Hydrangeas are beautiful plants that are good for landscaping your garden. However, the sight of a wilting hydrangea doesn’t look too good.
Though this is quite a common problem.
Causes and solutions for hydrangea drooping and wilting.
Let us look at each of them in detail.
1. Extreme temperatures
Any extreme temperature conditions can be detrimental to your plant. It can be difficult to control the temperature.
If there is too much heat in the air, more water will evaporate from the hydrangea leaves at a quicker rate. Loss of water at a fast rate will affect the functioning of the plant as water is very necessary for plants.
On the other hand, if it is too cold, the water present in the plant can freeze. This can result in the cells of the leaves bursting. If the cells burst, they will not be able to transport water.
Both extreme hot and cold temperatures can thus result in your hydrangea plant drooping and wilting.
If the temperature is too hot for your plant, relocate the plant to a cooler place. Keep it in shade and avoid a location where it will receive direct sunlight so as to avoid sunburns.
You can turn on the air conditioner so as to add coolness to your plant and minimize the loss of moisture. Provide more water than normal to your hydrangea to compensate for the water loss and keep the plant hydrated.
If the temperature is too cold, provide insulation to your plant. You can add an external source of light to provide extra warmth. There are a lot of grow lights available.
Keep the doors and windows closed if it is especially cold outside.
Water is one of the most important elements needed for plants to live. Just like plants will die without water, too much water can also be harmful.
When you overwater a hydrangea, the plant will not be able to absorb all the water, leaving most of the water in the soil and making it water-logged. This will cause the roots to sit in the water, leading to root rot.
When the roots stop functioning properly, it ultimately affects the entire plant. The plant will not get enough nutrients and water from the soil, which will lead to the hydrangea wilting and drooping. The plant can also die eventually.
When the hydrangea is overwatered, it will look limp and mushy to the touch.
If your hydrangea plant is overwatered, check for any stagnant water in the pot. It could be that you have a coaster under your plant, that is usually where all the water collects.
If your pot does not have any drainage holes, slightly tilt the plant upside down and remove the excess water.
If your plant has been overwatered, there is no need to provide it with any more water for a few days. This will ensure that the plant uses up the water that is already present in the soil and eventually dries up.
Keep the plant in a place where it receives some sunlight so that it will help the water evaporate faster.
Sometimes, it is not enough to just remove the excess water. there is a chance that the roots have already been damaged in the process.
It might be the case if you have been overwatering the plant for a prolonged period of time. You will need to re-pot the plant if this is the situation.
Gently loosen the soil and remove the hydrangea. Check the roots for any signs of damage. If the roots have rotted or are damaged in any place, cut off those parts. Use a new, well-draining soil for repotting.
When you do not water the plant sufficiently, it will start to droop and wilt.
When your hydrangea does not get enough water, the roots have to take extra effort in trying to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. This causes stress on the roots, which results in poor functioning of the plant.
The cells of the plant also shrink as a result of consuming all the water stored in the cells. As a result, the leaves shrink and start wilting.
While overwatering makes the hydrangea mushy, underwatering makes the leaves crispy to the touch.
As your hydrangea is continuously growing, you will need to increase the amount of water you give it over a period of time. Hydrangea needs some more water than most other indoor plants.
In the hotter seasons, make sure you give it more water than normal, as the water evaporates faster and the soil gets dry faster. However, make sure you check that all the water is drained properly.
If your hydrangea has been overwatered, do not shock the plant by watering it too much to compensate for the lack of water. Add water to your plant in small quantities, but at very frequent intervals.
Establish a schedule for watering your hydrangea. Set fixed days and water it according to a routine so that you give the plant the amount of water that it requires and when it requires it.
4. Cold drafts
Just like extreme temperatures can affect the plant, so can sudden cold drafts. If your plant is situated near a window and is exposed to cold drafts for a prolonged period, it will suffer wilting.
The cold draft can cause the plant to experience a sudden chill. When the chill goes beyond what the plant can tolerate, it will freeze.
The freezing will cause the cells of the plant to burst, and as a result of which the plant starts to wilt.
Keep the plant in a place where the temperature is more stable. Avoid keeping it near a window or door. Also provide some insulation or shade around the plant for protection.
5. Transplant shock
When plants are newly transplanted, they usually look wilted and droopy for the first week or so. This is also true of hydrangeas.
When hydrangea is transplanted, it takes the roots some time to get adjusted and established in the soil. The roots will experience some stress for a while after transplanting.
In these circumstances, the transport of water and nutrients is affected, as a result of which the plant looks wilted and limp.
But transplant shock is not really a reason to worry. The hydrangea will recover in a few days.
Be very careful about handling the plant while transplanting. Be gentle and take care not to damage the roots.
Put the transplanted hydrangea in shade for a while after transplantation. Water the plant regularly so that the roots do not get stressed about absorbing water from the soil.
6. Improper pruning
Not pruning properly can also result in the leaves of the hydrangea plant wilting.
If you cut back your hydrangeas too hard, cut back a lot of the plant, prune it incorrectly, or haven’t been pruned for years can all be reasons for your plant wilting.
Plants need space to grow and flourish. If your hydrangea is too crowded it will start wilting. It also needs sufficient nutrients to stay healthy.
Improper pruning can result in poor growth of the plant and fewer buds. The stems will be weak, as a result of which the leaves will wilt and look droopy.
Make sure you prune the plant properly. At any time, do not prune more than 1/3rd of the plant. Pruning is important as it helps the plant grow better and grows more foliage.
7. Fertilizer problems
Overfertilized plants will show signs of wilting or drooping.
Fertilizers contain salt. Using too many fertilizers can cause the soluble salts to lodge in the soil, blocking the passage of nutrients and water to pass through. It can also cause air circulation.
Not only that, the salts can increase the pH level of the soil, killing some of the good microorganisms. Pathogens can develop and cause diseases.
All these reasons can cause your hydrangea to start wilting.
Manually remove the extra fertilizer that is visible to your naked eyes. Take as much as you can out of the soil.
You can leach off the excess fertilizers by pouring water over them and letting them drain completely. Do not re-apply any fertilizers for a while or until you find it absolutely necessary.
8. Root injury
Roots are one of the most important parts of any plant. Roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil which are necessary for the plant to live.
If the roots are damaged in any way, it will cause a problem in the functioning of the plant. The plant will not get the water and nutrients that it requires properly, resulting in the plant wilting and drooping.
Roots can get damaged because of several reasons. Overwatering, underwatering, pathogens, mishandling during potting, transplant shock, etc are some of the reasons why the roots of your plant could get injured.
If your hydrangea is suffering from root damage, you need to re-pot the plant.
Dig out the plant gently and check the roots for damage. Remove the damaged parts and re-pot them in a container with fresh good-quality soil.
Prune some extra leaves of the plant. Plants with root damage find it difficult to provide nutrients and water properly to the upper parts of the plant.
When you trim some parts of the plant, it makes it easier for the plant to provide the other parts with nutrients.
During this time, make sure you do not overwater or underwater the plant. Both of these factors will affect the roots.
9. Pest infestation
A pest infestation can be a problem in all kinds of plants, including flowering plants. One of the pests that infest the hydrangea plant is aphids.
Aphids nest on the underside of the leaves and suck on the sap of the plant. The sap is very important to the plant as it carries important elements needed by the plant such as water, minerals, sugars, and hormones.
If the sap is sucked out by the aphids, it will result in a plant that has yellowing leaves and a drooping or wilting appearance.
Check the plant regularly for any signs of pests. If you see any, remove them immediately as pests multiple rapidly.
You can spray hydrangea with a strong jet of water to wash off the aphids. Make sure you do not damage other parts.
Apply organic plant-friendly pesticides if nothing else works.
The two most common diseases that can cause wilting or drooping in hydrangeas are bacterial wilt and verticillium wilt. These diseases are dangerous and can cause the death of the plant.
Both the diseases have different origins, but result in the wilting of the plant and can cause damage. The disease usually enters the plant during propagation or pruning.
It then spreads to the rest of the plant and damages the tissues responsible for providing the leaves with water and nutrition. As a result, the leaves start yellowing and wilting. Eventually, they drop off.
These diseases spread rapidly because they are contagious. So, it is very important that you use only sterile tools in your garden.
If your hydrangea has been infected, make sure to isolate it from all other plants.
Remove the affected parts of the plant so that the disease does not spread further. If the disease has spread too much, you might have no option but to dispose of the plant.