The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea

Question: Most of the leaves on my hydrangea are wilting. There are plenty of buds forming and one or two are begining to open. I have fed the plant with a general fertilizer and water it regularly. Some of the leaves look kind of rust colored. Any ideas?

Answer: The leaves on hydrangeas tend to droop in the hot afternoon sunshine but perk up again in the evening. If the leaves of your hydrangea look normal in the morning but then wilt in the afternoon, it's perfectly normal and does not indicate a need for water. It's easy to overwater when you see plants wilting - resist the temptation or you'll drown the roots of your plant. Just water deeply once or twice a week (depending upon weather) and your plant should be just fine. Discolored leaves can indicate a nutrient deficiency or sunburn. Sounds as though you've fed the plant recently, which should take care of the nutrient problem. As long as the plant looks otherwise healthy, you can simply remove the off-colored leaves. Best wishes with your garden!

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