Why Is My Hydrangea Is Wilting and Looks Like It Is Dying? [How to Fix]

Hydrangeas are mainly known for their attractive flowers and leaves. Hydrangea tops any gardener’s wish list.  However, like other plants, they have some health issues that discourage most beginners.  Wilting and dying are among the problems of hydrangeas. Watering Issues, Weather Damage, Excess Sunlight, Poor Soil, Fertilizer Burn, Pests And Diseases, and Transplanting Shock are the main reasons for these problems.

But don’t be worried. There is a very simple solution to this problem, which I will tell you in this article. So without wasting time let’s get started.



Watering IssueWatering once or twice a week is recommended.
Excess  Sunlight5-6 hours of direct sunlight is enough.
Fertilizer burnUsing organic compost is safe.
Pests and DiseasesChemical treatment is recommended.
Transplanting ShockTake special care during replanting.

 5 Causes and Fixes For Wilting and Dying Hydrangea

There could be several reasons why your hydrangea is wilting and dying. Here are some common causes and possible solutions:

1. Watering Issues

Both overwatering and underwatering can cause your hydrangea plant to wilt and die. When you apply more water to a plant than it needs, the plant’s root loops close. As a result, plants cannot collect the necessary oxygen and other nutrients from the soil.  

And when plants do not get enough water, their photosynthesis process and other biochemical processes stop. As a result, your hydrangea collapses and dies.

In addition to wilting, plants exhibit other symptoms of watering issues such as curling leaves, discoloration, and browning. By looking at these symptoms, you can easily confirm that your plant’s problem is due to water.

How to Fix

First, you need to be sure if the problem is due to excess water or insufficient water. In that case, you can easily confirm by testing the soil. Soil can be easily tested using a moisture meter.

If the hydrangea is wilting due to insufficient water, water the plant first. Generally, watering once to twice a week is effective for hydrangeas. Because they prefer moist soil but not waterlogging. However, if your plant has not received water for a long time, then regular watering should be applied for a few days.

If the problem is due to waterlogging, rapid water accumulation should be removed. Water cannot be applied to the plant for a few days. Besides, the roots of the tree must be checked. If root rot develops, replant the tree as soon as possible.

2. Replanting Shock

Replanting shock is a common cause of hydrangea plant death. if you are not properly handling the process. When your hydrangea plant is replanted, it experiences stress and shock due to changes in soil, moisture, and nutrient levels.

Most of the time, hydrangea plant roots are damaged due to improper handling during replanting. As a result, they cannot collect the necessary nutrients from the soil. As a result, the plant gets dehydrated very easily.  Initially wilted and later died.

How to Fix

To minimize the effects of replanting shock on a hydrangea plant, you must handle the plant gently during the replanting process, and also have to make sure that the new planting location has the appropriate soil, moisture, and nutrient levels. 

Basically, fall and spring are good times for hydrangea replanting.  But it can always be done in case of an emergency. First, select a location that provides partial shade and is protected from strong winds. Next, dig a hole that is at least twice the size of your plant’s roots.  Then gently plant your hydrangea.

After planting you should water the plant frequently, and consider using a plant growth regulator to help promote healthy root development. If there’s any sign of nutrient deficiency then a good-quality fertilizer should be applied. You can also use organic compost instead of chemical fertilizer. 

3. Excess Sunlight

When you place your hydrangea plant in direct sunlight all the time, its transpiration rate is very high. When plants lose water through their leaves, other chemical functions also stop. As a result, the plant dies very easily.

Also, too much sun will destroy the chlorophyll in your hydrangea leaves. You must know that without the presence of chlorophyll photosynthesis process of plants cannot take place. As a result, the hydrangea plant first becomes discolored and later wilts and dies.

Hydrangea plants produce excess reactive oxygen species when exposed to excess sunlight. Which causes oxidative stress to your plant and destroys plant cells. As a result, the tree dies quickly.

How to Fix

Hydrangea generally prefers moderate sunlight and partial shade. Basically, the morning sun is the most effective for them. So you must plant your hydrangeas in a location that receives some shade during the hottest part of the day. 

A very good way is to apply mulch to the base of the plant. Mulch holds enough water for plants. So your plant won’t get dehydrated easily even in the excess sun. Regular watering should also be applied to the plants. In this case, slow and deep watering is recommended.

If your plant is indoors, you can easily solve the problem by moving it to a shaded area.  But a shade cloth works great for outdoor hydrangeas.

4. Fertilizer Burn

If your hydrangea plant’s wilting is not caused by the sun, replanting, or watering, you may be over-fertilizing the plant. Hydrangea plants require very little additional fertilizer.  

Excess fertilizer creates high levels of salinity in plants. That dehydrates your plant as well as slows down the rate of other biochemical processes. The result is curling of leaves, yellowing, salt build-up at the base, and even death of the plant.

How to Fix

Check the base of the plant to make sure that extra fertilizer has been applied. Immediate action should be taken if white unabsorbed salt is found on the soil of plants. You can also check for excess fertilizer by testing the soil salts.

After confirmation, the excess salt accumulated at the base of the plant should be removed first. A large amount of compost should be applied to the plant. Immediate tree replanting is required if your hydrangea shows severity.

5. Pests And Diseases

A major cause of wilting and dying of hydrangea plants is pest and disease attacks. Aphids and spider mites are two types of insects that attack the leaves of hydrangea plants. They are both sap-sucking insects that dehydrate plants very quickly. As a result, the plant wilts and dies within a few days.

Leaf spot and root rot are two fungal diseases that are very common to hydrangea plants and cause plant death.  Root rot usually destroys the roots of the plant. As a result, the plant collects water and fails. Without enough water, the hydrangea stops producing food and the plant dies. Although the plant does not die from leaf spot, wilting occurs in the severe stage,

There are also several viral and bacterial diseases that are also responsible for wilting and dying of hydrangea plants.

How to Fix

If you want to get rid of the hydrangea plant from this problem, you must first make sure that the attack is a pest or disease. You can easily be sure of aphid and spider mite infestation. Although they are very small in size, their presence can be felt around the tree if they are well-drained.  

If the pest attack is in the early stages, you can mix two spoons of vinegar and one spoon of baking soda in a liter of water and spray the plants in the morning and afternoon. But a good quality insecticide must be used in case of a fatal attack.

Chemical treatments should be applied as soon as fungal, bacterial, and viral infestations are confirmed. However, the manufacturer’s instructions written on the medicine must be followed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the common causes of wilting and dying hydrangeas?

Ans: There are several reasons why hydrangeas may wilt and die, including overwatering, underwatering, replanting shock, pests or diseases, fertilizer burn, improper planting, and environmental stressors such as extreme heat or cold.

Q: How can I prevent my hydrangea from wilting and dying?

Ans: To prevent your hydrangea from wilting and dying, make sure you are watering it properly, providing it with the appropriate amount of sunlight, and planting it in well-draining soil. You should also check for signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate measures to control them.

Q: How can I tell if my hydrangea is underwatered or overwatered?

Ans: If your hydrangea is underwatered, its leaves may be dry and crispy, and the plant may appear wilted or droopy. If your hydrangea is overwatered, its leaves may turn yellow or brown, and the plant may appear wilted or limp.

Q: Can wilt hydrangeas recover?

Ans: Of course, You can fix your wilted hydrangea by following a few simple processes.  It is possible to rejuvenate the plant by watering it regularly, protecting it from excess sun, and resisting insect attacks.

Q: Do hydrangeas need full sun?

Ans: No. Hydrangea prefers partial shade. Only the morning sun is helpful for hydrangea. Rest of the time it must be protected with shade cloth.  The afternoon sun is very harmful to hydrangea.

Q: What is the best fertilizer for hydrangeas?

Ans: Hydrangeas do not require much additional fertilizer for normal growth.  But you can use organic slow-release fertilizer (5-10-10) during the growing season. But the most effective is to use compost.

Final Words

Wilting of hydrangea plants is not a serious problem, but in severe cases, plants can die.  So you should be extremely careful with any common symptoms. Fixing a wilted hydrangea plant is not a difficult task.  

You can easily fix your tree by regular watering, protecting the plant from insects, providing shade from excess sun, and not applying too much fertilizer. 

f none of these solutions seem to be helping, it may be best to consult a local gardening expert or horticulturist for further assistance.

Happy Gardening and Keep Smiling

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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