Limelight Hydrangea dying

Asked July 9, 2020, 4:21 PM EDT

I have a 6 year old Limelight Hydrangea that has some yellow leaves but half of the plant has died. The dead side of the plant had leaves but they all wilted and fell off. The other side is still green, but I am afraid the whole plant is dying. It is in a flower bed with 2 other Limelights which are OK so far and 3 Annabelle hydrangeas that are putting out blooms. Could this be a watering issue? Why would half of the plant die back?

Larimer County Colorado

3 Responses

Hello,

About watering...are they being watered? How much? How often? Is the soil moist below the shrubs? Are they mulched with wood mulch? What exposure are they in? Hydrangeas a tough plant to grow in Colorado.

Photos would help, along with some other background information. Thanks!

Hi, The hydrangea is on drip watering that runs daily. The other 5 hydrangeas are doing great so I didn't think it was the amount of water. Yesterday, I had someone check the lines and found the plant had two drip lines, but it looked like the one on the side that had died out might have been pinched by the roots....is that a thing?? He re-positioned the drip line. The plants are surrounded by rock, not mulch. They are on the northwest side of the house and get some afternoon shade and some direct sun. There are random yellow leaves on the main part of the bush and some flower buds forming. Is it possible for half of a plant to die back if half the root ball is not getting sufficient water? I am hoping the change in the drip line will address the issue and that it isn't something like a borer.

Hello,

While it's possible that roots can pinch off irrigation lines, I would be surprised this happened with hydrangea, but it's possible. It sounds like fixing the irrigation will be a good thing. I'll be interested in knowing if the plant improves.

Yes, insufficient water can affect just part of the plant. Plants and their roots are complex and it could be directly related to the lack of irrigation.

Also remember that rock can be very hot and it may reflect heat onto the plant/leaves. So water in rock mulch will be even more important. Irrigating daily may be too much, depending on how much you're applying. It might be better to group a couple days together and apply a longer period of irrigation? But that's up to you. Keep me posted!