Why is My Hydrangea Wilting? [This Is How You Fix It!]

why is my hydrangea wilting

What is more lovely on a hot summer’s day than to look out on your garden and see the bobbing blooms of a beautiful hydrangea decorating your garden? Nothing!

However, on these warmer days, you may occasionally notice that your hydrangeas look a little limp and sad. So, why is your hydrangea wilting?

So, why is my hydrangea wilting? I hear your cry! There are four main reasons that your hydrangeas might be wilting: too much sun, not enough water, overfertilization, and their blooms getting too heavy.

Wilting can be alarming, but it does not spell death for your well-loved hydrangeas; there are a few things that you can do to make sure this never happens again.

This article is going to get to the bottom of why your hydrangea might be wilting and what you can do to stop this from happening.

Grow Your Yard Tip
Do you think your hydrangea might be too far gone? Don’t pull it out just yet! Even at their driest, hydrangeas can usually be revived with a bit of extra know-how.

What Conditions Do Hydrangeas Enjoy?

To understand why your hydrangea looks unhappy, we need to investigate what conditions hydrangeas prefer to live in.

Hydrangeas are very hardy plants, and one of the reasons for this is their soil tolerance. As long as the soil is well-draining, hydrangeas will handle any pH level in their soil.

They should be watered three times a week at the base, but this may need to increase in the hotter months. Hydrangeas hate sitting in wet soil, so be careful not to overwater.

In regards to light, hydrangeas prefer to be in dappled sun or semi shade. It is particularly important that they are in the shade around midday when the sun is at its hottest.

We recommend checking out our full growing guide for a full step-by-step of how to take care of hydrangeas.

Grow Your Yard Tip
Along with your wilting problem, you may notice that the leaves of your hydrangeas are turning brown. This will happen when your plant wilts too frequently.

Why is My Hydrangea Wilting?

First off, what does a wilting hydrangea look like?

A wilting hydrangea will become soft and floppy, with the leaves and the flowers drooping significantly.

There are several reasons why your hydrangea might be wilting, but luckily diseases are rarely one of them.

Wilting is a hydrangea’s way of telling you that they are not happy with the environment they are living in. This can be due to four main factors:

1.   Too Much Sun

During the hot summer months, you may notice your hydrangeas wilting and looking rather sad. This is known as flagging.

This may be alarming, but this doesn’t mean that you need to do anything to intervene. If you notice this happening, we suggest waiting until later in the day when the temperature is cooler and checking in on your hydrangeas again.

If they have puffed back up, this is a clear sign that they were flagging. If they remain wilted, it could be from one of the other issues below.

2.   Not Enough Water

Now it is very easy to get these first two confused, so it is critical that you diagnose your hydrangea correctly.

If you have increased your watering sufficiently to compensate for hot weather or recent rain, and your hydrangeas are still drooping, it may simply be the above issue. It is essential that you don’t overwater your hydrangeas, as this can lead to root rot, stunted growth, and drooping blooms. To know for sure you will need to test the soil.

Luckily, there is a very easy test to tell whether your hydrangeas need watering. It is called the knuckle test, which simply involves inserting your finger into the soil to the second knuckle to feel the soil’s moisture. If it feels dry, then you know its time to water well at the base.

3.   Heavy Blooms

This is a weird problem to have, but your hydrangea may appear to wilt because the blooms are just too bountiful and heavy.

If they are planted in ideal situations and well pruned you may be rewarded with plentiful blooms that are sometimes too much for the stems to handle.

4.   Over Fertilization

Hydrangeas are not very hungry plants, so they don’t require regular fertilizing.

In fact, overfertilizing can burn the root system and cause the plant to wilt and possibly die.

To avoid this, we suggest fertilizing once in the spring or early summer during the blooming season. Be careful not to spill any fertilizer on the leaves as this will cause them to brown.

Grow Your Yard Fact
In South Africa, hydrangeas are nicknamed Christmas flowers because they bloom over the December period in the southern hemisphere.

How to Stop Your From Hydrangeas Wilting?

So now that you know what is causing the wilting, what can you do to fix it?

1. Keep Up a Consistent Watering Schedule

To avoid underwatering, we suggest watering your hydrangea three times a week. However, it is essential that you adjust this to compensate for rainfall to prevent overwatering.

If you keep up a regular routine and don’t neglect your hydrangeas, this should stop them from wilting.

2. Plant in the Semi Shade

If your hydrangeas are flagging very frequently during the hot months, they may be planted in the wrong spot.

Hydrangeas prefer partial sun, which leaves them in the shade during the hottest time of the day. If they are getting too much sun, you may want to consider moving them.

3. Keep Up a Regular Pruning Schedule

Pruning regularly will ensure that your plant is getting good air circulation as well as getting rid of any blooms that are too heavy.

The bonus of pruning is that you can use the trimmed blooms to decorate your home, where they last for a relatively long time in water.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if my hydrangea is dying?

As we have shown here, signs that your hydrangea is dying do not spell death for your plant. Hydrangeas are very hardy plants that can bounce back from the brink with a bit of love and care.

If your hydrangea is dying, you need to look out for the leaves and flowers drooping even in cooler temperatures and with sufficient water. It may also start drying out and showing signs of root rot.

An easy test is to scratch back the top layer of one of the stems. If it is green underneath, then the plant is alive but lying dormant.

How do I know if my hydrangea has root rot?

We have spoken a little about root rot here, but what are the actual symptoms?

The leaves of the plant will yellow and droop, while the roots will look dark and have a soft texture. As long as you follow your regular watering schedule and adjust it for rain, you should be able to avoid this.


Wilting hydrangeas are a sad sight, but, as you can see from this article, it’s nothing to panic about.

This is just a warning sign from your plant that something is wrong in its environment. Sometimes you may need to intervene to give it a little helping hand, while other times, you just need to let nature do its thing.

We hope that, after reading this, you feel equipped to diagnose your hydrangeas and stop any wilting from happening again.

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