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Can I keep my hydrangea from turning brown?

(Photo: Flickr/Heather Coleman)

Can I keep my hydrangea from turning brown?

July 12, 2012

Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided from a Expert on JustAnswer:

Q: My climbing hydrangea, I believe, is turning brown, and I am guessing it has not had enough water due to the drought here in Illinois. Is there some type of tonic I can add to my now late watering to boost its recovery?

A: I have to tell you that I have so many hydrangeas that bloom and bloom. I have just a few tricks. First, you need to water, water, water. I would take your hose and make sure you water your plant below the leaves on the ground and give it a good soak. You should do this at least twice daily.

Also, cut back the hydrangea. I am not sure how big it is, but since it's been dehydrated, cut it back. Not totally back, but cut off anything dead. Cut down any branches that have nothing on it and then once you have done a good job with that, make sure you get all the leaves off the ground and mulch. Sometimes if I have rusty nails I put them in the soil because that will bring out the deep blue color that I sometimes look for.

-- Answer from Carol Marzano, garden specialist on JustAnswer.