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Hyacinth Plant

Q.My hydrangeas are wilting.

Zone VA | brendajwitt added on August 13, 2017 | Answered

My hydrangeas are wilting and leafs turning brown. What should I do may cut them back this fall?

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Answered on August 14, 2017

Wilting happens if the plants aren't getting enough water, of course, but it can also happen when the soil is waterlogged. Some hydrangeas also suffer if they are in sun during the hottest part of the day. Bigleaf (macrophylla) and oakleaf hydrangeas bloom on old wood so pruning branches now will cut off next year's blooms. My other concern about cutting it down now is that this will spur new growth. This takes a lot of the plant's energy which should be going to nourishing roots for winter. New growth at this time may be slammed by frost before it has had a chance to harden off. You end up with depleted roots and dead topgrowth. The plant is likely to recover when cooler temps arrive. Check the soil to make sure it is moist within the top inch or two of soil, provide afternoon shade during hot weather, trim dead branches if you don't have one of the 2 types I mentioned but don't give cut it down just yet. If your soil is waterlogged from excessive rain or poor drainage or if the plant just can't take afternoon sun, fall is a good time for transplanting and amending soil.

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