How To Save a Dying Hydrangea? [7 Easy Ways]

There are many hydrangea plants, and they’re all equally beautiful. If you take care of your hydrangea and keep it hydrated, you shouldn’t run into any issues. But if you notice that your hydrangea plant is beginning to die, you should act fast to fix it!

To save a dying hydrangea, you must figure out what is causing it to die. If it’s dying from dehydration, give it more water. If it’s dying from not getting enough sunlight, you’ll need to ensure it gets more sunlight throughout the day. You may also need to fertilize it and cut off dead leaves.

This article will discuss how to save a dying hydrangea in more detail. Keep reading to find some helpful solutions!

1. Give Your Hydrangea Plenty of Water

If your hydrangea is dying from dehydration, you’ll need to start watering it more to bring it back to life. The main signs of a dehydrated hydrangea include:

  • Wilting leaves. Hydrangeas (and other plants) that are dehydrated tend to look droopy and sad. If left dehydrated for long enough, the leaves will continue to droop and eventually die.
  • Discolored leaves. Leaves should be lusciously green on your hydrangea. If they’re discolored, your plant might need more water.
  • Dry soil. Soil that feels dry to the touch indicates that your hydrangea isn’t receiving enough water.

Hydrangeas like lots of water, so you should water yours thoroughly once a week. If you’re not already doing this, that’s probably why your plant is dying.

However, you may not need to water your plant that much if you live somewhere with lots of rain, like Louisiana (one of the rainiest states in the US). If you’re unsure whether or not your hydrangea is dehydrated, look out for the signs mentioned above.

2. Avoid Overwatering Your Hydrangea

In the last section, I discussed the importance of watering your hydrangea if you want to save it from dying. However, another thing that can cause a hydrangea to fail is too much water. In that case, you’ll need to tone it down and reduce the water you give it.

If you’re unsure whether your hydrangea is receiving too much water, here are some things to look out for:

  • Wilting leaves. Although wilting leaves are a sign of dehydration in plants like hydrangeas, they can also indicate over-saturation.
  • Soggy soil. If the surrounding soil is saturated, you might be giving your hydrangea too much water.
  • Soft leaves. Leaves that feel soft and soggy are an indication of overwatering. They may also become slightly discolored.

To save your overwatered hydrangea plant, you must stop watering it immediately. Additionally, you should keep it shaded until it dries out so it doesn’t get damaged by the sunlight. Once thoroughly dried, you can give it sunlight and water it evenly.

If your hydrangea is dying because there is too much rainfall, keep it sheltered to protect it. Otherwise, it will eventually die and won’t be revivable.

3. Fertilize Your Hydrangea

Fertilizer gives plants the nutrients they need to grow and thrive in their environments. If your hydrangea doesn’t have enough nutrients, it won’t have the strength to grow and bloom. It might even begin to die, so you need to act fast if it needs vital nutrients.

According to Oregon State Extension, you should fertilize hydrangeas using balanced, time-released fertilizers twice a year. It also recommends using a fertilizer low in phosphate if you want blue and purple flowers.

But once your hydrangea receives enough of the most essential nutrients (like nitrogen and potassium), it should return to life in no time.

An example of a fertilizer you can use to revive your dying hydrangea (if it’s lacking nutrients) is The Andersons PGF Balanced Fertilizer, available now on The fertilizer is perfect for all kinds of plants (including hydrangeas) and contains all the essential nutrients it needs.

You should only fertilize your plant if you’re sure it needs nutrients. The best way to determine if a nutrient deficiency is why your plant is dying is to do a soil test. A soil test will tell you exactly what nutrients your soil is lacking.

4. Give Your Hydrangea More Sunlight

Your hydrangea might be dying due to a lack of sunlight. If that’s the case, you’ll need to give it more sunlight throughout the day to revive it. You’ll need to replant it if it’s in a shaded garden area. If it’s in a pot or another container, it’ll be easier to move into the sunlight.

The amount of sunlight your hydrangea needs depends on the type because there are many different varieties. While some can thrive with hours of sunlight daily, others prefer shade for most of the day.

You should check the sunlight requirements of your specific hydrangea species to determine how much sunlight to give it.

Here are some signs that your hydrangea is lacking sunlight in case you’re unsure:

  • Leggy growth. This is when plants have long stems without many leaves or blooms. It’s a sure sign your hydrangea needs more sun.
  • Pale leaves. Leaves that become pale or small (or both) are signs that your hydrangea isn’t receiving enough sun.
  • Stunted growth. A hydrangea that has stopped growing (or growing slower than usual) might not be receiving enough sun. You’ll likely also notice a lack of flowers.

If you suspect your hydrangea needs more sun, put it under sunlight as soon as possible!

5. Give Your Hydrangea Less Sunlight if It’s Scorched

Although a lack of sunlight can cause your hydrangea to die, too much sun can also be a big issue. If your hydrangea is under the sun all day and you live in a hot part of the country (such as Arizona or Southern California), you may need to give it more shade.

Hydrangeas can get scorched if they receive too much sunlight, and scorching can eventually lead to plant deterioration and death. You want to fix the issue before it becomes irreversible, so give your plant shade immediately if you suspect it’s getting too much sunlight.

Here are some signs your hydrangea is receiving too much sunlight:

  • Dry, crispy leaves. Too much sun can cause the leaves on your hydrangea plant to turn dry and brittle. It can also indicate your plant needs more water. Generally, too much sun and dehydration go hand-in-hand.
  • A hydrangea that feels hot. If you touch your plant and notice it feels too hot, it’s likely getting too much sun.
  • Stunted growth. A plant that’s getting too much sunlight might stop growing. However, it might continue to grow, but at a slower-than-usual pace.

If you give your hydrangea shade and water it enough after receiving too much sun, you should be able to revive it. When watering, be sure to water deeply around the roots so the water can reach far enough down the soil.

6. Ensure Your Hydrangea Has Enough Space To Grow

If you plant your hydrangeas and other plants too close together, they will have growth issues because they will need to compete more aggressively for nutrients and water. As a result, some plants might begin to die.

Overcrowding can also lead to diseases like fungal infections because of the lack of airflow around plants. The amount of space you should leave between plants depends on the hydrangea species. But generally, you should leave between 3 and 10 feet (0.9 and 3 meters) between each plant.

If there isn’t enough space between your hydrangeas, you should remove some of them to free some up. Then, the ones left will have enough room to grow, and they won’t have to compete as much for nutrients and water.

7. Cut Away Dead Pieces

No matter what is causing your hydrangea to die, you should be sure to cut away any dead pieces. Finished pieces may include:

  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Flowers

Cutting away dead parts of the plant will allow new, healthy pieces to grow in their places. Cut off any leaves that appear extremely discolored or crispy, but be sure to salvage any healthy growth.

You can use your hands to remove dead plant parts but use scissors or pliers if you want. Be gentle when cutting away dead pieces because you don’t want to damage any healthy sections.

After cutting away any dead parts, your hydrangea should show new growth at the beginning of the growing season.

How To Keep a Hydrangea Healthy

To keep a hydrangea healthy, give it plenty of water throughout the growing season. Most hydrangea species require large amounts of water, so you must never forget to water them. You should also make sure the soil is rich in nutrients and well-drained.

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How you save your dying hydrangea will depend on what’s causing the issue. One of the biggest causes of hydrangea death is a lack of water; to solve this issue, you must give it plenty of water.

However, too much water can also cause problems. In that case, be sure to keep it dry and reduce watering. You should also ensure your hydrangea is receiving enough (but not too much) sunlight. Plant it somewhere that receives sunlight and shade throughout the day for the best results.

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