Why Do My Hydrangeas Wilt

There are various reasons why hydrangeas droop, although disease is a rare one. Hydrangeas frequently show their displeasure with the environment by drooping. Welding is caused by too much sun, not enough water, and excessive flower loads, which can force delicate branches to bend till they touch the ground. Droopy hydrangea plants could be caused by even an excess amount of fertilizer.

Your hydrangea will need special care in order to solve the issue. Before attempting to address the factors that caused the first droop, you’ll need to play detective to ascertain what’s wrong with your plant. Finding the root of the issue could only require a soil test and some attentive observation.

How are dying hydrangeas revived?

Greek words “hydor,” which means “water,” and “angos,” which means jar or vessel, combine to form the term “hydrangea.” Translation: a barrel of water! These lovely flowers that resemble pom poms require water to survive, and if they don’t get it, they wilt.

The woody stem of hydrangeas can make it challenging for the flower to obtain the water it requires. A small slice cut into the stem and an angled trim with a sharp knife help the plant absorb more water.

I used to use scissors to trim the ends of my flowers, but I’ve since moved to using a sharp knife on the advice of my friends at Byland’s. Apparently, using scissors causes the stems to be pinched, harming them and limiting their ability to absorb water.

While they were beautiful to look at when we originally built the floral arrangement for our Mother’s Day Frache Table, it didn’t take long for them to start to look very melancholy. I was able to keep them from being thrown away thanks to this simple approach, and the flowers still looked new and fresh!

Keep in mind that hydrangeas might wilt to a certain extent after which they cannot recover. The good news is that this hack is really easy to use and doesn’t call for anything complicated, so why not give it a shot?


  • A kettle or pot of water should be heated up and then left to cool gradually. It ought to be really hot right now. Fill the vase with water.
  • Cut the ends of the hydrangeas at a 45-degree angle with the sharp knife after setting them on the cutting board. Then, on the newly trimmed stem, make a tiny vertical slit running up the middle.

Why is my hydrangea wilting up suddenly?

  • Shield young hydrangeas from the sun.
  • every three days, water.
  • To retain moisture, mulch the area around the plant with compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted manure.

It’s crucial to shield newly planted hydrangeas from harsh sunlight for them to thrive.

At this time of planting, some sunlight is helpful for promoting blossoms, but it is likely to make the soil and leaves dry up and droop.

For around three weeks, provide temporary shade for newly planted hydrangeas as they establish themselves.

The hydrangea may have been cultivated under extremely particular conditions in a temperature-controlled greenhouse, so it may take some time for it to become used to the garden soil and stop drooping leaves.

To keep the soil moist and protect it from direct sunshine, always give the soil a good soak and apply mulch to the top of the soil around the hydrangea.

Water as often as necessary—typically three times a week—to keep the soil moist, but watch out that the soil doesn’t get soggy since this could lead to other issues like root rot.

As long as the soil is moist and you have shielded the plant from the sun, depending on how dehydrated your hydrangea is, the leaves may recover in the cooler evening or it may take a few days.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lack of moisture in the soil is the cause of hydrangeas wilting. For hydrangeas to stay healthy and keep their leaves and blossoms from drooping, they need wet soil and some shade.
  • Additional effects of high nitrogen fertilizer include drooping flower heads and leaves. Reduce fertilizer application to let the hydrangea to recuperate.
  • As a result of transplant shock, hydrangeas that have just been planted droop. To prevent newly planted hydrangeas from seeming withering, give them shade, water them frequently, and add mulch.

Can you prevent my hydrangea from dying?

Simply submerge the entire stem horizontally in a bucket of ice water to bring it back to life. The transformation takes a few hours to complete, but it is wonderful! However, given that hydrangeas adore large amounts of water and detest hot conditions, it makes sense.

I typically pour chilly water into a sink or bathtub to allow the hydrangeas to lie totally horizontally. Putting only the buds in water will result in unhappy flowers because the stems will be dry throughout that time.

I once woke up to find some blossoms entirely rejuvenated after forgetting I had placed them in the sink.

During this process, the blooms get somewhat water-logged, so be gentle when removing them from the water. Place in a vase after gently shaking off any extra water. You might even try chilling them for a while while they get used to the vase.

How can I tell if I’ve overwatered my hydrangeas?

The leaves of an overwatered hydrangea may discolor and possibly drop off too soon. Additionally, it will produce fewer and irregularly shaped buds and blooms. Additionally, a hydrangea will have brown, wilted leaves in extreme overwatering situations.

Is hydrangea wilting in the heat normal?

Wilt and Heat Heat can sometimes cause hydrangeas to wilt even when they have ample water. Plants can become stressed out by high summer temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. While hydrangeas benefit from sunlight, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can warm the soil, stress the plant, and even cause it to wilt.

How frequently do hydrangeas need to be watered?

Although the hydrangea’s leaves and flowers appear delicate, they actually don’t require a lot of tender care. Everything you need to know about caring for hydrangeas is provided in these recommendations.

  • Over the course of the growing season, water at a rate of 1 inch per week. To promote root growth, deeply water three times each week. All varieties of hydrangeas benefit from constant moisture, but bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas need more water. To water thoroughly while keeping moisture off the flowers and leaves, use a soaker hose. Hydrangeas won’t wilt as much if they are watered early in the day on hot days.
  • To keep the soil around your hydrangeas cool and moist, add mulch. Over time, an organic mulch decomposes, supplying nutrients and enhancing soil texture.
  • Apply fertilizer according to the type of hydrangeas you have. Every variety has varied requirements and will profit from applying fertilizer at various times. A soil test is the most effective tool for determining your fertility requirements.
  • In March, May, and June, bigleaf hydrangeas require numerous mild fertilizer applications.
  • Two applications in April and June work best for oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas.
  • The only time smooth hydrangea plants require fertilizing is in the late winter.
  • By selecting cultivars with resistant characteristics, you can avoid pests and diseases. Hydrangeas can have leaf spots, bight, wilt, and powdery mildew. Although they are uncommon on hydrangeas, pests might arise when the plants are under stress. Aphids, leaf tiers, and red spider mites are examples of potential pests. Your best line of defense is to properly care for hydrangeas.

Does hydrangea like shade or the sun?

With the ideal balance of morning sun and afternoon shade, hydrangeas flourish. Even the sun-loving Hydrangea paniculata will thrive in some shade. Some hydrangea cultivars may survive complete shadow, though.

The oakleaf hydrangea, also known as hydrangea quercifolia, is a substantial species of hydrangea that may reach heights of up to eight feet. In a shade garden, this big bush makes a beautiful backdrop. The height will provide excellent midsummer seclusion. Oakleaf hydrangeas are summer bloomers with mostly white blooms, elegant oakleaf-shaped leaves, and lovely peeling bark.

Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris is another choice for full shade. This climbing species, which has lacy, white blossoms in the summer, can reach a height of 50 feet if it is given adequate support. The foliage is a rich shade of green and would look wonderful growing up a tree trunk or covering the face of a building. It would also look lovely covering the roof of a garden shed.

Full shade cultivars require the same upkeep as partial shade. In the deeper shade, it will be especially crucial to keep the plants free of leaf litter and with excellent airflow. Water your plant once a week after it has become established. Keep a watch on the leaves, and if you notice any drooping, especially during the hot summer months, water them right away. The importance of this increases in hotter regions.

These leaves’ unique shape would be a lovely complement to Hosta leaves. The white blossoms would contrast nicely with the lighter hues of your shady blooms and provide some brilliant brightness to your shaded locations.

Shade Varieties

There are a few different hydrangea cultivars that thrive in the shade. Some types can even thrive in zones 3 (which doesn’t warm up until later in the spring), which is one of the coldest growing regions. Let’s examine some of the best shade selections!

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow queen’

The movie “Snow queen” is stunning. The flowers are stunning, as they are with all hydrangeas. These rose blush-colored blossoms appear in the middle of summer. The foliage of this plant is my favorite component. The leaves begin the season in a very deep green, gradually changing to a deep reddish bronze color, and finally finishing in that shade, offering a stunning splash of color to your fall landscape.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Alice’

With a height ranging between 12 and 15 feet, this Oakleaf Hydrangea is one among the biggest. In the summer, this plant blooms with incredibly deep cream-colored flowers. A woodland garden would be a truly lovely place for “Alice.” This cultivar would look especially beautiful if it were grown as a bordering hedge.

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

‘Annabelle’ enjoys partial shade and has some of the largest flowers in the hydrangea family (12 inches wide!). These enormous flowers can be supported all season long by the sturdy stems. This shrub can grow up to five feet tall and five feet broad, so give it plenty of area to expand. These enormous, all-white flowers bloom for a long time.

In a mass planting, as a specimen shrub, or as a foundation planting, “Annabelle” would look lovely. These shrubs should still be included in your cutting garden. Imagine a bunch of flowers that large! Wow!

My hydrangea wilted over night; why?

Hydrangeas actually take in water through both their stems and their blossoms. They wilt more quickly as a result in hot, dry weather. Hydrangeas won’t thrive close to a heater, so be cautious if you ever manage to purchase any during the winter.

Your hydrangeas will begin to wilt over night, especially soon after they have been cut, as their blossoms are unable to absorb any of the dew or rain that falls outside.

Hydrangeas like the nighttime in the wild. They are especially prone to wilting at night when they aren’t getting the water they are used to because that is when they consume the most of their water.

Because hydrangea flowers typically cannot absorb enough water from their stems alone, you will need to assist them in obtaining the surplus water they require in a different method.

Fortunately, they readily drink from their blossoms, so this technique to resuscitate your dying hydrangeas truly works!

Doing at least the first step of this procedure every morning will undoubtedly extend the life of your flowers if you’ve noticed that your hydrangeas frequently die over night.

How do you spot decaying hydrangeas?

The reason hydrangeas wilt and eventually die after planting is that the plant’s root system needs some time to adapt to the new soil conditions before it can draw up moisture effectively, which momentarily causes the leaves to wilt. The hydrangea’s leaves may droop, become brown, and take on the appearance of dying due to transplant shock.

After planting, hydrangeas experience transplant shock as a result of the abrupt change in growing environment.

The hydrangea is specifically adapted to its current growth conditions and can suffer from a contrast in light, airflow, soil moisture and structure, watering, temperature, and shelter if you purchased it from a nursery or are transplanting it from one section of your garden to another.

When planted outdoors, hydrangeas that have been raised in precisely regulated greenhouse settings are much less hardy.

Wilting of the hydrangea’s leaves and blooms is the most typical sign.

The hardship of being transferred is frequently made worse by planting hydrangeas in hot, dry weather throughout the summer, when their huge leaves wilt and turn brown because their roots cannot absorb moisture quickly enough to maintain them.

The optimum times to plant or transplant hydrangeas are in the spring and fall when the weather is cooler and the plants’ roots have time to grow and adapt to the soil before summer’s high temperatures.

Although fully established, hydrangeas are highly hardy, they are particularly susceptible to wilting and dying after planting.

  • In order to avoid any additional stress from hotter summer temperatures, it is ideal to purchase and plant (or transplant) your hydrangeas in the spring or fall.
  • It is recommended to amend the planting area with compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted manure to a depth and width of 18 inches before planting hydrangeas. In order to ensure that the hydrangea roots are in their ideal soil conditions, with optimal levels of moisture and strong well-draining soil structure, as well as to aid the roots suck up moisture after planting, organic matter such as compost holds a lot of moisture.
  • When necessary, water newly planted hydrangeas to maintain a wet but not soggy soil. If you planted in the summer, you might need to give the hydrangea a good soak every day after planting.
  • To assist retain moisture, spread a 2 inch layer of compost mulch around the base of the hydrangea.
  • If the hydrangea is in the sun, give it some temporary shade (maybe with a sun umbrella), as additional sunlight speeds up the rate at which the plants lose water through their leaves, leading to wilting and eventual death.

The preparation of the soil is essential for growing hydrangeas and avoiding their death.

Woodland plants like hydrangeas do best on soils that are consistently damp, rich in organic matter, and mulched with fallen leaves every fall.

Leaf litter and organic materials have a porous, well-draining structure that allows extra water to flow away from the roots of hydrangeas while yet retaining moisture.

This makes it easier to achieve the ideal moisture balance so that the roots can absorb the moisture that the hydrangea needs and so that the roots are not sitting in saturated soil, which can lead to root rot.

Before planting, amending the soil with organic matter successfully simulates hydrangeas’ natural environment and makes sure that your hydrangea can draw water more efficiently.

The leaves of your hydrangea should brighten up during the next few days if you keep it sheltered and well hydrated (with a thick layer of mulch).

While hydrangeas need moist soil to survive, it’s crucial to prevent the soil from becoming too wet and waterlogged, which can lead to root rot.

  • The cause of a dying hydrangea is typically too dry soil around the roots as a result of underwatering, sandy soil that does not keep enough moisture, excessive sun exposure, or wind, which dries up the leaves and gives them a death aspect.
  • A withering hydrangea is a result of drought stress brought on by drowning, dry sandy soil, excessive wind, hot temperatures, or too much sunlight. For hydrangeas to avoid their leaves drooping and dying, the soil around the roots must be continually moist.
  • When hydrangea leaves get too much sun or fertilizer, they turn brown. Because the leaves of hydrangeas are susceptible to too much sun, they scorch easily and turn brown. This is why they love dappled light. Too much fertilizer burns the roots and gives plants a dying appearance by turning the edges of the leaves brown.
  • Hydrangeas sometimes wilt and die after planting because their roots have not yet developed enough to draw up enough water to support the thick, many, and big hydrangea leaves. To keep the hydrangea from withering after planting, make sure the soil is continually wet and protected from the sun and wind.