Hydrangeas forum→hydrangea mophead

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Name: harold
Enterprise , Al. (Zone 8b)
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cuzzx
Jun 2, 2020 10:38 AM CST
help to all , i live in southeast alabama, we have had rain a lot this spring into summer hear, at least every third day.
the temp is 60 and up at night and 89 and down during the day. raining hard right now.
i bought my wife three mophead hydrangeas last spring. they were about 18 inches tall. i planted one on the north side of the house, one on the west side and one on the south side. the plant on the north side is doing very good , over two feet tall. the one on the west side is doing good, big also . but the one on the south side took forever to come out this year, started nice and now it looks to be dying back . its raining now will get photos when it stops . the first two are in regular type soil the south is in a clay/soil mix . but before you question the soil let me say this . my neighbor has the same problem . her north side is big and beautiful her south side looks bad , weak and dying back. hers are 5 years old. last year they were great looking that why we bought ours.
Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas Salvias Roses Hibiscus Plumerias
luis_pr
Jun 2, 2020 12:36 PM CST
Ok, I will wait for pics. I will point out that, I usually do not grow mopheads on the south side of the house because my south side gets full sun from mid May thru mid September. The heat stress from that location would force me to water them more than if they were planted on the east side or the north side. Without that special watering on the south side, the soil there probably gets dry at times, causing inconsistent watering. The plant then loses some leaves and is stressed. Not growing much because conditions are not that favorable.

So I wonder then... how many hours of sun do your mopheads get in the south side? They need shade starting at 10-11am. No afternoon and no evening sun.

When you get pics, please try to get one of the south area where the plant is located.

Thanks, Luis
[Last edited by luis_pr - Jun 2, 2020 12:42 PM (+)]
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Name: harold
Enterprise , Al. (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Seed Starter Roses Lilies Hibiscus
Daylilies Container Gardener Birds Region: Alabama Cat Lover Bulbs
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cuzzx
Jun 2, 2020 2:25 PM CST
this photo is of the plant today at 3pm central time
Thumb of 2020-06-02/cuzzx/6e6512

this is the yard, hydrangea is to the right of bird feeder between the two flower box's
Thumb of 2020-06-02/cuzzx/cb50c8

this is my neighbors south side,
Thumb of 2020-06-02/cuzzx/4192ae




Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas Salvias Roses Hibiscus Plumerias
luis_pr
Jun 2, 2020 4:10 PM CST
Picture 1: It looks like there are 3 leaves browning... for some reason. If those are the only leaves left, the plant may be in a lot of trouble.

Picture 2: I suggest adding mulch. I am not sure if the yellow wall is going to reflect sunlight to the plant harshly in the summer months. Usually, white colored walls tend to do that. Rock mulch is also bad but you do not have that. If you can, check to make sure that a lot of water does not accumulate in that area (where the hydrangea is). I notice that grass does not grow in a few sections near the hydrangea and am wondering if the soil is staying too wet. The plant is somewhat close to the house (mophead can grow 4-6' wide). If the nearby cement leeches too much lime, the plant may need its soil pH tweaked. I have a few planted close to the home and it has not been a problem but then again, my house is rather old and probably does not leech lime in large enough quantities.

Picture 3: remove the grasses, weeds and add some mulch. There is too much competition for water and nutrients as all those plants have shallow roots and are probably comingled. The plant is somewhat close to the house (mophead can grow 4-6' wide). If the nearby cement leeches too much lime, the plant may need its soil pH tweaked. The wall probably helps protect it during winter. Dead wood that does not leaf out by the end of May can be cut all the way down.

Reviewing the weather for Enterprise, AL, the coldest you have had was lows of 44F, which is probably too "high" to produce a late frost that would have zapped the leaves. So I am left guessing that it was a water problem. Hydrangeas begin suffering from heat stress when temperatures get to 85F or above. Reviewing the weather again for the last month, the high's hit 85F-89F 15 times. When this happens, I would ratchet up the amount of water from your typical "Spring levels" to "Summer levels".

To know if you need to water: insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 4" and water if the soil feels dry or almost dry. Hydrangea roots are typically in the top 4" of the soil so testing this way will tell you how are the roots doing moisture-wise.

Did you water enough? When you water the plant, moisture should reach down 8" or so. To see if the amount of water that you used was enough, water as usual; insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 8" this time and see if it feels dry, moist or soggy. If it feels dry then you need to water more.

The amount of water varies based on temperature, soil type, etc. Water early in the mornings around 6-8am. Water the soil only and never the leaves to prevent powdery mildew and cercospora leaf spot problems with the leaves. Water from where the root ball is located and move outwards in all directions.

How to set the sprinkler system to do that for you? Let's say that you determine that 1 gallon of water is enough. Next, use the finger method daily for 2-3 weeks. Insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 4". If the soil feels dry then water 1 gallon per plant and make a note in a wall calendar saying that you watered 1 gallon on that day. After 2-3 weeks, review the notes in the calendar. Average out how often you had to water. Let's say you were watering, on average, every 3 days. Then set the sprinkler to supply 1 gallon of water every 3 days. If you use a sprinkler, the leaves will get wet so try to run the station close to sunrise. If you use drip irrigation or a soaker hose, you can let it deliver 1 gallon of water every 3 days. If your temps move up/down 10-15 degrees and stay there, consider using the finger method for 2-3 weeks to see if you need to tweak things.

Remember that summer is almost here now. If you water 1 gallon per plant in the Spring, be ready to increase the amount of water when temperatures typically reach/exceed 85F. So increase from 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons. If temps reach/exceed 96F, provide 2 gallons of water. As temperatures recede in the Fall, reverse the process. Reduce waterings to 1.5 when temps are typically below 95F. Reduce waterings to 1 gallon when temps are typically below 85F. Then reduce waterings to once a week or once every two weeks -depending on local rains- when the plant goes dormant and the leaves turn brown. When you see leaf out in Spring, restart watering at Spring levels of 1 gallon again. Tweak as needed for your conditions which may require even much, much more water than those numbers.

Does the plant have too much water? Insert two fingers to a depth of 4" and get some of the soil. Press the soil with the two fingers. If you start seeing water drops forming, there is too much water.

Because the hydrangea roots are near the top of the soil, I would remove the grass/weeds that are growing around the hydrangea.

Because the plant is in the south side, make sure that it is getting shade starting around 11am-ish. I could not tell how much sun it gets, especially in the summer months.

Maintain 2-4" of mulch at all times. This protects the roots from temperature extremes and helps minimize moisture loss.

If you decide to transplant it, look for a site that has morning sun only or dappled sun.
[Last edited by luis_pr - Jul 10, 2020 2:28 PM (+)]
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Name: harold
Enterprise , Al. (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Seed Starter Roses Lilies Hibiscus
Daylilies Container Gardener Birds Region: Alabama Cat Lover Bulbs
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cuzzx
Jun 3, 2020 9:05 AM CST
thanks very much , this is great help.
i may dig up the dranger and container it to try and get it back.
my wife says she is going to clean up that area as the bird feeder puts seed out, thus more grass growing.
the clay area is from the area dirt/clay --- very very hard. slowly covering in grass.

my biggest problem is no where to put plants.
we have roses in the shade under trees that are not growing fast at all.
Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas Salvias Roses Hibiscus Plumerias
luis_pr
Jun 3, 2020 10:19 AM CST
I hear you. I had over 100+ roses when I first moved to my current house and have now gotten rid of a few due to Rose Rosette Disease or because their area has turned shady like yours. I am about to pull the plug on three this season. One is already dead. ;o( Before, I had more sun locations and now those are occupied so I have few left for sun loving plants.

I too have a bird feeder causing problems with seed growth. I am now glad I did not plant a hydrangea there after all because I seriously considered it before I ended putting the bird feeder there by itself instead. It would have been messy with both. Someone told me to put some plastic under the feeder to collect the seeds there but I think I need birds with better eating manners and that do not make messes instead. Hee, hee, hee. ;o))
Name: harold
Enterprise , Al. (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Seed Starter Roses Lilies Hibiscus
Daylilies Container Gardener Birds Region: Alabama Cat Lover Bulbs
Image
cuzzx
Jun 4, 2020 10:59 AM CST
did i read you right , i need to move my roses from under the shade there in, have 5 under two large trees.
Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas Salvias Roses Hibiscus Plumerias
luis_pr
Jun 4, 2020 12:15 PM CST
You can keep them but they do not thrive as they need more than 6 hours of direct sun. How much direct sun are they getting? Try to give them bright indirect sunlight and dappled sun to help. I raised the canopy in one case but it did not help much.

I am going to remove one Martha Gonzalez that kept shrinking and died (it used to get more sun until the trees grew 'to much'); another MG that has also shrunk since first planted; and maaaybe a third rose, Petite Pink Scotch, that had some unusual growth that panicked me thinking it was RRD but I cut off the branch instead when I decided it probably wasn't rrd.

The first one had maybe 2-3 hours of sun. The second MG had dappled sun but very little... under the intersection of several bushes. The tiny leafed PPS is under a tree and gets indirect bright sun. It has not grown much either but is in the best shape. Mind you, there are bound to be exceptions. Veilchenblau, a purple rambler that I saw in some nursery exhibition gardens, was growing in somewhat shady areas and bloomed well. I saw it about 10+ years ago. Maybe I should go check to see how it is now doing!
[Last edited by luis_pr - Jun 4, 2020 7:25 PM (+)]
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Name: harold
Enterprise , Al. (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Seed Starter Roses Lilies Hibiscus
Daylilies Container Gardener Birds Region: Alabama Cat Lover Bulbs
Image
cuzzx
Jun 5, 2020 9:56 AM CST
one gets a couple hours of late afternoon sun , one gets couple hours of morning sun and the other three gets no sun.
Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas Salvias Roses Hibiscus Plumerias
luis_pr
Jun 5, 2020 3:07 PM CST
Hmm, I had one that gets sun from 12pm until 2pm-ish. It is the Martha Gonzalez that kept shrinking and is dead this season. Make sure yours gets bright shade, maybe even some late sun too during summer. The 'no sun' may be most at risk unless it gets a lot of indirect sun or dappled sun.

https://www.rose.org/post/2018...
[Last edited by luis_pr - Jun 6, 2020 12:54 PM (+)]
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