Hydrangeas forum: newly planted Hydrangeas are suffering in the heat

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Pasadena, Ca
Mographer
Aug 29, 2017 7:41 PM CST
Hello! I recently planted two hydrangeas where I live in pasadena, zone 10. They are blue mopheads. We are having a really brutal heat spell this week with highs in the 100's. The hydrangeas are not looking very good. Flowers are drooping, leaves are wilting. Will they survive? Is there anything I can do? I just watered them this morning, and this afternoon they are looking pretty sad. One is in almost complete shade, the other gets afternoon sun, but I've been shading it with a piece of plywood. Will they survive!?!?!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Aug 29, 2017 8:17 PM CST
They should survive, just keep watering!
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Aug 29, 2017 9:58 PM CST
You might also make a dam around the drip line to hold the water in place as it moves down into the soil. Also any moles or voles around. Check make sure root ball is ok. I found one of mine had mole holes around it.
Sempervivum for Sale
Pasadena, Ca
Mographer
Aug 30, 2017 8:15 AM CST
thanks for the replies! How much should I be watering them?

Mole holes? How do I check the rootball without pulling the plant up?
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 30, 2017 10:18 AM CST
Just dig around the drip line with your hand. Water deeply so it gets down to the root ball. A soaker hose works well or drip line.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 30, 2017 10:35 AM CST
Mographer, typically I don't dare plant any new plants during the height of summer, it is just too stressful for the plants to handle California's dry heat.

Are they planted in containers or direct to ground? If in containers, you may want to position them in part shade for this week and water twice a day, early in the morning and at sundown. Hopefully your media is well draining enough. You may have to spritz the stems as well, that is what I do with my other plants here. any added moisture helps since it is just so dry, and that heat exacerbates it more later in the day. It takes awhile for new plants to acclimate, and unfortunately, your timing to plant them I think is not the best. I would have done it in Spring so it gives time for the root system to establish before the onslaught of summer comes about.

The current heat wave is just frustrating. Even my most drought tolerant plants and succulents shows distress. So I am literally doing daily watering here to help them endure.
Pasadena, Ca
Mographer
Aug 30, 2017 11:07 AM CST
Tarev, yes I'm realizing now that this was all a mistake. I planted a fairly large shade garden about a month ago and I really should have waited. It's just my first time doing this, on my first home I've owned, so I was really anxious to do it. Lesson learned! So to answer your question, everything is in the ground.

I spent some time this morning building little channels around each plant to trap the water because the whole bed is on a slight slope, and the soil is pretty dense. I've noticed that alot of the water just runs off. This seems to help a lot with getting the water directly to the plants roots. The whole bed is on sprinklers at the moment.

Thanks for the help! I'll keep giving them TLC this week. Hopefully they pull through and the heat passes.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 30, 2017 11:17 AM CST
Keep watering, hydrangea are resilient. Even if all the leaves drop when it cools it will come up from the base.
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 30, 2017 11:29 AM CST
Also, this is how I plant;
1 soak new plant in a bucket to hydrate the plant. About 30 min.

2 dig hole and amend soil with compost. Add a trasplanter fertilizer. Hole should be twice as big as you need. Fill with water and let it soak in. This gets water down at the roots.
3. Back fill and water when half of the soil is around plant.
4 water in well after soil is in.
5 I water with trasplanter fertilizer or B-1 for a week. Helps roots to form.
6 mulch well but keep away from the crown of the plant. This is shade for the roots and holds moister in the ground.
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[Last edited by springcolor - Aug 30, 2017 11:35 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 30, 2017 12:40 PM CST
Is it possible to set up a garden umbrella or any shade cover over it? Just for this weekend at least when the super dry over 100F temps comes around. Try to water early in the day before the sun hits it and another round at sundown. Just water for now, no fertilizers, it will just burn the roots and leaves, since it is already showing heat distress.

My garden is also trying its best to survive, and our weekend temps shows a range of 110F to 112F ugh! Good luck to our plants indeed!
[Last edited by tarev - Aug 30, 2017 12:41 PM (+)]
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