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Posted
  • Location: Reigate, Surrey 78m asl
  • Location: Reigate, Surrey 78m asl

    We have a smallish hydrangea in our front garden - depsite our best efforts, its leaves are yelllowing and starting to fall off, like a decidous tree in autumn... it did this last year and then grew new leaves in the spring... Anyone know what's wrong?

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochford, Essex
  • Location: Rochford, Essex

    GP,

    Have you been watering it? or maybe overwatering it. Most our our plants are suffering at the moment with the lack of rain, and we have found that we are overcompensting in some cases.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lindum Colonia
  • Location: Lindum Colonia

    Sounds like it's lacking some sort of nutrient matey.

    are you on chalky soil? If so you need to add some peat into the soil around the plant :)

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    Guest Mrs murphymoo

    Make sure it is getting enough water - hydrangeas like a lot of water, it could be that it dried out too much perhaps?

    Extra nutrients wont hurt either - perhaps add some Miracle Grow to the watering can :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'

    Aren't hydrangeas the plants that some people put old nails in the soil under them to make the blooms more blue? The rust (ferrous oxide) increasing the acidity of the soil.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    only thing I can think of is rain like said already, you need to give them alot of water AND fertilizer, if you have got any. It is imperritive that you give them fertilizer

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    Guest Mrs murphymoo

    Kar - yes - hydrangeas will be either pink or blue depending on the soil I believe.

    Although - quite how you can buy pink and blue plants from the garden centre, I'm never totally convinced by this?

    It would be a bit frustrating to buy a pink plant, only for it to revert to blue - or vice versa ...

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    Posted
  • Location: Ponteland
  • Location: Ponteland
    Kar - yes - hydrangeas will be either pink or blue depending on the soil I believe.

    Although - quite how you can buy pink and blue plants from the garden centre, I'm never totally convinced by this?

    It would be a bit frustrating to buy a pink plant, only for it to revert to blue - or vice versa ...

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    Question--I also have a white one-how did that happen.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Well re: colour changes, bontanists are always coming up with crossbreeding programmes to make the plant optimal growth and survive longer, and this usually means cross insemination with another species, this may explain the change of colour

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    Posted
  • Location: Reigate, Surrey 78m asl
  • Location: Reigate, Surrey 78m asl
    GP,

    Have you been watering it? or maybe overwatering it. Most our our plants are suffering at the moment with the lack of rain, and we have found that we are overcompensting in some cases.

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    Definately been watering it - I was wondering if watering it from the top was making the leaves burn in the sun.

    Sounds like it's lacking some sort of nutrient matey.

    are you on chalky soil? If so you need to add some peat into the soil around the plant :)

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    We are not quite on chalky soil - it is mostly clay.

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    Posted
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)
    We are not quite on chalky soil - it is mostly clay.

    Could be a number of reasons.

    It could be a drainage problem as well as hydrangeas hate their roots being puddled, clay is not the best for drainage unfortunately and the plant may have roots waterlogged which is definitely not good for a hydrangea as the plant will rot from the inside, the effects of overwatering can be similar to underwatering with regard to brown leaves etc, difference being the plant doesnt "pick up" after watering on a hot day.

    Is the plant accessable to the public?...it might be that a dog has wee'd up against it. I have had quite a few plants now ruined that way.

    If its just the leaf edges on the outer layers of the plant turning brown/scorched then it could be the sun on wet leaves after overhead watering, in effect "boiling" the leaves. Always water at the base of plants when the sun is out except in mid to late evening.

    I would get a bag of compost, one of those ones from a DIY store, 3 for £10 or 2 for £10 ones, (60 or 80L bags) really dig as much of that in around the plant as you can for an area up to 2' away from the plant, use the whole bag if need be. After sprinkle Growmore onto the soil (slow release fertiliser) at the recommendation of the box, rake that lightly in all around the plant, and use Gro-more say once every 2 weeks for the rest of the summer.

    Wish you luck and hope it revives quickly :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

    The hydrangea patch below belongs to one of the gardens I work in. They are old established plants that get absolutely nothing done to them other than tying up straggly branches and raking out the dead leaves occasionaly. I also take the papery dead heads off before winter. The important thing to note is that the roots are in moist, permanant shade and the bushes are protected from drying winds by the trees and only get full sun during the late afternoon and evening. The soil is naturally acid, friable and free draining and there are also some large cypress and yew fairly close by that shed acid needles and take up any excess water. Rhodedendrum, japanese maple, a magnolia, cherry and crab apple make up the main mix in this Edwardian fairyland. If you really want to grow hydrangeas think woodland margin so if possible try transplanting to a more suitable location in the autumn.

    For an exposed feature specimen in a sun trap on clay soil with poor drainage and temperatures fluctuating wildly during hot sunny days you have a dead stick waiting to happen so you will need to do a little work!

    Excavate a hole 3ft dia x 1ft. deep min. and mix in at least an equal volume of compost, leafmould and/or peat - really work the soil before backfilling the hole and use any surplus material elsewhere in the garden later. If it's a really sticky clay, a couple of inches of gravel will help drainage. Before planting, water the prepared bed thoroughly and leave to settle for a day or so, topping up as required. When planting the specimen soak the pot well and tease some of the roots loose from the ball if it's heavily congested and matted. Plant in the bed to the same depth and lay some small slabs over the new rooting area as this will help retain moisture and keep the roots at a more even temperature. As the soil settles in the bed you can maintain the level by mulching with leaf mould or compost. As with most plants, summer watering is best done in the evening at base level with (preferably) rain water from a butt or water that has had a chance to reach ambient temperature to avoid a shock due to chilling. A fine mist applied to the leaves will also raise the humidity overnight and prepare your beauty for the following day. Also, keep them lean and mean - overfeeding will promote foliage at the expense of blossom and will likely produce weak leggy growth.

    They are wonderful plants, right back in fashion again and make lovely vase or dried flower arrangements. They are also very easily propagated by cuttings or layering.

    Sorry for the long winded post! :D

    hydrangeas5.jpghydrangeas4.jpg

    hydrangeas3.jpghydrangeas2.jpg

    Hydrangeas, 22 July 05. The small pics don't really do justice, the sky blue is a very delicate shade, the royal blue bold and stunning and the the red, (not in full bloom yet) fades to a pink as the flowers mature.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    As a footnote to the excellent post above; if you grow Hydrangeas in the open, as opposed to a woodland margin, it's best to leave the dead flower heads until early spring before removing. The dead heads give some protection to the terminal buds from severe winter frost.

    T.M

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    Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
    As a footnote to the excellent post above; if you grow Hydrangeas in the open, as opposed to a woodland margin, it's best to leave the dead flower heads until early spring before removing. The dead heads give some protection to the terminal buds from severe winter frost.

    T.M

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    I agree, in fact in central and northern areas, it is best to wait as late as late May before removing the old heads. It certainly helped this year.

    Hydrangeas also do well near the sea, of course due to the milder winter temperatures, but are also salt tolerant. I saw some spectacularly huge ones in Paignton (Devon) last summer.

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    Posted
  • Location: Reigate, Surrey 78m asl
  • Location: Reigate, Surrey 78m asl

    Good news, I've given my hydrangea a lot of compost and fertliser and with the recent rains it now has new shoots on it with new green leaves! :)

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
    Good news, I've given my hydrangea a lot of compost and fertliser and with the recent rains it now has new shoots on it with new green leaves! :angry:

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    A dusting of bonemeal around the base will give it a nice root feed for the autumn, as well as helping it stand the winter elements. :angry:

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