Protect hydrangea during heatwave with this simple watering gardening technique

Alan Titchmarsh shows off his hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are prized among gardens due to their colourful blooms and being easy to take care of, but these flowers may be suffering at the moment due to the hot late summer weather. 

It may seem like an easy solution for gardeners to simply drench their hydrangeas in water, as they are more likely than other flowers to suffer from dehydration during a heatwave due to their large leaves. 

However, hydrangea can also be vulnerable to disease and rot if overwatered, as their large flowerheads can hold more moisture. 

Ivy Odom, a gardening expert from Southern Living, explained: “You’re probably watering your hydrangeas the wrong way. Don’t drench the flowers and leaves, do water the soil a few times a week to encourage root growth.” 

The best way to water hydrangea is below the leaves and flowers of the base of the plant, as it makes sure water goes directly into the roots and helps prevent disease. 

READ MORE: Hydrangeas will ‘grow stronger’ when planted with four ‘easy to maintain’ plants

Hydrangea should never be watered in the afternoon, as that is when the sun is at its highest and makes it more difficult for the hydrangea to absorb the water. 

The best time of day to water hydrangea is the early morning, as it gives the flowers more time to fully hydrate before the heat hits them. If hydrangea outer leaves appear crispy or browning, it is a sign the plant is not getting enough water.

However, if hydrangea are wilting, it is not necessarily a sign they are heat-stressed and may go back to normal once the temperature cools down. However, if hydrangea continues to droop in the colder weather, it is a sign they need to be watered more regularly. 

However, if your hydrangea is covered in yellow or brown spots on their leaves, it is a sign they have been overwatered and now have a fungus growing on them. 

If this happens, treating hydrangea is very simple and the funas is easy to get rid of.

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Steve Bender, another gardening expert from Southern Living, said: “If you’re hydrangea leaves are covered in spots, don’t freak out. It’s just a fungus.  It won’t kill them but it will make them look ugly.” 

In order to prevent spots on hydrangeas, always make sure you are not watering the hydrangea flowers or leaves, but rather watering directly into the soil. Steve said: “Splashing water spreads the fungus from leaf to leaf.”

To get rid of the spots, simply prune and pick off any unhealthy leaves and throw them away, and then treat the healthy leaves. Steve said: “Spray all healthy foilage with a fungicide, such as liquid copper fungicide, immunox or danconil and follow the label directions.”   

The final step to keep hydrangea healthy is to treat them with mulch, which is an organic material spread over the soil of a plant. Steve said; “Spread a layer of mulch underneath the hydrangea to smooth any disease spores that may be on the ground.”

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