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Thanks to their lush flowers, hydrangeas are a real eye-catcher in the garden - if they grow upright and healthy. But what to do if the plants suddenly let their leaves and flowers droop?

In a nutshell

  • Lack of water as the most common cause
  • Mistakes in care are not always to blame
  • Observe fertilizer application
  • avoid direct sunlight
  • no hardy plants

Possible causes

If the leaves and flowers of the hydrangea hang down, a care mistake is usually the cause. With simple measures, however, it is possible to restore health and thus also the appearance.

Natural protection mechanism

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for hydrangeas to have drooping leaves and flowers. In some cases, however, there is no reason to worry, as it is a protective mechanism of the flowering plant. If the symptoms only occur at midday in summer, this measure protects the plant from the evaporation of the stored liquid due to the massive solar radiation. Due to the hanging parts of the plant, the surface that the sun shines on is reduced.

lack of water

The nickname "water slurper" is no coincidence. Hydrangeas have a very high water requirement. It is therefore important to check the substrate, especially in summer. As soon as the top layer has dried, the gardener has to reach for the watering can as soon as possible. Floating is recommended as a watering method, so that the water seeps into the lower layers of the earth. The gardener should remove potted plants from the tub and dip the root ball until no more air bubbles rise.

Hydrangeas are also popular cut plants because of their beautiful flowers. However, hanging plant parts are not excluded in the vase. In this case, the flower is happy about a full bath. The gardener puts her in the bath for half an hour. The plant floats on the water surface and is certainly not damaged. On the contrary, the application makes it possible to absorb liquid in large quantities and fill the reservoirs. The gardener then shakes off excess water droplets and puts the cut flower back in the vase.

Notice: Despite the high water requirement, the hydrangea does not tolerate waterlogging. The gardener should therefore only water outdoor hydrangeas when the top layer of substrate has dried. When keeping the bucket, he should pour off the excess water in the saucer after about 15 minutes. Drainage in the ground or bucket is generally recommended.

nutrient deficiency

The constant watering flushes many nutrients from the soil. For this reason, hydrangeas often lack iron. A special hydrangea fertilizer can help in this case.

Notice: Not every iron fertilizer is suitable for the hydrangea. The commercially available products for a moss-free lawn also contain ingredients that damage the plants.

Unsuitable substrate

To prevent waterlogging, the soil must not tend to compact. Instead, it should be permeable and loose, but at the same time be able to store water. The optimum pH is between 4 and 5.5. In order to maintain the species-appropriate properties of the substrate, the gardener should repot potted plants after two years at the latest.

Notice: A layer of bark mulch protects the soil from evaporation in summer.

Wrong location

The hydrangea does not feel comfortable in the blazing sun. Their buds not only dry out, but also get sunburned quickly. A semi-shaded location is better, for example under sparse trees. But here, too, the gardener should prevent burning. This means only watering the plant in the morning and evening hours and only watering the substrate but not the flower. If the garden does not offer any shade, the gardener does not have to do without the lush flowers. An awning protects the plant just as well as a treetop or a ledge.

Wrong wintering

Unfortunately, hydrangeas are not hardy. With a cover with a jute sack or fleece, it is still possible to maintain their flowering splendor in the following year. It should be noted that the plants often sprout as early as February. If the gardener removes the winter protection too early, the tender shoots will frost and let the flowers and leaves droop. Gardeners have to reckon with late frosts until the ice saints in mid-May.

Notice: In order to save himself the expense of winter protection, the gardener obtains panicle hydrangeas from the trade. These are winterproof down to -30°C.

Other helpful measures

remove leaves

For cut flowers, it helps to completely remove the foliage from the stem. Thus, the hydrangea puts more energy into flowering than into leaf sprouting

frequently asked Questions

Which irrigation water to use?

Hydrangeas are very sensitive to hard water. For this reason, the gardener must filter tap water before administration. Collected rainwater is recommended.

How can the substrate be acidified?

Simple home remedies such as coffee grounds are recommended to change the pH of the soil to an acidic environment. Loose soils also offer the opportunity to incorporate self-made organic material such as compost.

Is the hydrangea sick?

If the hydrangea suffers from a pest or fungal infestation, it is not just the parts of the plant that are hanging down, discoloration of the leaf and a wilted flower are usually symptoms associated with the poor appearance. The gardener should therefore first rule out the above causes before combating an avoidable pathogen.

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