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Sickly Hydrangeas

Hi I have 10 hydrangeas of different types and was looking forward to them blooming in the next few weeks. This morning I noticed 2 of them had wilting stems and browning leaves with the brown spreading from the centre of the stem. I have a horrible feeling that I have poisoned them as I applied a handful of hydrangea feed to each about a week ago, having never used it before. I thought I was following the instructions but it's not looking good. The other 8 plants are (so far!) OK.  Both sickly plants are in pots and I have flushed them out twice with a lot of water in case it's too much feed. We've had a lot of hot weather, followed by 2 days of fierce winds this week and a lot of rain. Pictures show a Silver Dollar and in the smaller pot (I think) a Limelight. Any ideas please? Thank you!

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  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,214
    No idea which feed you used...but definitely using a handful is too much for fairly small pots. That would be a good dose for a plant in the ground. All you can do is put them away from any scorching sun and keep them well watered. They're tough plants but also the larger varieties like limelight need to be in the ground to be truly happy. Good luck! 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • sgfairhurstsgfairhurst Posts: 3
    Thanks so much for your help George - much appreciated. I do intend to plant the limelight out - was just waiting for it to get a bit bigger. But I will now look to plant them all out - just need to find some space!  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,634
    Hope you have a big garden for that number of hydrangeas....

    Over feeding of shrubs generally causes more problems than it solves. For hydrangeas, decent soil is all most of them need, and water when planted. A tiny  bit of slow release food in spring, and that's about it  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • sgfairhurstsgfairhurst Posts: 3
    Thanks Fairygirl. I'm learning that.  I definitely need a bigger garden but my sister benefits when I run out of space and everything gets transplanted into her garden. I've never fed shrubs before. Thought I was doing them a favour - doh! Appreciate your input. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,634
    General care is different when plants are potted, and I think it's a case of giving too much in this instance, as @amancalledgeorge indicates,  which has had a negative impact. 

    Hydrangeas rarely do well in pots long term anyway. They make big shrubs, with big roots, and you're always fighting nature if they're kept confined.  :)
    I rarely feed shrubs other than a bit of B,F&B in spring - when, or if, I remember.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,214
    They're so easy to look after when established...they even tell you when they're thirsty. At least they improve so much in a couple of seasons if they've lived in a pot for ages...so nothing is lost. I had one in a very small pot for over five years and it has been in the ground for over a year and it's thriving. Gave my two ones a handful of Q4 and they're thankful and abundant. Wish I had more space for many more. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
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