to reach an agreement on your own with the company that is satisfactory to you, then I would advise to seek legal counsel.

    • See 2 previous
    • Ms Marianne Ms Marianne on Aug 19, 2019

      It does not say anywhere on their webpage what their cleaning solution consists of, but the owner himself has so communicated to me when I asked (in order to know what I have at hands) that it's chlorine...

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Aug 18, 2019

    Ms Marianne, I'm so sorry your other trees & plants are now being negatively affected. As a fellow gardener, I understand how much this hurts.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Aug 19, 2019

    OMG I'm really upset this happened to you/your plants/your soil------Chlorine based cleaner!!!!! You need to call in Professional certified Master Gardener & certified Arborist and get them to help you. Add it to their bill. I was Master Gardener/Landscaper over 20 yrs. and I would be highly upset,very sad & pissed off at their negligence. They have not only damaged(hopefully not killed) your plants,trees but the soil which is integral part of plant health. took as many years to get microbes built up in soil where it's self sustaining/healthy. Your older plants/ trees could take next 18 mos or more to show damages that have occured to root systems. Document everything including any articles about garden/yard like in local newspapers from previous years or such, also any advertisements they have stating non toxicity of solution to plants. I'm so sad this has happened to your plants that have been nutured over such a long time. just keep running water into soil and do not let them come back to do any after care do as I first stated and bill them for it. If they do not pay for damages willingly I would take them to small claims court or higher depending on costs of damages and Professional needed to step in to help. Mother Nature is resilient as long as soil has not been wrecked too. Don't over compensate by adding anything extra like fertilzers because the plants are already in stress/shock. this is awful, just shocking need to add into any settlement/court case if any plants die in future they are libel for those costs too. Chloride levels can be reduced with the use of gypsum. Incorporate gypsum into the soil at a rate of 58 lbs. per 1000 square feet, in loam soils. Less gypsum is needed in sandy soils, more in heavy clay soils. Water thoroughly to leach toxic levels of chlorine from the soil.Trees sensitive to chlorine are ash, boxelder, Siberian crabapple, dogwood, horse-chestnut, silver maple, sugar maple, pin oak, sweet gum, and yellow-wood. Adding earthworms to soil (ALOT of them) will help reintroduce the microbes needed also organic compost this Winter so it can help soil thru out Winter into Spring.