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Is my hydrangea sunburned? How to recognize burnt leaves and flowers and save the plant

Most species of hydrangea can not cope with the sun. If they are in the wrong location, the likelihood of sunburn in midsummer or late summer is high. How can you tell if your hydrangea has sunburned, and what should you do to save the plant?

Hydrangeas are among the most beautiful plants in the garden and their magnificent flowers deserve a central place in the garden. However, if it is a place that gets too much sun, then the plant can burn.

Here’s how to recognize sunburn in hydrangeas.

Hydrangea gets sunburn what to do save plant

When plants get sunburn, one of the things that suffer is the leaves. The strong sunlight deprives them of moisture, causing them to turn brown and gradually dry up. This can equally cause entire shoots to dry out and the plant to die after some time. Therefore, if the hydrangea is burned, you should act as soon as possible.

How to distinguish sunburn from pests, fungi or lack of water?

How to tell if the hydrangea is burned or affected by pests or a disease? The brown leaves can also be a result of improper watering. To make sure it is indeed sunburn, you should be able to rule out all other possible causes of brown and drying leaves. Check your plants regularly to detect any problems with the plant early on.

The easiest way to find out if your hydrangea is actually burned is to observe the plant at midday. Is the hydrangea being irradiated by the blazing midday sun? If so, you can almost certainly talk about sunburn.

Can the hydrangea flowers also get sunburn?

Sunburn can be noticed in hydrangeas on both the leaves and the flowers. The main reason for brown flowers is hot midday and afternoon sun. When farm hydrangeas like Endless Summer are planted in full sun, their flowers and leaves can turn brown, especially on hot days in July and August and during a heat wave.

Hydrangea flowers turn brown because of sunburn

What to do to save burned hydrangeas?

If your hydrangea has gotten sunburned, it may not be too late to save the plant. Here are some steps to take.

Move the plant

The best way would be to relocate the plant. While this works well for hydrangeas in pots and brings quick improvement, it can’t always be implemented for bedding plants. Older shrubs, in particular, do not tolerate transplanting well. If it is a young plant, then you can transplant it , for example, to a bed that faces west or east and is shaded from midday.

Provide shade

You can not or do not want to move your hydrangea to another place? Then you can protect the plant from sunburn by providing shade. As a quick solution, a parasol, awning or some sort of privacy screen works quite well, though you can think about planting tall plants or trees nearby for the long haul.

Avoid watering mistakes

When hydrangea leaves are wet, they can be quickly burned by the sun’s rays. To avoid the burning glass effect, be careful not to wet the leaves when watering. In this way you can also prevent fungal infections . Always water your hydrangeas in the morning or evening, and definitely not at noon when the sun is strongest.

How to protect hydrangeas from the sun

What to do with the burnt leaves?

If hydrangea leaves have turned brown because of sunburn, you can either cut them off or leave them that way. Unfortunately, the burnt leaves cannot regenerate, but if you act in time, you can save the plant so that it will produce healthy leaves and beautiful flowers again the following year at the latest.

Hydrangea leaves turn brown cause what to do


Cut off burnt hydrangea leaves or not?

Both the leaves and the flowers that have sunburn can be cut back. To do this, cut off the shoot below the next pair of leaves. However, no harm comes from the burned leaves, so they may remain on the bush. If they are not dried out, they continue to provide the plant with energy and are therefore useful. If you want to remove burnt leaves for visual reasons, be sure to cut off only a small number.

Which hydrangeas can tolerate a lot of sun?

Panicles Hydrangea can tolerate full sun

Although most hydrangeas prefer shady and semi-shady locations, there are also species for which full sun is not a problem. Sunburn is not a problem with lushly blooming ball hydrangeas such as Annabelle , fancy panicle hydrangeas, and special oakleaf hydrangeas, as long as the plants are watered abundantly and the soil does not dry out.

Can hydrangea recover after sunburn?

Hydrangea burned what helps measures tips


After a good watering, your hydrangeas will likely re-sprout, although severely damaged plants may take until next summer to regain their former glory. Avoid pruning, as the resulting lush new growth is susceptible to further damage from late summer heat waves.