My Hydrangea leaves are turning black around the edges, what can be wrong? - Knowledgebase Question

Massapequa Park, Ne
Question by ndpettit46
September 28, 2009
I bought and planted 3 Hydrangeas in a small bed in front of my house. It faces south and gets lots of sun, with late afternoon shade. I planted and watered my Hydrangeas well all summer.Two of the tree plants have leaves that are turning black around the edges. They are not growing as fast as the other plant, and the blooms were quick to brown, wilt and die. An Azalea also didn't grow there. Help!

A comment from Donhutcheson
October 16, 2017
Hydrangeas do better on north side.

Answer from NGA
September 28, 2009


Black or brown leaf margins almost always indicate over watering, or over fertilizing. Excessive salt concentrations from fertilizers can show up as burned leaf edges. Soil that holds too much water can cause the same symptoms. Although the plants are all in the same bed it might be that the soil drains differently in different parts of the bed. I would be inclined to dig the sickly plants, amend the soil with lots of organic matter to facilitate good drainage and then then replant the Hydrangeas. Next spring you can prune them back in anticipation of healthy new growth and lots of flowers. If an Azalea did not do well there, the soil may be too alkaline in which case the compost you dig into the soil will help neutralize or even acidify it a bit. You can top dress with peat moss and feed with an acidified Rhododendron or Camellia Fertilizer. Best wishes with your Hydrangea.

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