Roseymel
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 12:06 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

I just planted a hydrangea one week ago. I've watered it every couple days. Leaves are wilted, some far, some have brown - like they are dead, some look paper thin. It is a penny mac. I sprayed it this morning with milk spray, and watered it a bit because it looks thirsty. It gets full sun
Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated

luis_pr
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

Sounds like transpant shock. It is not used to being under the sun and-or in windy locations. It was born in greenhouses and kept protected in the plant nursery; now it is... OUTSIDE! Try giving it some temporary reprieve from the sun slowly let it get more sun. You can use whatever fits for this purpose. since it is temporary.

On their first year in the ground, they will get wilty very often, specially as summer approaches. The frequency of wilting episodes will be reduced once the plant becomes established, which can take 1-3 years (usually 1yr).

The good news is that, provided that the soil is moist, they should recover on their own by nightfall or by the next morning. The leaves tend to loose moisture faster than the roots can absorb it so the leaves wilt. Once this loss-absorbtion ratio is equalized, things become normal. Windy locations can promote wilting as can high temps so reduce the stress by giving it shade.

Prior to planting outside, some people take hydrangeas and leave them potted in different locations where the plant first gets bright shade, then morning sun for a sliver of time, and then for more time. You can keep it in each spot 5-7 days or more. Eventually, you can put it in the ground where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade, although up where you live, it would not surprise me that full sun will work too since the sun is not as strong as it is down here. It is just a shock right now to the plant.

Add plenty of mulch (4"/10cm or less) up to the drip line so you do not loose moisture easily and water again only when the soil feels dry or almost dry to the touch. You can insert a finger to a depth of 4"/10cm or use a soil moisture meter. Give it about 1gallon (3.8 liters) of water per watering.

Do not water it just because it is wilted. What I do is this... if the wilting episode looks extreme then promptly give it 1/2 gallon of water (2 liters). But otherwise, first test soil and do nothing if the soil is wet or moist. They should recover by night time or next morning. If the soil is dry, give them 1g/3.8liters of water.

If the shrubs remain wilted by the next morning and the soil is moist or wet, there could be a problem with root rot. Root rot's symptoms are the same as those of a plant that does not get enough water: wilting, except it gets wilting all the time, 24/7. That is why using the finger method or a soil moisture meter can be useful.

Does that help?
Luis

Roseymel
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Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 12:06 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

Yes! Thank you. I will be patient and monitor it. If it is shock, how long until it gets over this phase?

luis_pr
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

People like to use the phrase "until it becomes established" and that can be 1-3 years. Most of the time it probably averages to 1 year. Meaning there should be a marked improvement in root development by next year's summer and therefore wilting should occur less than this year. It is never eliminated mind you.

During the worst of the summer months or on very windy days, you might get wilting. One thing I do is, when the weather forecaster says there are wind advisories for my area "tomorrow", I may water the soil in the evening to prep the plant for a windy tomorrow. Then on very "hot" tomorrows, I hand water around the base of the plant since the sprinkler and the drip sometimes do not do a good job.

Roseymel
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Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 12:06 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

Thank you for the wonderful advice....helps me understand my new obsession more!

Next question though, leaves are almost black!!! Some brown, looks dead. There are some healthy looking leaves still. I did replant it today, and followed every direction including planting in a spot with morning sun, afternoon shade.
Could these black - dead looking leaves be from shock as well? Should I just leave them and wait to see what happens?

luis_pr
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

Hard to tell. (1) Some leaves with winter damage can like hydrangea leaves look like in the Fall right after a cold spell zaps them. They turn darkish green; maybe what you might call black. (2) If hydrangeas do not get enough moisture, the leaves turn brown from the edges inwards. If they got brown this way then they had a spell where they did not get enough water. Then there are some leaf spots that can look brownish, blackish or purplish...

Can you post several pictures of these two types of leaves? Maybe showing the progression from looking fine to dark green/black or from fine to brown? That would help.

In any case, I would remove those leaves that are more than 1/2 affected and throw them in the trash in case they contain some kind of fungi.

Roseymel
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Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 12:06 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

Good morning. It's a beautiful morning! Here's my pics:(
Let me know if u think I should cut off the dark leaves!
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luis_pr
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Posts: 814
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Wilted leaves on my new hydrangea

Yes, I would cut the ones that show a lot of damage. It looks like what happens when the plants get exposed to cold weather in the Fall. Of course, a late frost/freeze would now be the culprit. The injury can happen anywhere on the leaves but I usually see it start somewhere between the middle to the bottom of the affected leaf. If that is the problem, removing affected leaves would eventually force the plant to produce new leaves that would n-o-t have this issue. So, monitor the replacement leaves and make sure that those replacement leaves have no problems. If the replacement leaves have issues then there is another problem.

There are other fungal issues that can produce issues -such as anthracnose- but, unless this problem started at the nursery, it would be difficult to think you did something that helped create fungal issues this advanced after planting just 7 days ago. Here is a link that you can review: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1212/ANR-1212.pdf

To help minimize fungal issues, water early in the mornings, never water the leaves (water the soil instead) and throw into the trash (not into the compost pile) all plant debris and all the leaves that you cut. To help minimize root rot issues, water only when the soil feels almost dry or dry.

Signs of too much water: some leaves can start to turn all yellow -including the veins- for lack of oxygen and as the problem progresses and root rot takes hold, wilting becomes a 24/7 problem no matter how much water you give the plant.

Signs of not enough water, wilting episodes amd leaves that brown out starting on the edges inwards.

Take new picture(s) of how the plant looks like after you have cut affected leaves so it helps you remember what did it look like. And if new issues appear, it would be a good before-after picture.

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