So you’ve noticed that your hydrangea leaves are turning brown, it’s annoying, isn’t it? There are a few reasons that can cause this browning of the leaves which is why I wanted to put this article together so that you know what to look out for. Don’t worry, you’re not in this alone – I’m sure I will be able to give you some helpful advice that will cure those brown leaves once and for all. Let’s get started:
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Hydrangea leaves turning brown
Water on the leaves – that is the main reason hydrangea leaves turn brown. Water-soluble plant food sprayed from above can also turn the leaves brown if the water evaporates and leaves the plant food on them. Another reason for your hydrangea leaves turning brown is because of too much sunlight.
Reasons why hydrangeas leaves turn brown at a glance
Apart from water on the leaves, leaf burn from plant food, and too much sun, I have listed some other common reasons which may play a part in turning your hydrangea leaves brown:
- Your hydrangeas need moist soil, if it is too dry, the leaves and flowers will eventually turn brown, wilt, and die
- The leaves having too much exposure to the wind can take away moisture too quickly which means the roots won’t have enough to draw upon
- The pot you have planted your hydrangea in is too small
- Fertilizer burn can make the edges of the leaves turn brown and crispy
- An unexpected turn in the weather can drop the temperature too much in the spring which can turn the flower heads mushy and brown
- Leaf spot fungus is a common problem that occurs when watering hydrangeas from overhead. This can cause brown spots to appear on the leaves of the plant.
Are your hydrangea leaves turning brown and you don’t know why? Keep reading this article for solutions on how to bring your hydrangeas back to life.
Hydrangea Leaves and Flowers are Turning Brown and Wilting
One of the reasons why your hydrangea leaves and flowers are turning brown is that they are losing more water from the leaves than the roots can take in below the soil. If your soil isn’t damp enough around the roots then this will manifest in the leaves which will start to turn brown and wilt as a sign of it being stressed.
The wind is often the root cause of brown hydrangea leaves. When strong gusts blow against your hydrangeas, they quickly lose moisture from their large surface area leaves. The hydrangea leaves and flowers may still turn brown and curl up if the roots are unable to draw up and replace water lost from the leaves quickly enough.
If your hydrangeas are in less-than-ideal soil (sandy stony or dry) then the water will drain too quickly for the roots to be able to soak up – thus causing your hydrangea leaves to turn brown and wilt.
There isn’t really a go-to guide when it comes to the amount of time you should spend watering your hydrangeas as it really depends on the climate that you live in, the weather, and other factors such as the age of your hydrangea plant. As a rule of thumb, hydrangeas should be watered regularly and as often as required so that the soil remains moist. If you live in a hot climate, it may be necessary to water your hydrangea nearly every day to ensure that the soil remains moist.
My fix to this
Hydrangeas will remain healthy and avoid brown leaves and flowers by replicating their natural habitat. Ensure the soil has good water retention, keep the plant hydrated, and protect it from windy conditions that sap moisture.
- Use Organic Material – For best results, Hydrangeas should be planted or transplanted in soil mixed with organic materials such as compost, grass clippings, or well-broken-down manure. This will help the plant to draw moisture (more resistance to drought) and nutrients up from the roots more effectively, resulting in less wilting and fewer brown leaves.
- Soil Moisture –The best way to maintain a healthy hydrangea is to water the plant thoroughly, making sure that all areas of the soil are moistened evenly. The best tool for this job is a hose, as it ensures that the roots and base of the plant get enough water.
- Water the hydrangea deeply – always endeavor to give your hydrangeas are good thorough soaking so which will not only encourage the root systems to grow deeper but also increase the plant’s resistance to drought. If you water your hydrangea plants too lightly then you run the risk of the roots growing too shallow which makes them more vulnerable during the summer.]
- Protect your hydrangea from the wind – One of the best ways to protect your hydrangea from the wind is to build a temporary windbreak around it. This can be done by placing some stakes in the ground and then draping a piece of cloth or burlap over them.
If you do notice brown leaves on your hydrangea plant, I would also recommend you either snip them using a pair of pruners or just wait for them to naturally fall off.
Reasons why potted hydrangeas leaves and flowers turn brown
Potted hydrangeas are susceptible to the same problems as those grown in the ground, but there are a few additional reasons why potted plants may experience brown leaves and flowers.
One of the reasons is that when potted plants dry out, they do so much faster than those in the ground. This is because the roots are confined to a smaller space and have less access to water. Another reason is that potting soil mixes often don’t contain the same amount of organic matter as garden soil, making it harder for the plant to retain moisture
Additionally, potted plants are more likely to be overwatered than those in the ground. This is because people tend to check on them more often and think that if the soil looks dry, then it must need water. However, overwatering can actually be just as harmful to a potted plant as underwatering, so it’s important to be vigilant in checking the moisture levels of your soil and only watering when necessary.
My fix to this
- Use a pot that is at least 12 inches wide and deep – a larger pot will help to ensure that your plant has enough space for its roots to spread out and access water and nutrients more easily.
- Choose a potting mix that contains organic matter – as mentioned before, potted plants need a mix that will help them to retain moisture more effectively. Look for a mix that contains compost, peat moss, or coco coir.
- Water only when the soil is dry – one of the best ways to gauge whether or not your plant needs water is to stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry several inches down, then it’s time to give your plant a drink.
- Use leaf mold – Leaf mold is an excellent way to help potted plants retain moisture. It’s simply decomposed leaves that you can make yourself or purchase from a garden center. To use it, simply mix it into your potting soil at a ratio of 1:1.
- Water more often during hotter days – during the summer months, you may need to water your potted plant more often than usual. This is because the heat will cause the soil to dry out more quickly.
Too much sun will cause your hydrangea flowers and leaves to turn brown
If you notice that your hydrangea plant is getting brown leaves or flowers, it’s important to check the amount of sunlight it’s getting. While hydrangeas need at least six hours of sunlight per day, too much sun can actually be harmful to the plant. If your plant is in direct sunlight for more than eight hours a day, it’s likely that this is the cause of the browning of leaves and flowers.
A hydrangea is a plant that is native to the natural environment of a forest. They are adapted to living under a tree canopy where they will receive dappled light. This type of light will help to keep the plant cooler and also provide them with enough sunlight.
The key to growing healthy hydrangeas is striking a balance, too much sun will cause the leaves and flowers to brown, and too little sun will cause the plant to become leggy and produce fewer blooms.
My fix to this
- Move your plant to an area that receives dappled sunlight – if you have a hydrangea that is in direct sunlight for more than six hours a day, try moving it to an area where it will receive dappled sunlight instead. This type of light is much more beneficial for the plant.
- Provide afternoon shade – another way to help your plant cope with too much sun is to provide it with some afternoon shade. This can be done by erecting a temporary shelter or placing a pot next to the plant so that it casts a shadow.
- Use sun-resistant varieties – if you live in an area with very hot summers, it’s important to choose varieties of hydrangeas that are resistant to the sun. These varieties will typically have leaves that are darker in color.
Hydrangea leaves brown because of fertilizer burn
If you notice that the leaves on your hydrangea are browning, it’s important to check the type of fertilizer you’re using. The most common cause of fertilizer burn is using a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants, but it can be harmful if used in excess.
Hydrangeas are also very sensitive to the overuse of fertilizer which can cause the leaves to brown and eventually die. If you think that your plant has been over-fertilized, flush the soil with water to remove any excess fertilizer from the roots.
My fix to this
- Check the type of fertilizer you’re using – if you notice that the leaves on your hydrangea are browning, make sure to check the type of fertilizer you’re using. The most common cause of fertilizer burn is using a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen.
- Flush the soil with water – if you think that your plant has been over-fertilized, flush the soil with water to remove any excess fertilizer from the roots. This will help to prevent further damage to the plant.
- Use a balanced fertilizer – when fertilizing your hydrangea, it’s important to use a balanced fertilizer that contains both nitrogen and phosphorus. This will help to prevent the overuse of either nutrient.
Why Are My Hydrangea Buds Turning Brown? (Cold-Weather Escalates the Problem)
If you live in an area with cold winters, you may notice that the buds on your hydrangea plant turn brown and fall off. This is a common problem that is caused by the plant’s exposure to cold weather.
When the temperature drops below freezing, the water inside the plant cells freezes and expands. This can cause the cell walls to rupture, which leads to the death of the plant tissue.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to protect your plant from exposure to cold weather. This can be done by covering the plant with a frost blanket or burlap sack.
My fix to this
- Protect your plant from exposure to cold weather – this can be done by covering the plant with a frost blanket or burlap sack. This will help to prevent the plant from exposure to the cold, which can lead to the browning of the buds.
- Remove damaged buds – if you notice that any of the buds on your plant have already turned brown, it’s important to remove them. This will help to prevent the spread of disease to other parts of the plant.
- Hedgerows – Hedgerows are not just for looks, they play an important role in the ecosystem. They provide habitat for wildlife, help to control soil erosion, and can act as windbreaks
Overhead watering can cause brown leaves
If you notice that the leaves on your hydrangea are browning, it’s important to check how you’re watering the plant. Overhead watering can cause the leaves to brown and eventually die.
Water your hydrangeas at the base of the plant to discourage leaf spot fungus. Though rainfall may sometimes soak their leaves, hardy hydrangeas can tolerate it. Excessive watering of moist summer leaves usually spreads leaf spot fungus.
Although leaf spot does not kill hydrangeas, the fungus significantly decreases the plant’s growth and the number of flowers. Eventually, leaves will fall off; it is crucial to clean them up and dispose of them immediately to prevent the further spread of the disease.
My fix to this
- Water your hydrangeas at the base of the plant – this will help to discourage leaf spot fungus and prevent the leaves from browning.
- Clean up fallen leaves – it’s important to clean up any fallen leaves immediately to prevent the spread of disease.
- Dispose of fallen leaves – it’s important to dispose of any fallen leaves immediately to prevent the spread of disease.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand why the leaves on your hydrangea might be browning. let’s summarise everything that was outlined above:
- Brown leaves and flowers on hydrangeas are typically the result of water on the leaves, drought, strong winds, or too much sun exposure
- The best place for a Hydrangea is an area with dappled sun, where the soil is moist and protected from the wind
- If the roots don’t have enough moisture, then hydrangea leaves and flowers will wilt and turn brown
- Potted hydrangeas will struggle because the pot they are in is usually too small which will prevent the root systems from drawing up enough moisture
- Using too much fertilizer or using the incorrect type of fertilizer can cause the edges of your hydrangea leaves to turn brown