Planting & Landscaping

8 Reasons Why Hydrangeas Droop

Hydrangeas are beautiful perennial plants, and growing hydrangeas is easy. They come in a wide range of colors. They are also becoming fashionable again as their popularity declined over the last few decades due to changing trends and lifestyles.

Grown in ideal conditions, hydrangeas will thrive without too much maintenance. Plant hydrangea in the morning sun, afternoon shade position or dappled sun under trees, or on a shady north-facing balcony. Protected from harsh winds, and they should thrive. 

Hydrangeas need a balance of organic-rich, moist soil and moderate sunlight in an environment that's well-drained.

People often ask us, "why are my hydrangeas wilting or drooping?" The answer is that there can be many reasons, but we will discuss a few of the most common causes

Too Much Light and Sun

Too much sun exposure will stress your hydrangea plant and dry out the soil very quickly. Full sun and dry are two things they do not like.

Too much sun will also prevent the plant from flowering.

Depending on where you live will determine how many hours of sun your hydrangea shrub can handle.

In Northern states, the plant will most probably be happy with 5 or even 6 hours of sun in the morning. Going further south, USDA zone 8 or 9, a maximum of 2 to 3 hours sun a day would be adequate.

However, too much sun will burn the hydrangea leaves and blooms.

Too Hot For Hydrangeas

Sometimes even if the soil is moist and the weather is very hot, hydrangeas will droop due to being stressed by the heat.

Mulching around the plant can keep the soil cooler in very hot weather. Place a layer of mulch of at least 3 - 4 in (7.5 - 10cm) around the plant base to reduce the heat stress.

Make sure to keep the mulch away from the hydrangea stem to avoid mold and mildew.

Hydrangeas that have adequate water will recover when the temperature cools at night.

Not Enough Water

hydrangea drooping too dry

If your hydrangea is drooping due to being too dry, don't water it in the heat of the day. Rather wait until late afternoon or early morning.

If watering by hand, water at the bottom of the plant and not on the leaves. Watering at the soil level will help to eliminate mold and other diseases from growing on the leaves.

If it rains and the leaves get wet, that's fine but try to keep the leaves dry when hand watering.

Put your soaker hose on low pressure and leave it on the soil to soak the plant thoroughly.

Too Much Water

Even though hydrangeas are thirsty plants, you can still overwater them. Overwatered hydrangeas symptoms appear similar to underwatered ones.

The plant will start to wilting and droop from the lower leaves.

If you are watering your hydrangeas regularly, and they are still wilting or looking limp, the plant likely needs less moisture in its soil rather than more.

In this case, either reduce the frequency of watering or allow it to dry out completely first, then water well.

Transplant Shock

Water your plant immediately after transplanting it, and make sure to mulch well. Never transplant hydrangeas in the heat of the day or direct sun.

Early spring and in the early morning or evening would be a good time to transplant a hydrangea. Make sure the new planting hole has lots of organic matter added.

Hydrangea Drooping After Rain

If you have had a good rain shower and you find your hydrangea drooping, the good news is that it will recover as long as the soil is well-draining.

Gently shake some of the water off should help with the weight of the water.

Improper Pruning

pruning hydrangea

Hydrangeas that are cut back too hard pruned incorrectly, or have been in place for years, also tend to be stressed and droop because they need space and nutrients to flourish.

Improper pruning can cause poor growth, fewer flower buds and will droop more easily from their weak stems.

Incorrect Fertilizer

hydrangea leaves turning brown

A fertilizer too high in nitrogen or too much fertilizer may cause the hydrangea flower head and leaves to droop.

Always plant hydrangeas with lots of added compost and fertilize with organic acid-loving fertilizer that contains nutrients for healthy root and branch development.


Many different things can cause hydrangea droop, and in most cases, the plant will recover if watered correctly and given time to rest.

Keep your hydrangeas healthy with proper care; they'll soon reward you with their beautiful flowers!

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