Ask a Question forum: Help!! Hydrangea wilting!

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Columbia, SC
Lizandhergarden
Jun 29, 2017 9:01 PM CST
I live in Columbia SC and bought a beautiful hydrangea plant from a nursery yesterday... I planted with good compost, and watered well (although I did not break up root ball when planting, which I later found out I should have), yet the plant remained wilted looking. It gets good morning sun, around 8am -2pm. This afternoon it looked a bit worse.. With a few more leaves curling up. According to my moisture reader, the soul it's moist - not dried out.
Is this typical? Will it eventually spring back up?

My biggest concern is that about 2.5 weeks ago I used some chemical spray on the roots out some pesky wisteria near by... Since then I've gotten plenty of rain, but a little concerned about the possibility that it could still affect the hydrangea.
Any thoughts or feed back greatly appreciated!! I'm rather new at this...


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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 29, 2017 9:12 PM CST
Did you acclimate to the level of sun it's getting? What chemical did you use on the soil? Yes, you should have loosened the root ball when planting. Did you pre moisten the soil in the planting hole? These questions are all important to get advice. Off the top of my head, I would question the amount of sun . They do like some morning sun, but most don't like the hot afternoon sun. Someone nearer you with more expertise will surely chime in soon.
Columbia, SC
Lizandhergarden
Jun 29, 2017 9:19 PM CST
Thanks for your reply! The soil was a little moist when I planted, made sure to water well after I planted yesterday. Was not "soaked" but moist according to my reader. I used a weed spray on the soil about two and a half weeks ago.. Can't remember what it was called, but was meant to go after bushes and wisteria roots, etc. Would you recommend transplanting again to somewhere a bit more shady?
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 29, 2017 9:24 PM CST
The only Hydrangea I grow is in a large pot, so I really can't advise you. You really need to find out what root killer you used though. Some stay in the soil for eternity.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 30, 2017 4:56 AM CST
Welcome!

I very much agree that you need to figure out what herbicide was used, but having said that if it was only planted yesterday it's not likely the wilting is caused by that.

You did not need to break up the rootball but you do need to have watered it well in the pot before planting and tease out any major circling roots, or score the sides of the rootball if it was pot bound. Breaking up the rootball at this time of year when it is hot and sunny is more likely to cause wilting.

When you test the moisture level are you testing within the original rootball as it was in the pot, or in the amended soil around the shrub?
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Jun 30, 2017 8:49 AM CST
It appears to be some type of hydrangea tree. That could take the sun. If it were mine I'd have a sprinkler on it for several hours and see if it begins to recover.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 30, 2017 8:59 AM CST
If the herbicide was a soil-active one it probably should be moved anyway so an option would be to dig it up and if the rootball is dry then soak the rootball in a tub of water before replanting somewhere else. Even if the herbicide was not soil-active, digging it up and soaking the rootball in a tub of water if it is dry would be helpful. It shouldn't hurt to dig it up since it was only planted yesterday. If a container plant is planted with a dry rootball it may not be able to rehydrate once planted even if you water around it.
[Last edited by sooby - Jun 30, 2017 9:00 AM (+)]
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Columbia, SC
Lizandhergarden
Jun 30, 2017 9:38 AM CST
Thanks for everyone's feedback! I got a good bit of rain last night, and it looked a bit better this morning - yay! I had watered the base of the plant real well, but may not have gotten to the root ball.
Here is the chemical I used a couple weeks ago .. Any one think I should still remove the hydrangea from this spot? Or think it's been enough time for the soil to be "safe"
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 30, 2017 9:58 AM CST
Is it sun or shade variety. Tree or bush. Move it, defiantly. That root killer stuff is potent, and you probably need to wait 6 to 12 months before planting. Try some ornamental sweet peas, from SEEDS. They will be indicators, also will help build soil up, by adding nitrogen to soil. When peas are spent, cut them off. Leave roots in soil.
Now hydrangea. Soak rootball. After soaked. Ruff up rootball, oh ! About an inch. When you make basin, around it, be sure water will cover over rootball, thats where it needs most water now, till it roots out.
I would also cut down, half way. Less foilage for roots to support.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 30, 2017 10:01 AM CST
The instructions for this Ortho product say:
"Do not use this product for controlling weeds in flower or vegetable beds or around shrubs or ornamental plantings."

The active ingredient appears to be triclopyr. Apparently this can stay active in the soil for some time. Quoting from an Extension.org page:

"..Triclopyr, however, is much longer lasting and it can take over a year for only 3% to be left in the soil (again, this is wide ranging and depends on specific soil conditions). Triclopyr is so effective against weeds because it does stay active in the soil for longer and it is also taken up by plant roots and becomes systemic in the plant."

The article implies a three week waiting time for non-edible plants.
https://ask.extension.org/ques...

I would either move the plant (and do what is necessary to rehydrate the rootball in the process if it seems dry) or at least call Ortho and ask about replanting time for the product. Their contact info is here:

https://www.ortho.com/smg/gosi...

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