My Hydrangeas... any advice?

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Here are my Hydrangeas. They are planted where they get only about an hour or two of morning sunlight only underneath my huge shade tree. Both plants have beautiful full, healthy looking blooms on them (and buds fixing to bloom) , but the leaves sometimes are crunchy and brown and have to be removed or, recently, have been looking like the picture. Only one of my plants are droopy like this, but both of them get the crunchy brown leaves. I know that Hydrangeas are moody and like water; so I keep an eye on them. But what is causing this droop problem? They were planted this year. I am totally new to this so any advice will help me. Thank you kindly.

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Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

The first year in the ground can be stressful, especially if the weather is hot and the plants didn't have enough time to get established before the weather got hot. I wouldn't worry too much about some of the leaves getting crunchy and browning, it'll lose its leaves in the fall anyway and put out new ones next year and they should be fine assuming you don't have it in an area that gets too much sun.

If they are wilting all the time you may need to water them more (I've had trouble growing hydrangeas under trees since the trees tend to take a lot of the moisture--I've had much better luck growing them where they're shaded by a building rather than a tree). But, make sure to check the soil moisture with a finger, wooden skewer, etc first. Sometimes when a plant's roots aren't quite adequate (as is often the case on newly planted things) the roots can't take up water fast enough to keep the plant from wilting in the heat of the day even if there's plenty of water in the soil, so the plant will wilt as a defense mechanism. But in the evening when the temperatures cool off a bit then the plant will perk up again. So if it's perking up in the evenings and you check the soil and it's still moist then you don't want to water more.

Burien, WA(Zone 7b)

Is it possible to plant a hydrangea in too much shade?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

They do need a bit of light to bloom well--the plant itself would probably be fine in too much shade, but they won't bloom as well as they will if they get some morning sun.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Thank you for the response. When I woke up t his morning the whole (1 side) of thaat plant was dead. I felt the soil and it felt ok. It is really hot outside though so I believe that is what the problem is. Where the bloom and the new buds are is fine. It was just 3 branches on the opposite side of the plant.

Orland Park, IL(Zone 5b)

I put in some hydrangeas this year and I was having trouble with the leaves turning brown. I was watering them every other day and thought this was sufficient. It was not. I now water them everyday and 2 of them need water twice a day when the temp is over 85. I cut off all the brown parts of the leaves and they are doing well.

Rolesville, NC(Zone 7b)

That looks like Hydrangea paniculata which can adapt to full sun even in my zone. The heat could still be an issue but I think something else might be going on. What kind of soil did you plant them in? The crispy edges reminds me of fertilizer burn.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I used Miracle grow and half native soil.

Rolesville, NC(Zone 7b)

I've gotta tell you that I already knew the answer to my question :)

I am a huge hater of MG products because in hot climates the fertilizer tends to all release at once and fry the roots clean off a plant. I've been working at the same nursery for 13 years and have seen countless plants flat out killed by MG burn. Hopefully by now most of the fertilizer has leached out so the damage that was done has passed and the plant should begin to look better shortly.

(Zone 7a)

I agree with PF. I've had a few losses due to MG. I no longer use it.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Really wow. Ok thank you so much I will no longer use it either. That explains a few different problems around my flower gardens. I owe ya one.

Hannibal, MO(Zone 5a)

I had the exact same problem. Despite trying to nurse it back to health, it died.

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Rolesville, NC(Zone 7b)

I have seen so many plants burned by the stuff and hate it so much I feel rather smug when I see the damage it causes. I smile when a customer brings a half dead plant to me and says those predictable words, "I planted it in Miracle Gro". I don't want to see innocent plants suffer but their poor little burnt leaves reinforces my prejudice. The ol' plantfreak has become quite a cynic despite her relatively young age >:)

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