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Hydrangea Plants

Q.My Large Hydrangea Stalks Are Grey And Very Brittle And Snap Off. Is It Dying? There Are Some Leaves With Buds But No Blooms Yet.

Zone Everett, Wa | Anonymous added on July 21, 2021 | Answered

Usually by this time of year it is heavy with big blooms of pink and magenta colors. I fertilized it twice but fear it is sick. Did I overwater it? I also have one blueberry bush that has been producing berries every one of the last 14 years. This year it never flowered, so no berries. I think the neighbor’s tree on the other side of our fence is blocking out too much sun:(

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Answered on July 21, 2021

Hydrangea stems are green when new but as they get old and-or as the plant hardens for winter, the stem can change color and turn shades of brown, sandy or grey. As long as the stem has foliage, it is doing fine. Blooms can be delayed by several problems such as winter damage, lack of sunlight, too much fertilizer, very warm weather and other factors. The best you can do now is see if it will blooms when temperatures recede. In the meantime, maintain the soil as evenly moist as you can (not dry but not soggy either) and well mulched. Water only when the soil feels dry if you insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 4". You should be using Summer Watering Levels by now. To see if you are watering enough, water when appropriate per the finger method at a depth of 4"; wait for the water to drain; insert a finger into the soil in several sots to a depth of 8". If the soil feels dry, you may have missed a spot, the soil is not draining well or you need to use more water.

Blueberries may have insufficient pollination issues even when self-fruitful; birds may have dropped by and eaten the crop. I used to sprinkle a little ammonium sulfate. Make sure they can enough sunlight and consistent water when flower and berry production begins.

For information on pruning blueberries, see: https://www.wikihow.com/Prune-Blueberries

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