Why Is My Hydrangea Drooping?

The reason why your hydrangea is falling down is due to the soil is dry or the hydrangea is exposed to too much sunlight or due to excessive nitrogen fertilizer. Hydrangeas like dappled light with a consistently moist soil, and fertilizers that release slowly to prevent drooping and remain healthy.

Read on to find out the reason your hydrangea is dying and how you can apply the corrective measures to aid in its recovery…

Most Common Reasons for Hydrangea Drooping

The most common reason for drooping is because of dry soil since they require soil to remain damp (but not completely saturated) However, the absence of soil moisture could be caused by a variety of causes:

  • A lot of sun or hot temperatures may cause increased transpiration from the large leaves of hydrangeas that causes the plant to die.
  • The soil is dry due to sandy soil that drains too fast or due to direct sunlight that is drying the soil.
  • The root systems of large trees compete with hydrangeas for water and drying out the soil , which can causes the hydrangea’s leaves and flowers to drop.

In cooler, more Northern regions (such such as Washington, Oregon or the UK and so on.) Hydrangeas can withstand full sun because of the frequent cloudy days, with less intense sun, and cooler temperatures.

In hot climates, the hydrangeas require shade, especially from the extreme midday sun or else they will wilt.

Save a Drooping Hydrangea

A well-prepared soil prior to planting is essential to provide the ideal conditions to keep hydrangeas well-hydrated. This is achieved by a large amount of mulch, leaves mould, or manure that is well-rotted to increase the soil’s capacity to retain moisture prior to planting.

If your hydrangea is established but is wilting, the best option is to soak up the soil around it by a hose for minimum 10 minutes. Then apply a 1-inch layer of mulch on the soil around the flowering hydrangea.

Materials for mulching such as leaf mould, compost or well-rotted manure have the capacity to hold water. They also help in conserving soils’ moisture while retaining the soil’s porous friable structure each of which is ideal for the cultivation of hydrangeas.

After a thorough soak and an extensive application of mulch around the hydrangea, the plant will begin to bloom in the next day or two.

Hydrangeas thrive in the shade of trees, and so enjoy the shade of a little sunlight throughout the day.

If your hydrangeas are placed under trees with shallow roots (such like pine tree) the roots of your hydrangea will likely be competing for water.

The solution can be to transplant your hydrangea, or apply mulch to the plant every two years (once in the spring and again in the fall) and then water the plant with a good bath every week to keep it from dying.

(Read the article below to find out how to successfully cultivate the hydrangeas in the pine tree).

Hydrangea can die if placed in full sunshine, therefore it is essential to plant your hydrangea in shade, or provide it with shade following the planting.

Find your hydrangea in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade under a tree to enjoy diffused light throughout the day to ensure that there is enough sunlight to encourage flowers but not so excessive sun so that can cause the flower could wilt..

(There are several reasons why hydrangeas aren’t showing flowers that can be addressed by reading my post on why my hydrangeasn’t blooming?)

You might want to plant some tall trees or plants around the hydrangeas to protect it from frost, wind and intense sunlight to stop the hydrangea from falling and to improve the conditions for blooming.

white hydrangeas as hedge along path

Newly Planted Hydrangea Wilting

The hydrangeas are often in decline after the planting because of transplant shock, which can be because of a difference in the growing conditions in the nursery or garden centre in which it was first planted and the specifics of your garden.

Your hydrangeas’ roots may require a while to grow into the soil, and during this time , the hydrangea’s roots are susceptible to shrinking due to losing more water via transpiration of the leaves than the roots are able to draw the soil that is newly created.

Too Much Fertilizer (Leaves and Flowers Drooping)

Another problem that is common in the drooping of hydrangea leaves and flowers is due to excessive nitrogen fertilizer.

There are some distinctions between hydrangeas that are dying because of a the absence of water, and a one that is shrinking because of nitrogen:

  • If there is a lot of foliage growth , with lush green leaves, the plant appears healthy, but there is an appearance of drooping (rather than a shrivelled appearance) of stems, leaves and flowers.
  • The big flowers are falling due to their own weight, or the hydrangea has less flowers than normal.

Hydrangeas aren’t necessarily heavy feeders, so fertilizing often or in a large quantities could cause the hydrangeas to shrink due to excessive nitrogen.

Nitrogen stimulates the lush, and lush leaf growth and results in the stems of the hydrangeas that support the huge flower as well as the leaves to become weak and sappy, causing it to drop.

Established hydrangeas in well-prepared soil that is rich in nutrients (such like loam) typically don’t require extra fertilizer to develop and bloom and any additional fertilizer could cause harm to the plant.

Certain fertilizer applications may enhance the appearance of your hydrangea, for instance if it is in a pot, and consequently is less able to absorb nutrients, or perhaps the soil is deficient in nutrients. In this case, a balanced, gradual release fertilizer would be suitable.

After fertilizer is applied and the hydrangea produced a lot of foliage that’s looking droopy The only way to fix this is to reduce the fertilizer application and the plant will show signs of recovery over the course of a few weeks.

(If your hydrangeas aren’t blooming, check out my article on what is the reason my hydrangea’s not blooming for possible solutions that actually are effective).

Potted Hydrangea Wilting

The main reason for the hydrangeas in pots that wilt is that the hydrangea was placed in a small planter or pot.

The smaller the container or pot, the smaller the soil capacity and less moisture available that the roots of the hydrangeas can draw from, which can lead to falling leaves and the appearance of a dying the hydrangea.

If the hydrangea is situated in full sunshine, a smaller pot will heat up quickly, and thus require frequent watering during the summer months.

The best solution is to relocate the pot into an area with partial shade. The morning sun, and afternoon shade are generally the ideal balance to encourage flowers.

The ideal hydrangea is placed in a pot that is at least 12-16 inches in size in order to ensure the soil is rich and has nutrients.

The most favorable time of year to repot hydrangeas is during the fall or spring because the hydrangea doesn’t need to deal with the scorching summer heat while its roots are growing.

The potted hydrangea should be soaked regularly with enough water that it drips out from the base. The plant will be able to recover from the wilted look.

If your hydrangea is in a state of decline, you should increase your watering (as as often as every three days) during summer. prefer a shaded spot in the sun.

How to Help Save Newly planted Hydrangea from wilting

  • Keep new hydrangeas safe from the sunlight.
  • Drink water every three days.
  • Utilize a leaf mould, compost or manure mulch that is well rotted on the plants to preserve the moisture.

To allow newly planted hydrangeas to recuperate, it is essential to protect your plants from the intense sun.

While some sunshine is good to encourage flowers at this point in the planting process, it can also contribute to the drying of the soil and leaves out and falling.

Shade the newly planted hydrangeas while they establish for about three weeks.

The hydrangea could be grown in a climate-controlled green house that has a particular set of conditions, therefore it may take a while for the hydrangea to adapt to the soil of the garden before the leaves begin to recover from their drooping.

Give the soil thorough soak, and then apply mulch on the surface around the hydrangea plant to preserve moisture and protect your soil from sun’s direct rays.

It is important to water as often as needed in order to ensure that the soil remains moist , which typically is around three times per week. However, make sure that the soil is not too wet as this can cause additional problems, such as root decay.

Depending on the degree of dehydration your hydrangea has, the leaves could be able to recover in cooler evenings or require a couple of days as long as the soil remains damp and you have shielded your plant from sun.

Key Takeaways

  • The reason hydrangeas are wilting is due to a deficiency of moisture within the soil. They require moist soil and some shade in order to stay healthy and stop the flowers and leaves from wilting.
  • The use of fertilizers with high nitrogen levels can cause the flower head and leaves to drop. Reduce the amount of fertilizer in order to let the hydrangeas recover.
  • The hydrangeas that have just been planted are drooping as an indication of stress caused by transplant shock. Shade is essential to newly-planted hydrangeas. regularly water them and apply mulch to aid in recovering from a faded appearance.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)