The Q&A Archives: Watering Frequency Of Hydrangeas

Question: our hydrangeas were just purchsed saturday, and by sunday they'd wilted tremendouly(flowerheads completely withered). we watered and hoped they'd come back, even though the soil felt moist. how often should the pot be watered, and once we transplant them outdoors, how frequently then? the type of hydrangea is HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA, AND WE LIVE IN ZONE 5; currently, we get frost on full-moon nights.
thanks in advance for your kind and prompt reply!
r. harding

Answer: There could be several reasons for the hudrangeas to wilt. One likely reason would be shock if they were driven home in an open truck. Another would be shock if they have come out of a greenhouse and were suddenly exposed to real sun and wind. Excessive cold can cause wilting as well. Since they are already in bloom they will be particularly sensitive to cold, meaning temperatures below about 50 degrees. They should be gradually acclimated to the outdoors by being kept in a sheltered spot out of wind with early morning sun and then gradually moved into a location with longer periods of sun in the morning. Bring them indoors on cold nights by all means. Meanwhile, the potting soil must be kept evenly moist, and this may mean daily watering while they are in the pots. Once the temperatures are settled, plant them. The soil should be kept evenly moist but not sopping wet all season. A mulch can help with this.

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