Hydrangeas forum: Hydrangea

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I live in Sherman, Illinois
ScottishGirl
Aug 19, 2013 3:14 AM CST
I put some chemical on my hydrangea bush... hoping to turn the blooms blue. This is a canister of little beads that I got from
the nursery. I must have put too much as the bush started wilting and dying back. I am still watering it and am wondering...
will plant come back for next year?

I appreciate any help you can give me. The nursery I bought it from has closed down due to family problems.

Thank you
Carol Douglass
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Aug 19, 2013 6:08 AM CST
Maybe the wilting isn't due to the chemicals. Has your weather been hot? My hydrangeas wilt when the afternoon sun hits them, then they recover in the evening when the sun is gone and temp cools. Have you checked your plant in evening? Does it seem to recover?

Could you be over watering? It's a lot easier to kill a plant with too much water than too little.

Karen
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Aug 19, 2013 7:24 AM CST
If you followed the correct amount of fertilizer recommended on the label I agree with Karen that it probably isn't the problem. I would suspect over watering also. To much water damages the roots so the plant wilts and then the natural response is to give more water. I killed a small Apricot Tree once with to much water. A mistake. Welcome to ATP.....
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Aug 20, 2013 2:52 PM CST
Hi, ScottishGirl, and welcome!

In case you did use too much, or the chemical was not what was advertised, you might try raking or scraping an inch or two of soil away from the plant. Maybe it has not yet all dissolved and soaked deep into the root zone already.

Just go gently and slowly until you start to hit some roots, then stop! You don't want to give the plant any new stress.

But decide where you want to move that suspect soil TO! It's probably still extra-acid or extra-basic (which turns them blue).


Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Aug 20, 2013 3:10 PM CST
On the other hand ...

>> It's a lot easier to kill a plant with too much water than too little.

>> I would suspect over watering also. To much water damages the roots so the plant wilts and then the natural response is to give more water.

I'm a total over-watering junkie, especially in pots and small cells. I've drowned more trays of seedlings than I've planted out successfully. Finally I started making my own seedling and potting mix that drains really fast . You can't drown roots if the water runs right out the bottom as fast as you pour it in the top!

But that suggests one possible cure you may be able to try IF over-watering or poor drainage might be that plant's problem. (Poor drainage would also make any excessive amount of soluble acid or base or salt EXTRA-harmful.)

If your soil is at all poorly-draining (closer to hard clay than crumbly sand and grit or light, loose, "open" loam) the chemicals and water you add may be puddling around its roots, both poisoning them AND drowning them. The water displaces air and keeps oxygen from perking down to the roots. That kills the roots, fine feeder roots first.

If you water rapidly, like with a hose sprayer set to "shower", does any water accumulate on the surface for a while before draining down or running off?

Do you have a high water table, or brackish water?

When you planted the Hydrangea, did you dig a hole down into very hard, dense soil, and then fill the hole with better soil? (See my first photo, below, where i dug a hole in clay and then watered.)

For water to flush away the chemicals, it needs to be able to get away. It has to be able to perk pretty quickly through the soil, and most of all, it needs somewhere downslope to run down TO.

If you soil is sandy or gritty or loose and organic all the way down to some low water table, you have no problem. Water will drain straight down, dissolving or carrying away chemicals as it goes.

But if you have clay like so many of us, you may have to give some thought and effort to slope or grading, and drainage. (I have a far-gone drainage fetish or obsession.)

If your plant is planted in a low spot, or a perfectly flat yard, little can be done that I know of.

But if it is on a slope or a high spot or near enough to a lower spot, you can dig a slit trench starting just beyond its root zone, and leading down-slope to some lower spot. Going consistently DOWN is key, as I forgot when I started the project you see below (first photo).

If you have seriously dense clay, you might even need to dig out a half-ring around the root ball of the plant, on the down-slope side, and back-fill with something a little better-draining - to help water puddling in the root zone escape from that immediate area and reach the trench. Once it gets that far, it will either run downhill and away, or else drain straight down through the floor of the trench when it hits a well-draining spot.

P.S. The trench only needs a very slight slope, like several inches per ten feet. But if there is any low spot in the trench (a "dip"), that will become the new water-logged spot.


Thumb of 2013-08-20/RickCorey/c96b69 Thumb of 2013-08-20/RickCorey/738f14 Thumb of 2013-08-20/RickCorey/31fbf8

[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 20, 2013 3:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Aug 20, 2013 5:33 PM CST
Hi, All...

I think before we continue to guess itmight be important to

(1) find out what "some chemical" is that was put on the plant. Some folks think just lowering the pH will change the color of hydrangea flowers but that is not always the case; there are a few variables to take into consideration.

(2) Is the hydrangea in the ground or in a container?

(3) How much time has passed since the chemical was added?

Carol, a hearty WELCOME To ATP!~

Shoe

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