hydrangeas dried out during vacation

El Dorado Hills, CA(Zone 8a)

I bought 4 hydrangeas before I went on vacation 2 weeks ago and got back last night- Three of the plants dried out because they were watered very little while I was gone. One of the hydrangeas is a Nikko Blue and the other 2 are Hobella hydrangeas. I watered them and it looks like one Hobella is doing a lot better. The other 2 plants haven't perked up one bit (leaves are drooping and dry). Does anyone know if I should just cut the leaves and stems down? They are still in the pots that I bought them in. I'd appreciate any advice! Thank you!

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

De-hydrangeas! I would cut them back, keep them moist and shaded and hope for the best.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

If the root ball has dried up, you may want to (1) put a slow dripping hose for an hour on top of the root ball or (2) extract the plant and dump it in water for a while. Not too long though since the roots need some water. Root balls tend to repel water some times when they have dried out, which is why the slow drip method helps.

The leaves will not respond very well when the lack of moisture went on for quite a while. You may have to wait and see if new leaves come out while these remain ugly looking. Just mulch well and maintain the soil moist as best as you can. Use the finger method often: insert a finger to a depth of 4" and water only when the soil feels almost dry or dry. Do not fertilize during this stressfultime but use some weak fertilizers instead like liquid seaweed, liquid fish or coffee grounds. I have one plant in similar conditions too. Due to work being done around the house, I had to remove from its location for a couple of weeks. It has been replanted into its original spot since but it sure is letting me know that is was not happy about transplanting. I monitor the soil often since temps are getting warm over here now but I suspect this one plant may still not make it.

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