Why are my Hydrangea leaves wilting and turning brown
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It is incredibly frustrating to work very hard in cultivating your hydrangeas only to see the hydrangea leaves drooping, wilting, or turning brown. Newly planted hydrangeas can quickly wilt from lack of water as they have very restricted roots balls but fungus and pests can also be a cause. Below we go other this in more detail as well as going over a few more reasons this might be happening and how to overcome the problem.
Hydrangea leaves turning brown
Lack of water – especially on newly planted shrubs
One reason your hydrangea leaves might be turning brown is because of an issue during transplantation. If you recently transplanted your hydrangeas to a new spot whether from an existing area in your garden or from a nursery, hydrangea could simply be turning brown because it doesn’t have enough water.
This is especially risky when you get your hydrangea from a nursery because the potting soil that they use in nurseries is typically very high in peat moss which means it dries out fast and if you see that the roots are compact and woven together, you want to try and loosen them before you plant the hydrangea. If you didn’t already do that, you don’t have to panic. You just want to make sure that you keep the soil uniformly moist from that point onward until its taken and got some new roots out.
Fungus – black spots on leaves – provide good air circulation
Another reason your hydrangea leaves are turning brown could be a fungal infection. There are different types of fungus that target the hydrangea and the results you see are brown spots on the leaves. The first step you want to do is avoid watering the hydrangea leaves and water specifically at the base because any excess water could leave the plants acceptable.
Simultaneously you want to choose to water in the morning or evening rather than in the afternoon when the sun is at its highest. Remove any leaves that have these brown spots and any debris that has been dropped under the hydrangea. Fungus needs a dark, moist area in which to thrive so don’t provide an environment for them.
If you are going to remove any part of the hydrangea make sure you disinfect your pruners before doing so so that you don’t accidentally transfer infection from one branch or leaf to another. If you have space in your garden make sure that you give 2 meters of space in between one hydrangea and the next to improve air circulation as this also helps reduce fungus.
Hydrangea leaves wilting
If your hydrangea leaves are wilting and in some cases turning brown concurrently this could be indicative of toxicity poisoning. If you use too much fertilizer it could cause the symptoms and as a direct result increase the susceptibility your plants have to infection. It is recommended that you do not use more than two cups of a 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 9.2 square meters. So if you are using a fertilizer with a smaller area where you have hydrangeas in pots you might be using too much. There is a significantly high risk for toxicity during the summer when you are hydrangeas are exposed to sunlight. In general, applying a general fertiliser in spring as stated on the box is more than enough for hydrangeas.
Hydrangea leaves drooping caused by pests
If you notice your hydrangea leaves are drooping, shrivelling up and turning brown, you might have a pest problem, you may also notice a sticky substance known as honeydew. This is indicative of scale insects also known as hydrangea scale or aphids and the solution is to clean off every pest with either a direct stream of water or a mixture of water and dish soap.
If you are using water to remove them physically, be aware of the power of the stream you use. If you spray water at full power it could damage the leaves in the process.
If you use an insecticide be cognizant of the fact that it could kill the insects but scorched leaves as well so pay particular attention to the ingredients and instructions and never spray in bright sunshine.