CURLING LEAVES - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by JDUG331
July 2, 2005
My Pee Gee Hydrangea tree ( Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora')has some curling leaves. The tree was planted one week ago. They curl length wise. Is this normal? They are nice and green. The soil is moist. I have not watered it in 4 days.
Thank you.

Answer from NGA
July 2, 2005
Curling leaves are not normal, no. It might be a sign of transplant stress (summer planting is the most stressful season) or drought stress or root problems. Correct watering is the most important thing in helping a shrub adjust to its planting location. You do not want to over water or under water, your goal is to supplement rain if needed so that the soil stays evenly moist like a wrung out sponge. It should not be bone dry or sopping wet/saturated. When you water, water slowly so it soaks down into the soil and encourages deep rooting. After watering, wait a few hours and dig down to see how far the water went; it can be surprising. There is no set schedule for watering, but it is better to water deeply less often than to sprinkle lightly daily. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. You may need to water the original potting mix more often than the surrounding soil in the beginning, until the roots expand beyond it. Using a flat layer of organic mulch about two to three inches deep over the root zone is helpful in keeping the soil evenly moist. It also helps keep down weeds and feeds the soil slowly as it breaks down over time. Since this is a new plant, I would suggest you also consult with your retailer for help trouble shooting, especially if there is a warranty involved. Good luck with your hydrangea.

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