Meta description: Do you observe beautiful garden hydrangeas drooping and drying? Check out this guide to once and for all find out the reasons behind hydrangeas wilting.
Hydrangeas are amongst the most stunning flowers to incorporate into any garden. They bring out that eye-catching pop of color and life to any green setting, thanks to their large globes of elegant and colorful flowers.
However, without the right gardening practices, you may constantly experience your hydrangeas wilting. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you lack the sophisticated gardening prowess to care for these flowering deciduous shrubs.
But, you may simply be making unknown mistakes that easily affect their growth, sprout, and everyday thriving.
So, to help you maintain an immaculate garden with thriving hydrangeas full of life, here is an airtight list of reasons why your hydrangeas are wilting. We’ve also shared solutions to help you solve and mitigate these problems in the future.
Why Do Hydrangeas Flowers Wilt?
The main reason for hydrangeas wilting is when they are exposed to the wrong environmental parameters. Typically, exposure to too much sunlight and limited access to water can make the flowers droop and wilt, changing their colorful petals and green leaves into a dark, dry, and murky sight.
Nonetheless, while limited access to water and extreme sunlight may be the most common reasons for hydrangeas wilting, they are not the only ones.
It’s important to note that this deciduous flowering plant will probably be one of the most sensitive ones in your garden.
So, a selection of other “mistakes’ can very easily lead to the flowers drooping and wilting. If not fixed, the problem may ultimately lead to the flowers permanently dying.
We’ve shared other important reasons to help you understand why your hydrangeas wilt to prevent them from completely dying out.
7 Reasons Why Your Hydrangeas Are Wilting and How To Fix Them
Hydrangeas flowers, whether in a pot or your garden, are pretty easy to care for. Nonetheless, they are still sensitive, especially during their growth period. Yet, these flowers rarely suffer from illness.
So, if you notice them wilt or drool, chances are that they are expressing their dislike for the environmental setting. Below, we’ve shared 7 common environmental-related reasons why your hydrangeas are wilting.
1. Little Water
Dehydration is the number one reason for most hydrangeas to wilt. These flowering plants love water and the reduced frequency of watering them easily causes them to wilt. While this problem occurs to hydrangeas under any conditions.
It is more prevalent in those that grow in pots due to the limited space for water circulation. You can easily figure out that your plant is dehydrated when it wilts, the leaves begin to droop, and you notice the topsoil and first few centimeters completely dry.
Solution: In many cases, the wilting of hydrangeas caused by dehydration can instantly be reversed by watering them often with the right amount of water. Ideally, you want to water hydrangeas flowering plants for up to 10 minutes during hot and dry summer seasons.
When watering your plants, don’t forget to give the petals a good mist daily as well, especially if you live in a dry and warm climate.
To reverse the effects of dehydration, do this at least three times a week. After all, hydrangeas flowering plants absorb water through the roots, stems, and flower petals.
If your plants have wilted for some time due to lack of watering, a simple 15 to 20-minute complete soak should get the flower back to good health and appearance.
If you have planted hydrangeas in pots, you want to give them a more regular soak to ensure there is adequate water.
If you live in a hot, dry climate, you want to water hydrangeas even more regularly.
2. Dry Soil
While infrequent watering contributes to wilting, hydrangeas can also wilt due to the dry soil in their pot or your garden. While you may water your plants frequently, you may still end up with dry soil.
This can be caused by any factors, whether poorly draining soil, high temperatures, or growing the plant with invasive plants nearby.
When it comes to poorly draining soil, sandy soil is usually the biggest perpetrator. With limited water circulation, the hydrangea’s tissues decrease in size while its root hairs die.
Over time, the leaves begin to droop while the stems lose the ability to support their flowers. While losing their color, the leaves and flowers also fall off.
Solution: To fix this problem, you first want to plant your hydrangeas in a properly draining soul. Ideally, you want to use rich, and well drained loam soils for the best results. You can also add organic compost or manure to provide the soil with healthy microorganisms.
You also want to prevent other contributing factors such as high temperatures (transfer them to a shaded area) and avoid growing them near plants you are unaware of as they can be potentially invasive.
3. Too Much Sunlight
Too much sunlight can also cause hydrangeas to wilt. After all, direct sunlight can quickly dry the plant and water in the soil. Further, direct sunlight can damage the flowers and leaves of the hydrangea plant.
Solution: First, water the plant, putting the hose at the base of the plant for a few minutes to help rehydrate the plant. The simplest solution to this problem is by planting or moving hydrangeas pots to a shaded area.
Since too much heat affects water retention, you can add at least 2 to 5 inches of organic mulch on the topsoil to help trap the moisture and water in the soil.
Growing in cooler climates allows you to plant hydrangeas in full sun without risking too much damage since you have more days with overcasts and cool temperatures.
On the other hand, if you live in a hot climate, you are better off planting hydrangeas in shaded areas as they are most at risk during the day when it gets too hot and sunny.
4. Over Fertilizing
Adding organic compost or aged manure to our hydrangeas flowering plant is essential for successful and healthy growth. But, too much fertilizer will do damage to the plant instead of helping it grow. Hydrangeas are generally sensitive to nitrogen in the soil they grow.
So, with excess nitrogen levels in the soil, the plants develop droopy leaves and begin to wilt. Over time, the plant stem is thin, preventing them from supporting the flowers.
Solution: It’s pretty easy to figure out if the soil is over-saturated with nitrogen. You can use a soil pH testing kit to know how saturated the soil is and how to rebalance the soil by adding potassium and phosphorus.
It is important to note that while fertilizer is good for your plants, hydrangeas don’t need that much. Before planting your hydrangea, test the soil to ensure to check if it doesn’t contain enough fertilizer. If not, add adequate organic compost to the soil and mulch the soil with leaf mulch, chopped leaves or pine straw every year.
You want to ideally mulch the soil in spring so you can maintain soil moisture during spring and insulate the plan during the cold winter season. For weekly maintenance, you don’t necessarily have to add fertilizer. Enough moisture in your soil is all you need for the plant to continue growing and thriving.
5. Flower Growth
Heavy flower growth can also lead to wilting and bending of tender branches, affecting the entire plant. This can happen without any serious reason or due to just heavy flowers or extreme weather exposure.
Solution: The easiest solution to this problem is pruning. You can also remove several flower buds early in the season before blooming.
This allows the plant to thin from the inside for better growth. But, if the problem has already progressed, you can stake your hydrangeas plant with a friendly plant, like peonies for extra central support. Simply tie the two plants together and support them with a fence post.
6. Transplanting Them
Transplanting newly planted hydrangeas can also cause wilting. Transplanting refers to transferring plants from one place to the other, typically from a planter/ pot/small container you use to propagate it to your garden or larger pit.
When transplanting, you may accidentally destroy the fine roots of the plant, making it difficult for it to absorb water efficiently.
Other reasons why transporting may cause hydrangeas to wilt may be due to the different soil composition and moisture levels in the planter/pot/small container and the larger pot/garden.
Solution: If you think roots are damaged, continue watering thoroughly to make up for the poor water uptake and to slowly promote new root growth.
To prevent damage to the roots, you want to be extra careful during the transplanting process while keeping the roots moist and wet as much as possible during the transplanting process.
After all, roots easily get damaged during transplanting when they are dry the most. You also want to test the soil composition, pH levels, and moisture levels before transplanting the hydrangeas to the new location.
The most important environment for your plant is rich, well drained loamy soils with adequate manure (not too much nitrogen levels) and enough moisture. Further, after transplanting, immediately water the hydrangeas plant thoroughly.
7. Inadequate Growing Conditions
Poor growing conditions can also contribute to hydrangeas wilting. For example, hydrangeas plants love water! So, it is not really a good idea to plant them in small pots as the water in these pots tends to dry pretty fast. This may even explain why your plant continues to wilt despite watering them frequently.
The place where you plant your hydrangeas can also limit its access to water and nutrients, causing it to wilt.
Solution: Replace a small pot with a large one, at least 16 inches in diameter so it can retain as much moisture and water. Additionally, make sure the pots are holed to allow for optimal soil and root aeration.
Leaving the plants in stagnant water can do more damage rather than good! To ensure your plant gets access to adequate water and nutrients, avoid planting it near invasive plants or larger trees that would compete with water, moisture, and nutrients in the soil.
How do you revive wilted hydrangeas?
You can easily revive wilted hydrangeas by first slightly making a 45-degree cut at the ends of the stem on a cutting board. Next, make a slit vertically on the newly trimmed stem and place it in a vase filled with water for at least an hour – you should notice the blooms come back to life.
If you want to revive hydrangeas growing in a pot or garden, use a hose to submerge the plants in water and let them sit for a couple of hours to rehydrate. You will eventually notice them come back to life.
Why is my newly planted hydrangea wilting?
The most common cause associated with a newly planted hydrangea wilting is poor handling during the transplanting process, causing the roots (that absorb water) to get damaged. Other causes may be associated with the imbalanced soil composition of the new planting area.
But, sometimes, the new planting area may also have soil that is too moist for prolonged periods, causing the roots of the newly planted hydrangeas to rot and cause the plant to wilt.
Why is my hydrangea wilting and dying?
The most common reason for hydrangea wilting and dying is inadequate moisture around the roots, leaves, and blooms.
Further, poorly draining soils (lose moisture quickly), increased soil nitrogen levels (excess fertilizer), too much sunlight, and excess wind (drains moisture from the leaves) contribute to hydrangeas wilting and dying.
How do I know if my hydrangea is overwatered?
Several signs can tell you if you are overwatering your hydrangea. The most common sign is the yellowing of leaves which ultimately fall off. You will also notice irregularly shaped and fewer growing flowers on your plant. Other signs include browning on the edges of the leaves and mold/fungi growth on the plant or in the soil.
Why did my hydrangea wilt overnight?
Your hydrangea will typically wilt overnight due to limited water and moisture availability. So, you want to ensure your plant is thoroughly watered even during the night, especially during those hot and dry nights. If you have your hydrangeas inside your home, you want to keep them away from heat sources such as your space heater.
Why are my cut hydrangeas wilting?
Cutting hydrangeas can instantly make them wilt due to the sticky substance on the stems that clog them and prevent moisture uptake to the top of the stem.
To prevent this from happening, cut the stems at the uppermost tip and instantly place them in warm water for at least 24 hours to prevent wilting.
With proper care and the right growing conditions, hydrangeas can survive just about anything and avoid wilting. So, it’s important to note that despite the secondary reasons, the primary reason for hydrangeas wilting is limited water and moisture supply for the plant.
Other key reasons include the lack of shade (too much sunlight) and imbalanced soil composition (high nitrogen levels and non-aerated, drained sandy soils).
So, no matter the environment, if these three factors are properly balanced, you will enjoy beautiful, healthy, and eye-catching blooms.