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Saving my hydrangea

JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729

This has been in a bad way since my wife was gifted it and neglected it.

I cut off the blackened flower heads months ago, but if anything it looks worse than before.

Can it be saved?

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    Plant it in the ground or give it a much bigger pot.  They need a lot of room so their roots can go and seek out the nutrients and water they need.

    Whichever you do, give it a good soaking first and, if it's going in th eground, plant it at the same depth as before but in a hole you have prepared by adding some well-rotted manure or garden compost to the surrounding soil for when you back fill.   

    If you go for a pot, plant at the same depth but make sure you use good quality John Innes no 3 grade compost mixed with some multi purpose compost for water retention.  Water well and then mulch the top with some pebbles, gravel or expanded clay pellets to keep down weeds and reduce evaporation.

    Whether or not you get any flowers next year will depend on what variety it is and when you pruned it.  Some flower on old wood and some on new.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Don't plant it outside at this time of year. Hydrangeas are basically subtropical and anything this sick will not make it. Repot - the soil may be unhealthy, so clean the roots as much as you can and cut back to healthy growth and keep it fairly warm but no sun ( yes I know that is not a problem right now), only just enough water to stop it drying out. I would try pure sand till it recovers. 50% chance. If it does go, get a new one in spring. they are such fantastic plants especially if you can grow the blue ones. Good luck. Ian.

    Last edited: 16 November 2017 21:09:07

    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356

    Hydrangeas sub tropical?   Not any of the ones I've grown over the years ... tough as old boots. Of the ones I've grown in containers - the frost may crack the pots but the hydrangeas survive with no ill effects. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    Hydrangeas are hardy to -15C tho if such temps last more than a night or two the tops of mop head and lace cap hydrangeas may be damaged or even frozen back to the crown and that will mean no flowers.   This happened to me a lot in my Belgian garden.

    Hydrangea paniculata flower on new season's growth so it doesn't matter if the tops are frozen as they can happily be cut back hard in late March, given a feed and they then grow a whole new set of stems which flower in summer.   I ended up with 6 or 7 of these in my Belgian garden and have brought 3 of them with me to my new garden.  Luscious plants if given what they need to grow well.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    That is in much too small a pot. However it looks much better than the slug eaten states of most of mine. 

    H Annabelle is like lace despite all my best efforts at protection.

    A H "pink frills" has just gone from the garden. Another one is hanging  on by the skin of it's teeth .

    The H "Red Frills"has very dark reddish foliage and is thriving.  I think there is a clue for me here about the chemistry of the plant leaves.  If I can in the spring I will go for a cutting of the redfrills and ditch the rest.




    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729

    Hmm, still not entirely sure what to do but I realise now that the stems are healthy:

    The recently introduced Hydrangea 'Black Steel' series is named for its lustrous, almost metallic near-black stems.

    :)

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    I would leave it where it is now until spring. It will not be growing much and it is probably better not to disturb the roots until spring when growth starts again.

    (Here's me who has had little luck with Hydrageas giving advice. Well one of them is doing really well I can't be that bad.)  I need to choose the right variety. 




    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    Roots do grow over winter so I would re-pot or plant out now and give them the space to do so.  That way they can better support new growth up top next spring.  Be sure to soak first and tease out the roots which will be circling round and round that tiny pot.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    Obelixx says:

    Roots do grow over winter so I would re-pot or plant out now and give them the space to do so.  That way they can better support new growth up top next spring.  Be sure to soak first and tease out the roots which will be circling round and round that tiny pot.

    See original post

     The only space I think I could put it in would be he front, where I’m trying to grow more bay saplings.

    Any idea where it might favour? It’s NW facing.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171

    Think you'll struggle to fit a hydrangea in there unless you remove something else Tinpot.

    If you get it into a really big container, it'll be fine. Keeping the conditions right for it is the most important thing. Soil based compost for it, and make sure it doesn't dry out, but keep the container off the ground to allow excess water to drain away. Pot feet - or even a few blocks of wood - will be perfect  image

    Although I have ideal conditions for hydrangeas, I grow one of mine ( an oak leaf hydrangea) in a raised bed with some bulbs and a geranium. It's perfectly happy image

    image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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