I planted two new hydrangeas last fall, and they seemed to be doing great this spring and summer. The smaller of the two had only 5 stems, three with blooms on them. We just had our roof re-done, and the roofers somehow managed to break off 4 of the 5 stems on my smaller hydrangea. There is now only one full stem with leaves left. Is there anything I can do to give it a little help, so it will survive all the breakage? Hoping the lack of leaves isn't going to doom it!
You shouldn't need to do anything beyond what you'd normally do--they should bounce back. Unfortunately unless they're ones that bloom on new wood you won't get any more blooms this year, but next year they should be fine. Since they don't have a lot of leaves though they won't go through water as fast as before so you may want to cut back a little on watering.
Depending on your growing season, they may send new shoots (stems) now or leave producing new stems for Spring 2012 so just maintain the soil evenly moist -not wet- as you normally do. I had to extract two of mine when redoing the roof. Kept them in a shaded protect place while the workers did their thing. Then I placed them back when the workers were done. They survived but I had to keep an eye on soil moisture!
The first day, when they were tearing off the old roof, they were great about putting up sawhorses and tarps to protect as many plants as possible. The second day, when they were finishing putting on the shingles, we weren't home when they really got going, and for some reason they didn't protect the plants. You should see what they did to my hosta bed, but I know those will recover. I was worried about my tall lilies, some 6-7 feet tall, that couldn't be covered, but never thought they'd set a ladder right on a blooming hydrangea. :(
I hear you. I am not sure what damage my roofers would have done to the hydrangeas but the guy that I was contracting the work with asked me to move plants before they started working. He particulalrly mentioned the hydrangeas. So I moved those two.
I still lost other shrubs (azalea) but I can no longer remember what did they did. I think I found the azalea ripped off somehow.
You know, one really has to be there doing the job that their team leader or boss should be doing (to protect the customer's plants).
I wouldn't move them--the worst case scenario is they break the branches above ground and you lose a year of blooms, but the plant itself should bounce back. If you transplant, you may lose blooms the following year anyway as the plants get reestablished, and you're taking the extra risk of transplanting (not to mention that if you've had them there for 15 yrs you probably like them in the spot they're in!)
I think you are being too nice on those roofers. They can do worse damage than that. My roofers managed to cut an azalea bush from the base, replace it so it looked only slightly crooked (it dried out of course) and disturb the small fibruous roots so it died and I did not discover the problem for several days and no one told me about it. They did replace it.
Ecrane, they were there when I bought the house and they like it there( east side)...lol My husband keeps cutting them back (ugh) because they over hang on the pathway. He tells me doesn't but I see fresh cut marks. I tell him, my gosh man, the path is 5 ft wide so what if the bush takes up 1 ft or so cant you walk in 3 ft.
The blue Lace cap this year is over 6ft high and a good 5 ft wide. The snowballs get the worse of the cutting...lol
The only things with blooms in my garden now are Crape Myrtles, Rose of Sharon and the wisteria vine. One rose has an old bloom but the others decided to stop and take a break from the blooming business. I do have hydrangea blooms but they look so sad I would not considering alive at this point. We need another tropical storm!