Should I Cut Off Brown Hydrangea Blooms?

Hydrangea blooms are beautiful, but it can be frustrating when they turn brown. While this is a normal part of gardening, not everyone knows why they do this or what to do about it. So, should you cut off hydrangea blooms when they turn brown?

You should cut off brown hydrangea blooms. It’s difficult for the blooms to grow once they begin to brown, so cutting off any brown leaves on your hydrangea stops the plant from fighting to revive the dead leaves, helping it grow back healthier.

The rest of this article will get into more detail about why you should cut off brown hydrangea blooms and what causes them to brown in the first place. Keep reading!

Why You Should Cut Off Brown Hydrangea Blooms

Now that you know it’s ideal to cut off the brown hydrangea blooms, it’s time to talk about the why. There are many reasons why cutting off brown hydrangea blooms benefits the plant, but the main reasons include directing the plant’s energy toward more important parts of the plant.

I’ll discuss this in more detail in the following sections.

Cutting Off Brown Blooms Keeps the Rest of the Hydrangea Plant Healthy

The main reason you should cut off any brown blooms from your hydrangea is that your plant will attempt to revive those blooms. This means that the plant will expend all of its nutrients and hydration to try to keep those blooms alive.

Ultimately, this means that the rest of the plant will suffer because it’s putting so much effort into those blooms.

Cutting the brown blooms off of your hydrangea allows your plant to spread those nutrients and hydration around to focus on other parts of the plant. If you don’t cut them off, you risk the rest of the plant suffering and dying because it’s trying so hard to care for the brown blooms.

So, the best thing to do is to cut off those brown blooms to prevent the plant from damaging itself by trying to keep them alive. If you keep the brown blooms, you might notice even more blooms turning brown, and eventually, the entire plant can die because of it.

Cutting Off Brown Blooms Encourages Root Growth

Another reason that it’s important to trim those brown blooms is because it will allow the plant to put more energy into the roots. As discussed above, browning blooms take up a lot of nutrients and hydration that your plant needs to thrive. However, the plant will also neglect its roots when focused on keeping the blooms alive.

When your hydrangea can focus on root growth instead of reviving blooms, it allows the roots to spread, making the plant’s base stronger. As you know, stronger roots mean a stronger overall plant.

As mentioned, your hydrangea plant will put a lot of nutrients and hydration toward the brown blooms in an attempt to revive it, but it’ll also use a lot of energy to do this. That energy could be more useful if put toward the growth and overall health of the roots.

Why Are My Hydrangea Blooms Browning?

Seeing your beautiful hydrangea blooms browning is upsetting, especially when you have to cut them off to keep the rest of the plant healthy.

Unfortunately, there can be many different reasons why they’re browning, which are often difficult to distinguish from each other. The three main reasons include the outside temperature, soil quality, and the amount of water they’re receiving.

Let’s discuss these in more detail below.

The Temperature Is Too High

During those especially hot days when the sun makes it difficult to even step outside, your plants will struggle too. They’ll use more water than normal to keep themselves hydrated and healthy. So, you need to help them by providing that extra water for them to pull from.

Now, we know intense summer heat isn’t something that everyone has to experience. Places like the North Shore in Minnesota and, more largely, Alaska can offer you mild summers that don’t overwhelm your hydrangeas. Otherwise, most places in the United States will have some intense summer heat, even for a short period.

To help combat browning because of summer heat, you need to ensure that you provide enough water for the plants to withstand that heat.

This means that every few days, you should water your hydrangeas. However, instead of just spraying the plants, make sure you give them extra water to account for the heat.

Your Hydrangeas Have Direct Sun Exposure

While hot days can affect the overall health of your hydrangeas, you may also want to consider sun exposure. If you plant your hydrangeas where they’re exposed to too much sun, the blooms may brown very quickly because the sun will dry them out faster.

Even if the temperature isn’t too hot, direct sunlight can still dry out the hydrangeas quite a bit. This can make taking care of your hydrangeas challenging because even if they’re not exposed to extreme heat they may still brown.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean hydrangeas shouldn’t be in the sun at all, as they do need exposure to the sun. However, too much sun can cause the blooms to brown. So, it’s best for hydrangeas to be in partial shade instead of all-day sunlight to help them not overheat.

The Soil’s pH Level Is Off

One of the more difficult-to-determine reasons that your hydrangeas are browning is inadequate pH levels in the soil. The pH level of your soil is vital because too high or too low a pH can create many problems for your plant. If you notice that your blooms are turning brown, it may be worth checking your soil’s pH level.

The correct pH level for the soil around your hydrangeas is between 6 and 6.5. Higher or lower pH levels can cause many problems for your plant. If your pH levels are too high or too low for your hydrangeas, it’ll be more difficult for them to absorb the nutrients they need to thrive.

So, a pH level that’s either too high or too low can cause your hydrangea blooms to turn brown because they aren’t getting the nutrients they need. A small difference in pH levels may not cause significant browning of blooms, but it can prevent your plant from thriving and continuing to produce new blooms.

The best way to ensure that the pH level of your soil isn’t the problem is to test the soil. There are a few different options for testing your soil at home. My favorite is the My Soil Test Kit, available on Amazon. All you need to do is send some soil for analysis and wait for the results.

In about a week, you’ll be able to access the soil test results online. They actually have an app that breaks everything down for you and helps you more easily understand the results. The app will also help by suggesting recommendations for soil types that would help your hydrangeas thrive.

You’re Not Properly Watering Your Hydrangeas

Another factor that can impact the overall health of your hydrangeas is watering. While you may think that brown blooms on your hydrangea mean it’s not getting enough water, that’s not always the case. In fact, providing too much water for your plant can do just as much damage.

You don’t need to water your hydrangeas every day, even during especially hot days. This can cause significant overwatering problems. So, only water your hydrangeas once every few days to ensure you aren’t giving them too much water.

Overall, your hydrangeas need about one inch of water per week during the growing season. You should do this every few days to ensure maximum growth potential. After the hydrangeas have bloomed, they’ll need more water. So, adjust for the blooms when deciding how much water to apply.

It’s also important to note that when you water hydrangeas, you should avoid getting the blooms wet. Instead, focus the water in the soil and keep it off the blooms. This allows the water to reach where it needs to be for the plant to thrive. Watering the blooms can cause them to wilt, making the plant work harder to keep them alive.

Your hydrangea blooms may also begin to wilt or brown if you water them at the hottest point of the day. This is because the water has not yet had time to make its way into the soil before your plants need it to hydrate themselves.

So, always try to water your hydrangea in the morning before a long hot day. This will give the plant plenty of time to distribute the water and allow it to use the water throughout the day when needed.

2 Gal. Summer Crush Hydrangea Shrub

Final Thoughts

It’s important to the care and maintenance of your hydrangea to cut off the brown blooms. You don’t want your plant to use its nutrients, water, and energy to attempt to revive those blooms rather than focus on the plant’s overall health.

If you notice that your hydrangea is browning, it’s important that you determine the cause, whether that’s too high of temperatures, incorrect pH levels in the soil, or inadequate watering

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