The Q&A Archives: Almost dead Hydrangea

Question: I have 2 Endless summer hydrangea plants that were newly planted this spring (May 2006) We went on vacation in August and upon returning discovered that our watering timer was incorrectly set and much to my dismay there were 2 very dead looking Hydrangea plants. The leaves had all turned completly brown and fallen off the plant and the stems were all completely brown and dead looking. I trimmed off the dead stuff down to a few inches off the ground and within a couple of weeks (and lots of water) new green leaves started to form around the base of the plant. My question is this, since the plants are basically starting over from the root up can I expect any flowers next year or will these plants need a season to recover? Also wondering what the typical growth rate is and how long it may take for them to get back to the size they were when I planted them (approximately 3'x3')? Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer: Endless Summer is unique in that it forms flower buds on both old and new growth. This means it blooms early in the season on stems that grew the year before, then blooms later in the season (and into the fall) from buds that form on the new growth of the season. Depending on whether or not there are any buds on the remaining wood, you may have early flowers next year. You should certainly have flowers later in the season on next year's new growth in any case.

They should regrow relatively quickly due to the now better established root systems. I would expect them to come back bigger and better next summer.

Enjoy your hydrangeas!

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