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How to Keep Your Hydrangea Happy

July 5, 2021
Written by Aaron

Hydrangeas are absolute showstoppers when it comes to the world of flowering shrubs. These colourful beauties are the backdrop in many selfies and the envy of any neighbourhood. Caring for hydrangeas takes a bit of knowledge, so read on for ways to troubleshoot any problems that may come your way while you grow these glorious blooms.

Old Wood Versus New Wood

Get familiar with the terms ‘old wood’ and ‘new wood.’ These terms are a key differentiator between types of hydrangeas and will help guide how you care for them. Some types will bloom on old wood, as in, the buds will only form on wood that was grown the previous year. New wood hydrangeas will bloom on the new woody stems that grow during that season. Knowing the differences between old wood and new wood will help you find out how much sun, water, and pruning your hydrangea needs and tackle any problems.

watering can hydrangea

Watering Your Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas love moist, well-drained soil—but avoid oversaturating the soil. If their roots sit in water for too long, you’ll have unhappy plants with rotting roots. Another common problem with hydrangea care is underwatering. Their root systems are quite shallow and dry out quickly. Remember that the word hydra is even in the name! Frequent waterings without being soggy is the way to go.

Sunlight for Hydrangeas

The amount of sunlight will depend on the variety. Before planting your hydrangeas, evaluate your yard for sunlight and shade throughout an entire day. You’ll find many varieties of hydrangeas that enjoy a full-sun area. Little Quickfire, Little Lime, and Firelight are three types that will love basking in the sun. If you have a shadier spot, explore partial shade-loving types like Incrediball, Annabelle, and Invincibelle. Be sure to select varieties that you love, and that love the space you choose for them. Planting hydrangeas in improper lighting can lead to problems with health, blossoms, and growth.

Common Hydrangea Problems

Drooping Plant: If you’re having a problem with your hydrangea being dramatic and drooping, it’s likely that it’s just under-watered. Give your plant a thorough watering and within just a few hours, you’ll see a big difference.

Hydrangea Leaves Turning Yellow: If leaves are turning yellow, it is also likely a watering issue. Too much or too little water can cause the discolouration of hydrangea leaves. If you have let your plant become too dry, you should gradually water it, but not all at once! Too much water at once can shock the plant and further damage it.

Unsightly Spots on Leaves: If you notice some not-so-stunning spots on your hydrangea leaves, it’s likely one of two issues. Those spots are usually either a fungal or bacterial infection on the plant. To deal with this problem, first, identify which one it is. Fungal spots are usually brown or tan, whereas bacterial spots may be red or purple. In either case, you can begin by applying a fungicide or removing a few branches of the flowering shrub to improve air circulation.

Hydrangea Leaves Turning Brown: Browning on the leaves may be a sign of fertilizer damage or it could be hydrangea rust. If you suspect the problem is a result of fertilizer, you can thoroughly flush the surrounding soil with water and then let it dry out for a few days. Treat leaf rust by avoiding getting water on the leaves of the plant, removing infected leaves, and possibly treating with a fungicide.

hydrangea in garden

While there are a few things to keep in mind when applying some tender-loving care to your hydrangeas, it’s absolutely worth the effort! Learning more about common hydrangea problems will help you become an expert on this beautiful blooming shrub. If you’re looking for a hydrangea bush in Simcoe, or need any advice, come visit us!

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