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Old 09-07-2010, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Shelby County
280 posts, read 521,954 times
Reputation: 248
Default Hydrangeas not doing so good

I planted 4 Hydrangeas this past Saturday in my flower bed. They are in the sun from sunrise (6 ish) to about 11am, and they are in the shade the rest of the day. They seems like they are slowly dying. It rained today, and I'm not sure if the leaves are doing this because of the rain or if they are dying. The soil is a mixture of mulch and dirt. I plan on laying down a fresh layer of mulch as soon as I figure out if the Hydrangeas are going to make it. Please help!

The plant on the right side of the picture is a small Mum. We planted Mums a while back, and they are doing great.

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Old 09-07-2010, 06:19 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
16,553 posts, read 19,163,588 times
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I have trouble with hydrangeas, too. Just looking at your picture, your soil looks very bad, and the plant looks dry. The morning sun you say it gets should be ideal for a hydrangea.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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That`s what I was thinking to. Soil to dry.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:42 PM
 
2,065 posts, read 3,166,937 times
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Pictures can be deceiving but that dirt/mulch whatever looks bone dry and unhealthy for garden soil. If it rained it was not much rain! Is it dirt and old mulch mixed or is it dirt that we see?? Hydrangeas as a group are "thirsty" plants and these look absolutely parched.

For the moment you may want to get out there and water. Every day in the morning. Making sure the ground is soaking wet. Check for dampness before hand to make sure you are only watering as the soil drys a bit. You don't want to grow mushrooms!

Information we don't have that would help give further help:

Where is Shelby? Most gardeners use something called a zone to give an idea of what temperatures their garden experiences. I'm in TN, my zone is 7A. Use this map to find your zone.
USNA - USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map: South-East US

At the moment my garden doesn't look too good because it has been hot and dry. The air has been more dry than usual and I can't water enough. Some plants will need a good soaking every day in conditions like this and others can get by with less care. I have several plants that I have to water every single day, sometimes twice. My hydrangea is among the thirstiest varieties and will wilt quickly in heat and sun.

What is your garden "dirt" made of and is it hard and packed? silty? clay?
When gardeners start gardens normal procedure would be to make sure they have a good garden soil and drainage. Often this requires adding things like topsoil from outside sources (nurseries, the Box Stores) adding compost and possibly adding things like humus and minerals, and at some point fertilizer. This prep will make a major difference in survival rates of anything planted.

If you have clay soil and just stick a plant in the same sized hole that its pot was the plant will rarely be able to put out roots past the original pot. Either the roots will rot from sitting in a hole that does not allow water to drain away or the roots will not get any real moisture because the soil has formed a barrier. Adding all those amendments creates soil that allows water to get to the roots, allows the roots to spread out and water to drain away enough for the roots to stay healthy. Sometimes plants do well initially in bad conditions because they have enough pot room and fertilizer remnants to grow for a while. This may be the case with the mums... so watch them too!

As Gentlearts said the amount of sun is just right for hydrangeas. It sounds slightly less ideal for chrysanthemums to bloom as they usually require full sun.

Let us know how your plants do!
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Shelby County
280 posts, read 521,954 times
Reputation: 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Pictures can be deceiving but that dirt/mulch whatever looks bone dry and unhealthy for garden soil. If it rained it was not much rain! Is it dirt and old mulch mixed or is it dirt that we see?? Hydrangeas as a group are "thirsty" plants and these look absolutely parched.

For the moment you may want to get out there and water. Every day in the morning. Making sure the ground is soaking wet. Check for dampness before hand to make sure you are only watering as the soil drys a bit. You don't want to grow mushrooms!

Information we don't have that would help give further help:

Where is Shelby? Most gardeners use something called a zone to give an idea of what temperatures their garden experiences. I'm in TN, my zone is 7A. Use this map to find your zone.
USNA - USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map: South-East US


At the moment my garden doesn't look too good because it has been hot and dry. The air has been more dry than usual and I can't water enough. Some plants will need a good soaking every day in conditions like this and others can get by with less care. I have several plants that I have to water every single day, sometimes twice. My hydrangea is among the thirstiest varieties and will wilt quickly in heat and sun.

What is your garden "dirt" made of and is it hard and packed? silty? clay?
When gardeners start gardens normal procedure would be to make sure they have a good garden soil and drainage. Often this requires adding things like topsoil from outside sources (nurseries, the Box Stores) adding compost and possibly adding things like humus and minerals, and at some point fertilizer. This prep will make a major difference in survival rates of anything planted.


If you have clay soil and just stick a plant in the same sized hole that its pot was the plant will rarely be able to put out roots past the original pot. Either the roots will rot from sitting in a hole that does not allow water to drain away or the roots will not get any real moisture because the soil has formed a barrier. Adding all those amendments creates soil that allows water to get to the roots, allows the roots to spread out and water to drain away enough for the roots to stay healthy. Sometimes plants do well initially in bad conditions because they have enough pot room and fertilizer remnants to grow for a while. This may be the case with the mums... so watch them too!

As Gentlearts said the amount of sun is just right for hydrangeas. It sounds slightly less ideal for chrysanthemums to bloom as they usually require full sun.

Let us know how your plants do!

It is a mixture of dirt and mulch. Before we planted them, we turned all the soil pretty well, and I watered them with a sprinkler for about 30 minutes. The dirt underneath the Hydrangeas is pretty hard. We've been watering them every morning but probably not enough.

You're in TN and don't know where Shelby County is?! Memphis is inside Shelby County.

Thank you for the replies. I may try to poke some small holes in the soil so water will go down deeper towards the roots. I hope they survive, they will look beautiful outside our kitchen window.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:30 PM
 
2,065 posts, read 3,166,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyCop View Post
It is a mixture of dirt and mulch. Before we planted them, we turned all the soil pretty well, and I watered them with a sprinkler for about 30 minutes. The dirt underneath the Hydrangeas is pretty hard. We've been watering them every morning but probably not enough.

You're in TN and don't know where Shelby County is?! Memphis is inside Shelby County.

Thank you for the replies. I may try to poke some small holes in the soil so water will go down deeper towards the roots. I hope they survive, they will look beautiful outside our kitchen window.

There are several Shelby Counties in the USA (TN,KY,OH, AL IA,IN, etc). I didn't want to assume anything. LOL It means you are just as hot/hotter and probably as dry as we are at the other side of the state.

Digging in old mulch may not be enough to turn hard soil into something that will let plants grow well. You may want to add some topsoil or garden soil (bags available at most nurseries and places like Lowe's and Home Depot) and dig it in around the hydrangeas. A good thick layer of mulch now will also help the hydrangeas survive because it keeps the moisture from being dried right out of the soil and helps keep the roots a degree or two cooler. Keeping it off waiting to see if the plant dies is kind of like holding a blanket until you see if someone shivers to death from cold. It does no good after the fact!

Good luck.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:26 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,657 posts, read 15,657,428 times
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See if you can get some compost to mix in, also. Hydrangeas do get wilty quickly. I have several that have been in for years and they still need auxiliary watering when it's hot and dry.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
2,467 posts, read 3,051,928 times
Reputation: 2546
Easy to edit from afar, but I would have postponed buying/planting them until about mid-October,
or next spring, esp in your Zone, and exacerbated by the extreme summer temps and recent dry spell...
Herbaceous perennials are "tough", but not initially upon planting, in my experience.

And all the plant energy is going to those few blooms, (and any new buds), as opposed to simply
keeping the stems and leaves living.

They may be salvageable, though they may not "look good" the rest of this season; I would soak
the ground around the plants, add mulch around plants, and hope for the best. They may surprise
you next spring, or they may not resurrect. If not, try them again, or something else that likes
morning sun. No hydrangea expert, but I've found if they like their spot, they come back and look
wonderful, almost regardless of conditions, and if they don't like the spot, nothing will help them.
GL, mD

PS: they also look like they were popped out of the container and stuck in the ground; some
elbow grease on the root ball does not hurt, a planting hole bigger than ball, and some ammended
soil to fill in firmly around ball, is sort of planting 101...;>)
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Shelby County
280 posts, read 521,954 times
Reputation: 248
The hydrangeas are doing a little better and the leaves are starting to perk up. I have been drenching them with water every day.

My next question:
I was about to go buy mulch and someone recommended I use pine needles instead. I have heard before that pine needles hold in water and act just like mulch, but the acid in them helps fight weeds. I'm sure I can snag a few bags tomorrow when people bag them up and throw them to the curb. What say you?
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,657 posts, read 15,657,428 times
Reputation: 15831
Pine needles are acidic and may change the color of the hydrangeas, depending on the variety. I think it's the blue color is the acid loving one. Pine needles will work as mulch.
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