Is this normal for a hydrangea?
I bought three hydrangea plants (Bella Anna) last year. They were without fresh leaves, and the flowers were completely brown. I planted them in the fall and they now seem to be growing in a healthy manner, and are still quite small (one foot to about two feet). They are beginning to show evidence of flowering, but I am wondering if the flowers are normal. They are in a summer home location and have not been receiving much water (except rain, which has been sparse) up until June 16th (last week). All plants face south, but are shaded, and receive morning and afternoon sun; two about four to five hours a day, one about three hours a day. I am not sure of the soil type. They are now watered everyday. I am sending a photo of the bloom. Thanks for your help.
Ulster County New York
We think it's possible that the buds got a late frost which has caused the browning. You'll have to wait and see whether it is able to bloom in a traditional way.
The leaves look a bit off color. You might give it a dose of fertilizer, and cut down on the watering some. A mulch layer of 1 to 3 inches would lessen it's competition from surrounding plants and help keep it moist. Don't let the mulch lay against the trunk though.