why are hydrangea blooms fading immediately after blooming
I purchased 3 mophead hydrangea plants in early May and planted them in the front of my house. Most of the harsh sun is blocked by the house/roof so they get about 3 to 4 hours of sunlight per day and watered every other day when it's hot/dry out. I've sprayed them for pests/fungus/mold/bugs etc. The foliage is a nice green but the blooms fade as soon as they bloom and the one bloom turned brown before it was fully bloomed and there was only 1 single purple flower that survived and it stayed purple for over a month. I used Miracle Gro plant food for acid loving plants, which was specifically for hydrangeas, and it seems to have not made any difference with the blooms. When I water them, I use a bucket with a spout so I can pour the water directly on the roots and the foliage isn't touched except when it rains. I live in central/south Jersey and average temps have been about 85 degrees. I'm at a total loss of what is causing this to happen to the blooms. When I purchased them from Lowes garden center, they were very healthy and the blooms were perfect. The first month and a half they were fine and then it all went downhill after that. Any ideas of what I'm doing or not doing? Now also some leaves are getting a blackish tinge around the edges..Thank you for your time.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Newly planted shrubs should receive daily water in the first two weeks of planting. They you can reduce the amount.
Deep watering is very important. The water from just a watering can is not likely reaching the entire root ball.
I suspect the plants have just not had enough time to become established and the root system to sustain the flowers.
Adding 2 to 3 inches of hardwood mulch can help the plant retain moisture between waterings.
Here are a few links to refresh you on the care requirements.