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Why Are My Hydrangea Leaves Wilting?

Hydrangeas, just like many other plants, have their own unique needs. To grow them well, it’s important to understand these needs. This article will tackle one of the top issues gardeners face with hydrangeas.

A typical problem for these plants is drooping, often due to a mix of too much sun and not enough water. If your hydrangeas seem unhappy, start by checking this. Feel the soil about 1 to 2 inches down with your finger. If it’s dry, give your plant a good, deep watering.

Too Much Sun and Heat

Hydrangea wilting because of too much sun and heat.

Hydrangea wilting because of too much sun and heat.

When it gets hotter than 80 °F (26 °C), water evaporates from the leaves really fast. Sometimes, the roots can’t keep up and supply enough water, leading to drooping leaves.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Water your hydrangea with 1-2 gallons of water.
  2. Increase the amount of shade for the plant.
  3. Consider relocating the hydrangea to a spot that gets 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily, but is otherwise shadier.

Read also: How To Care For Hydrangeas.

Underwatering

Hydrangea wilting because of underwatering.

Hydrangea wilting because of underwatering.

Wilting hydrangea leaves can also be due to not getting enough water, especially during hot summers. This can leave the hydrangea feeling thirsty.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Feel the soil around your plant. If it’s dry an inch below the surface, it’s time to water.
  2. Use about 1-2 gallons of water for each bush.
  3. Put mulch around your hydrangea to help the soil keep its moisture.

Transplant Shock

Hydrangea drooping

Hydrangea leaves might wilt when you’re planting or moving them, especially if it’s not done right or at the best time.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Keep the plant in as much shade as you can for a few months. This cuts down on water loss from evaporation.
  2. Water the hydrangea whenever the top inch of soil feels dry.
  3. Plant or move hydrangeas only in spring.
  4. Be careful not to harm the roots when planting.
  5. Mulch around the base of the plant with compost.

Read also: Hydrangea Transplant Shock

Root Rot

Hydrangea wilting because of overwatering.

Hydrangea wilting because of overwatering.

Wilting leaves can be a sign of root rot, which is a serious issue. It’s usually caused by overwatering, either from too much manual watering or long periods of rain, or sometimes both.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Avoid overwatering your hydrangeas.
  2. Redirect rainwater away from where your hydrangeas are growing.
  3. Ensure your hydrangeas have good drainage.
  4. Plant hydrangeas in soil that drains well.

Verticillium Wilt and Bacterial Wilt

Hydrangea wilting because of disease.

Hydrangea wilting because of disease.

Two serious diseases, though from different causes, can seriously harm your plants, often leading to their loss. Their common symptom is wilting leaves on hydrangeas.

Typically, these diseases get into the plant through cuts made during propagation or pruning. Once inside, they spread and harm the parts of the plant that move water from the roots to the leaves. The leaves then wilt, turn yellow, and fall off.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Ensure there’s good air flow around your hydrangeas.
  2. Don’t overwater the plants.
  3. Keep your garden clean.
  4. Always use sterile tools when working in your garden.
  5. Cut off the diseased parts of the plant. This often helps the plant recover.
  6. If the disease has spread too much, you might need to remove the affected hydrangea from your yard.

How do you revive a wilted potted hydrangea?

Reviving a wilted potted hydrangea can be straightforward. While these potted beauties are perfect for sprucing up patios where ground planting isn’t an option, they do tend to wilt more often than their garden-planted counterparts.

Here’s how to bring them back to life:

  1. Move your potted hydrangea into full shade.
  2. Check the soil. If it’s dry, water the plant thoroughly until the water runs out of the drainage holes.

To prevent future wilting:

  1. Place the pots where they’ll get partial sun (about 4 hours) or in a spot with diffused sunlight.
  2. Water the plants regularly, making sure the soil is fully moistened each time.
  3. In colder regions (hardiness zones 3-4), move your potted hydrangeas indoors (like a garage or basement) for the winter.
  4. Choose a soil that keeps moisture well.
  5. Feed your hydrangeas, but be careful not to over-fertilize.