The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea Question

Question: Help...please!

This is the second season for my Endless Summer Hydrangea and it is/was beautiful. Today the tree, which was shading my Hydrangea was cut down and my plant will be in FULL sun from sunrise until about 3 p.m. I am not able to transplant it as I am in a condo with a very small patio area. About 4 p.m. I gave it about a gallon of water as it was extremly wilted and I gave it another gallon this evening. It has perked up, but it is no where near as beautiful as it was when it was shaded. Is this constant sun going to kill my plant or will it tolerate the full sun? Comments and instructions would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Answer: Hydrangeas grow best when given morning sun and afternoon shade. The wilting you see is common when hydrangeas are hit with afternoon sunshine. However, the plants will recover overnight and look fine the next morning. It's a normal process for the plants, but rather unsightly to gardeners. The biggest mistake you can make is to rush out and apply water to your plant. I know it looks like it is very thirsty, but it really isn't. Instead it is simply shutting down the transpiration and respiration process to conserve what water it has - watering at this time can result in over-saturated soils which can suffocate the roots of your plant. So go back to your normal watering schedule and don't let the wilting foliage trick you into thinking it needs water. If there is some way you can provide protection from hot afternoon sunshine, your plant will look a whole lot better. Perhaps you can install a trellis and grow a vine that will cast shade on your hydrangea? Or maybe you can plant a tree or an upright shrub to shade your plant. If these solutions are not in your landscape plan, I'd recommend moving your hydrangea this fall or winter to another spot; one that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Your Endless Summer is such a beautiful plant you may even want to consider transplanting it into a container and setting it in a protected area of your garden. Best wishes with your garden!

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