why is my hydrangea green and wilting in the sun?

Moorestown, NJ(Zone 6b)

We have a new moptop Hydrangea that was planted in the fall. The flowers that are blooming are mostly green with some pink. Anybody can educated us as to why this is happening, and what we can do about it?

Also, the flowers seem to wilt in the sun. Is this typical? And, when and what part of the stem should I cut the flowers to put them in a vase?

Thanks!

Thumbnail by betulo
Moorestown, NJ(Zone 6b)

More pics...

Thumbnail by betulo
Knoxville, TN

I'm not an expert on hydrangeas but I see you have no other responses yet so I will tell you what I can. I have several hydrangeas and all of my blooms start out green, then get sort of cream colored and then gradually get more and more color in them. Most hydrangeas droop in the hot sun but then perk up when they get some shade. If they stay droopy overnight, then you know they need water. Hope this helps.

Moorestown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Thank you. This is very useful.

Troy, NY(Zone 5b)

I have one in full sun that I have to water with at least 2 gallons a day when it is hot. They droop but come back very quick with water.

The ones that get am sun only don't seem to droop at all.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Green blooms are common in varieties that have immature blooms early on. Think H. paniculata Limelight. These blooms will change -sunlight will speed this up- to the appropriate color (pink, blue, white) with time. Note that as blooms age throughout the summer months, they will eventually fade to other colors.

Wilting is common while the plant is being established in the garden. That means it will happen most often as temperatures get into the 90s or as summer winds cause the leaves to loose moisture faster than the roots can absorb it. Provided that the soil remains moist, wilted plant should recover on their own by nightfall or next morning. Mulch helps the soil remain moist so try to keep 3-4" of mulch at all times.

Hydrangea blooms do best when allowed to dry out a little on the plant before cutting. Thus, try cutting them on August or later. They may not dry out as well in the open air if they are recenty opened.

Fargo, ND(Zone 4a)

I'm not entirely sure, but it looks like these might be Endless Summer hydrangeas? If so, you will want to deadhead more often than the last reply, because you will then get more blooms on the plant. This is because Endless Summer's bloom on both new and old wood. Also, Endless Summer hydrangea flowers look exactly like your picture - green at first and then turn pink (or blue depending the soil). Your plants look healthy, but they will droop under the conditions already described by all the other knowledgable people who responding before me.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'd add a lot of compost for the entire root area all the way to the drip line and water it well. See if that helps with the afternoon drooping. They do recover by morning, don't they?

Troy, NY(Zone 5b)

They recover in minutes. It is amazing to see how fast they perk up.

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

Anyone,I have 2 glowing embers endless summer ,and a lanarth white lacecap hydrangea,what fertilizer ratio do they like,I have fed them a 5-8-5 organic mix,I have a load of compost ready to use,should I go ahead and put compost around the drip line too.Thanks Tamara

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

No need to worry, Tamara. A small shrub in a 5-g pot can be fed with about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of manure, cottonseed meal or compost; scatter it around, from the crown up to the drip line. If you wish to use chemical fertilizers, you can use any slow-release general purpose fertilizer too (NPK 10-10-10 for example). Feed them only once a year by the way, in June if you live in the northern states. Then mulch them well (3-4" of mulch) and keep the soil moist as best as you can. That is it. You do not need specialized fertilizers or multiple fertilizer applications like other plants need since hydrangeas are not heavy feeders like roses, for example. In the South though, you would fertilize in late April or early May and again in July since the growing season is much longer; and if you planted the shrub in a pot you would need more frequent applications too. By the way, I am assuming that your soil has no mineral defficiencies, of course.

Have you had these for a while (5-10 years) Tamara or are they new? These two varieties are generally good thru Zone 6 but I notice that they also get advertised as good for Zone 5. So if you have had them for a while, I was wondering if they have been reliable bloomers for you. Seeing different zones for the same variety always makes me wonder what is up with that.

Here is a link to more hydrangea information:
www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com

Luis

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

Luis,this is the 4th yr. Iam greatly disapointed in the bloom performance.I should have done a little research on them ,probly would not have bought them.And right now they dont look real good,I cant tell if its overwater or under fed,as we have had ,or having a lot of rain.Iam posting a picture of the glowing embers .I am going to be moving them in the fall,we are going to be cutting down the old wild cherry tree that provides them shade on the west side of the house,also that might help with the blooming.Getting them out of the west winter wind. I would like to think my soil is up to par ,I use compost and composted leaves,I make my fertilizer 2parts bloodmeal,3 parts bonemeal,6parts greensand. so that should round out my nutrients,minerals.Sad thing is where to put them .My girlfreind has one on the east side,that did really well,but it got nailed last spring,so did mine,if we would have covered them ,now that I think about it ,its not the winter that gets them its spring,they start showing life on the old growth,and then we have a frost .any way be glad you are not in zone 5,our spring really sucked,it seems like nothing wants to get growing this year.hydrangeas in apot I might try to pull that off

Thumbnail by huggergirl
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Yes, I can notice some iron chlorosis on some of the leaves. Your shrub is a little bigger than one g/e that I planted last Fall. While some iron chelated compounds can help the plant recover quicker, you could simply wait and see as lots of rain also causes soils to turn more alkaline. But the soil reverts back to its normal pH level on its own... it's just not a quick process. Reminds me of several years ago when weather patterns made us get lots of rain for almost 4-5 months. The ground was so saturated that it caused this problem and some years-old oakleaf specimens even died due to too much moisture.

If you really want to keep them, you could apply some winter protection techniques. They should be effective when you go down one USDA zone, as in your case. But you are right, it is nice not to have to mess with that in the Fall.

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

Luis,Thanks for the info. on the wet soil,we got more rain all day and nite,well another 1 1/4,that puts us around 6in above normal,I might look into treating the poor over watered things.The lanarth seems to be fine.This weather just makes me wonder how wet it might be all summer,allthough last yr it started out wet and ended up a drought !!! Thanks Tamara,PS The lanarth did the afternoon wilt yesterday,had a little sun between the rains,youd think when they wilt you assume dry,I did learn that right away the first yr !!!

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

Here's some shots of mine, I think shows the color change very well. It to gets a regular scorching from the sun,
We are in rainy season right now, last two days over 10 inches, seems ok whatever the weather!

pajonica

Thumbnail by Jiny
Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

Here's another.

pajonica

Thumbnail by Jiny
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

10 inches in two days????? Wow! One of my three dogs would just love that but the other two would just turn around when presented with the choice of going out while raining or staying inside. It also happens to be the dog that likes to drink water when the sprinkler heads pop up and water sections of the lawn.... sigh... at least she seems to have fun.

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

My dog just will not go out in the rain and I just heard our forecast for Wednesday, 250 mm = about 5 inches! 85 f
with 98% humidity. Think I'll stay in too!

pajonica

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Oh, wow! What's that BLUE hydrangea, pajonica?

Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

Pajonica, what a beautiful hydrangea! Thanks for posting!

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

The colour is not quite blue, just a shade short of purple. Camera + computer + upload has distorted the colour a little.
As I didn't plant this hydrangea myself I am not sure of the variety. Thanks to everyone for your most encouraging comments.

pajonica

McLean, VA

I've been deadheading with they droop and wither - - am I doing wrong? Will I get more blooms? I have several hydrangeas in pots; nothing in the ground (no room on the condo terrace) - - but I have an oak leaf it a HUGE pot that I pruned (from advice on DG) and it has come back leaps and bounds. Picture attached.

The mop heads, however, are my concern. I'll share photos later, but I hope that I haven't hurt anything by clipping off a mophead or two becuase they were unsightly (and I thought "finished"). I didnt' realize they'd perk up with a little aqua...they looked beyond help, Thanks all of you smart, seasoned gardeners!

Thumbnail by XGAPEACH
Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

exgapeach. Temps here are in the mid 90s now and every day they turn into flopheads, but soon perk up!
I don't dead head them until autumn. You will have had just about all the flower you'll get this year so go easy on the cutters and water them in the evening.
Good luck

Jon

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Beautiful coloring on your hydrangea, pa!

Xgapeach - try using compost or mulch to conserve water. A few inches would make a big difference.

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

pirl. They are now fading to a lovely shade of Wedgwood blue I'll take a photo in the morning and post it.
I have about 4" of sterilised leaf mulch around the base of mine but the sun is just so hot right now.
They are only exposed to the sun until 10:30 am. No amount of watering seems to prevent them from wilting.i

Jon

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Isn't it fascinating to watch how the colors change on hydrangeas?

We've had hot summers here so I know the problems the hydrangeas face with heat. Not so this year - they may need fur coats before this summer is over.

Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

My Annabelle appears to be dying a slow death -- branch by branch. It is in full bloom, but the leaves wilt and die. Watering does not help. My concern is that the plant received too much moisture during the heavy spring rains. Further, the plant seems to have sunk an inch or so -- there is a basin around the plant. However, the remaining branches (there are few) are holding gorgeous big white flowers. I'd like to move the plant once the blooms have faded. Is it possible for a hydrangea to drown?

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Hummm....I don't think your hydrangea is dying, otherwise it wouldn't be blooming, right? But I'm no expert! ; )

About deadheading: I have heard/read somewhere that if you deadhead some of the blooms, the remaining blooms will grow larger. Does anyone know anything about this?

Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

The branches that held the dead leaves also held dead blooms. I'm clueless. We had record rainfalls with standing water for brief periods in many spots this spring. Perhaps the soil has become devoid of certain necessary nutrients. As of yesterday, the remaining branches were looking decent. This is not a real huge plant, so maybe it's become stressed from the multitude of blooms.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Too much water could be your problem--record rainfalls plus standing water aren't going to be good for most plants. Hydrangeas are relatively thirsty plants, but even so I don't think they'll do well in standing water. Hopefully if you let things dry out a bit and Mother Nature cooperates and doesn't dump more rain on you then it'll be able to recover.

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

Color's fading to gorgeous shades.

Jon

Thumbnail by Jiny
Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

Same plant but on the sun exposed side.

Jon

Thumbnail by Jiny
Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks ecrane3,

I just planted this Annabelle last summer. She survived a harsh 5a winter with absolutely ZERO die-back. (Maybe I should have pruned early spring.) I'll plan to move her later in the season when the flowering is over. Should I prune her back when I move her?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

figaro - if you have any excess clay in your soil that could be the source of a problem for the hydrangea.

Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

Pirl, I do indeed have clay. I of course amended the immediate area surrounding the hydrangea when I planted it, but with all the rain, etc. It's just not in a good spot soil-wise. Thanks for chiming in! BTW, an Endless Summer just a few feet away at the corner of the house does just great -- drainage is better in that spot.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We ran into the problem for the very first time in 18 years of planting here so it was my first thought since hydrangeas are such water lovers.

Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

Gardening is a continuous learning experience -- never boring!

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Oh yeah! : )

Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

The remainder of my Annabelle wilted and the leaves became crispy, all the while the soil was moist. Too much moisture from Mother Nature -- end result: crown rot. I never thought it would be possible to drown a hydrangea!

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea) has a weaker root system than the other varieties and will develop root rot if exposed to wet soil for long periods of time. And I reeeeeaaaaaly like some of those oakleafs!

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