Garden lovers who have included the magnificent and visually impressive ornamental shrub in their planting repertoire may sometimes be overprotective. It is known that the popular plant is water-loving and should not be neglected. But sometimes the hydrangea has received too much water and this can cause damage.

If the hydrangea gets too much water, it can suffer from root rot

hydrangeas too much water hydrangeas next to a garden lake with swans

Watering your hydrangea regularly is an important aspect of care. The shrub actually dislikes drought and dryness and thrives best with moderate and regular watering. Sufficient water allows the hydrangea to bloom more vigorously and makes it more robust against dangers such as fungal diseases and pests.

The ornamental shrub is water-loving

In summer, be sure to water the hydrangeas twice a week with 30 to 50 liters of water. In mild and rainy weather, it is enough to water the ornamental plant once a week. Mulching the garden hydrangea with a moisture-retaining substrate will keep it healthy and not suffer from under-watering.

In summer, the hydrangea needs 50 liters per watering

hydrangeas too much water in the garden

Tip: During a very hot and dry summer, you can add rhododendron fertilizer to the irrigation water and spray the foliage with water morning and evening for extra freshness.

Hydrangeas: the right watering in winter

Hydrangea watering continues until September, but after that it should be gradually stopped. The decisive factor for this is the occurrence of the first frost. Be sure to water the plant with lukewarm, lime-free water.

In September, slowly stop watering

When the hydrangeas go dormant, you will still need to water them occasionally to keep the roots moist. The frequency of about once a week is sufficient.

During the dormant stage, water once a month

How can waterlogging damage hydrangeas?

The main reason for water stress in hydrangeas is waterlogging in flower pots or in the soil at the site. Waterlogging can often form deep inside the bucket. This can affect the delicate roots and they can start to rot.

The main reason for water stress: Waterlogging in the potting soil

blue hydrangea with raindrops hydrangea with water

To save your overwatered hydrangea, you will need to repot the ornamental shrub and remove the wet soil. Typically, the rotted roots will appear mushy, dark, and smell bad. You should tick these off.

Tip: If potting soil has blocked the pot’s drainage holes, make them larger. You can put on clay granules or some other type of drainage layer.

The hydrangea is best repotted

hydrangea avoid waterlogging in the garden with the right watering

Tip: When caring for a garden hydrangea, avoid waterlogging by placing a drainage layer of coarse sand and gravel at the site.

Symptoms of overwatering hydrangeas

If the hydrangea has received too much water, the perennial will indicate this with the following symptoms:

  • brown edges on the leaves
  • yellowing leaves
  • leaf fall
  • edema
  • Mold or fungi on the ground or on the plant
  • Fungus gnats (which can indicate fungi in the soil)
  • weakened growth.

The more these symptoms appear, the more likely it is that the plant is suffering from root rot.

Saving hydrangea after overwatering

Step 1: Pause watering the hydrangea

The first step is to stop watering the hydrangeas. Let the soil dry out. A good way to check if watering is needed: Stick your finger two inches into the soil so you can see if the substrate is still wet. To prevent the hydrangea from getting too much water, wait a little longer before watering.

Save overwatered hydrangea

how often hydrangeas water beautiful pink and blue hydrangeas

Step 2: Prune the hydrangea and uproot the rotten parts

You have to cut off the damaged parts of the plant: This applies to the affected brown and blackish foliage and all wilted flowers.

Inspect the root system for rotten parts

hydrangea repot instructions with pictures

Transplanting hydrangea: step-by-step instructions

  • Stick a shovel straight into the soil around the plant without touching the hydrangea.
  • Loosen the soil vertically.
  • Carefully lift the hydrangea out of the ground and examine the roots.
  • Remove any brown, black, and mushy roots.
  • Discard the wet soil as it may already be infested with fungi and bacteria. These microorganisms are responsible for root rot.
  • Sterilize the soil or transplant the hydrangea completely.

The wet soil is most likely already infested with fungi and bacteria

To prevent the hydrangea from getting too much water in the future, keep repeating the proven trick with your index finger: Check at a depth of 5 cm below the soil surface whether the substrate is moist or dry.