Hydrangea loses leaves / discards flowers - you can do that

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Hydrangeas are the flower-rich focal points in many gardens. The flowers shine in many shades - from white to soft pink and intense pink to blue - and thus attract many eyes. They also bring colorful variety in the garden or on the balcony. Hydrangeas discard leaves and flowers, but they quickly offer a sad sight. With the right countermeasures, however, the underlying causes can usually be remedied quite easily.


Hydrangeas have very high demands on the substrate. It must be loose and fibrous, but it can also store water well and not condense or wet it. For this, the plants need an acidic pH of 4 to 5.5 - depending on the flower color.
Therefore, when the hydrangea sheds leaves and flowers, a problem with the substrate should be considered first. It is advisable:
  • to test the pH
  • to check the condition
  • if necessary, carry out a change of earth
Especially with the bucket culture a regular repot is urgently needed. For more than two years, the hydrangeas should not be in the same soil.
Tip: Anyone who is uncertain about the choice of substrate or the mixture can fall back on special soil for hydrangeas and azaleas from specialist retailers. This meets all the requirements of the plants.


Hydrangeas have a big water requirement. The regular watering is especially important in the growth phase and especially during the flowering period. If the leaves are hanging, they appear slack and withered, the substrate should be checked. Dried and crumbly may be at most the top layer.
Thereafter, the earth should be damp. This cause of the loss of leaves and flowers is very easy to fix, because it simply has to be poured more. If it comes again and again to dryness, some simple tips can prove themselves:
  • Change to substrate, which stores the moisture better
  • Apply bark mulch to the ground
  • Cover substrate with stones or garden foil
These measures reduce evaporation and keep the soil moist for longer. If it is then poured in each case by flooding, so that the substrate can properly soak properly, the drying out and thus the loss of leaves and flowers can be prevented.


Hydrangeas like a slightly acidic substrate and should therefore be poured only with soft - so lime-poor - water. Ideal are rainwater and stale tap water. If this has not previously been considered, the plant can also throw off leaves and flowers.
The appropriate countermeasures consist of a change of the substrate and the future use of rainwater. If it is difficult to change the substrate, acidifying fertilizers can also be used. For heavy, compacted soils sulfur and ferric sulphate can be used. Also coffee grounds is suitable to acidify the substrate easily.

Hydrangea - Hydrangea

In loose soils organic resources can increasingly be used. Particularly suitable are compost and rotten oak leaves. During these measures, the pH of the soil should be repeatedly measured to check for success and avoid acidity. It is also important to work the selected agent evenly and thoroughly on the surface of the substrate and then to pour well.


Hydrangeas need a lot of water, but the plants do not tolerate waterlogging. The bucket should therefore be very carefully taken to ensure that the plant is not in the water. Being freely planted in the garden makes the control a little more difficult. However, a small excavation can provide information.
In the case of soil and substrate constituents that tend to compact, which can store a great deal of liquid, not only casting should be suspended. Here additional loosening material should be introduced. Recommended are:
  • Quartz sand, this improves the water outlet
  • coco soil
  • perlite
  • sand
How much of this has to be added depends on the initial state of the substrate. In the bucket, it may also be useful to introduce a drainage layer of potsherds.

nutrient deficiency

If a lack of nutrients is responsible for the shedding of leaves and flowers, it is usually a deficiency of iron or nitrogen. Both are relatively easy to detect and correct.

nitrogen deficiency

If there is a lack of nitrogen, the older leaves first turn yellow. This means that the plant turns yellow from the bottom to the top and from the inside to the outside. A nitrogenous fertilizer can help. If it is given over the substrate, the compensation can take several weeks. It is therefore especially suitable when yellowing and leaf shedding have not yet progressed too far.
If, on the other hand, it has to be quick, because the plant already has considerable losses, a foliar fertilizer should be used. The nutrients are absorbed in this form in a much shorter time because they do not have to take the "detour" over the roots.

iron deficiency

Typical of the iron deficiency is also a yellowing of the leaves. However, the leaf veins are still green. This condition is called chlorosis. Following the discoloration, the hydrangea discards leaves and flowers. Here, too, should be acted quickly.
Suitable antidotes are:
  • iron chelate
  • iron fertilizer
  • blood meal

Hydrangea - Endless Summer

In addition, if signs of iron deficiency occur, care should be taken that the pH of the substrate is in the acidic range. Otherwise, the intake of nutrients and minerals may be difficult.


Apart from the deficiencies mentioned, the hydrangea can also be generally underserved. Proper fertilization can help here. It is particularly easy to use special hydrangea fertilizer. In this case, the manufacturer's instructions should be followed. In the tub culture, a part of the nutrient supply can also be ensured by regular substrate changes. Optimal is the replacement of every one to two years. If the soil is of inferior quality, it should be changed every year.

Pests and diseases

In the case of hydrangea, spider mites and the leaf-spike fungus primarily cause the discarding of flowers and leaves. In both infestations, the leaves become spotty and eventually brown before they fall off. In addition, the plant is generally weakened, so the loss of flower is foreseeable. Here, too, it makes sense to act quickly against the infestation to limit the damage to the hydrangea and also to prevent the spread of fungi and pests on other plants.

spider mites

The leaves turn brown and often curl up. Greasy stripes and woven webs are visible. An attack with spider mites is therefore relatively easy to recognize when looking closely. The fight is not quite so simple, but requires a little more effort. The affected leaves should be cut off or collected and destroyed or disposed of with household waste. In order to prevent further damage, appropriate means should be used immediately.
Spider mites are one of the most difficult parasites to fight - so it must be thorough and thorough when destroying the leaves and using the chosen means. It also helps to check the culture conditions. The spider mites like it dry and warm. In very dry locations, occasional spraying is preventative.

Leaf spot fungus

The leaf fungus should be treated in the same way as the spider mites. Afflicted leaves are to be destroyed, so that no further spread can take place. Even fallen leaves should be collected and disposed of accordingly.
In addition, a fungicide must be used. It also helps to check the location for its suitability. The hydrangea is in a very humid environment and very windless, the mushrooms have easy game.


Frostbite is not uncommon with hydrangeas. If shoots have been exposed to freezing temperatures, they will not only drop leaves, but will completely die off. Exceptions here are particularly hardy varieties, such as single panicle hydrangea - this can stand up to -30° C without problems.
For all other frost protection from brushwood, straw and garden fleece or the homecoming is mandatory.


When deciduous hydrangeas shed leaves and flowers outside of the fall, this is always an indication that the care is not optimal. It makes sense, therefore, in any case, to control all influences and adjust if necessary. The following points can help:
  • Check site for suitability, neither too dry nor too humid
  • Examine substrate and test pH
  • Check the humidity of the substrate
  • regular visual inspections of the plants
  • Use low-lime water
  • fertilize regularly
  • in the case of tub culture, at least every two years, carry out a substrate change
When hydrangeas shed leaves and flowers, quick action is required. The causes are usually relatively harmless, but still require appropriate countermeasures. The best prevention is the strengthening of the plants through optimal culture conditions.

Video Board: Bromeliad Flowers Turning Brown & How To Prune Them / Joy Us Garden.

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