Oak Leaf Hydrangea Flowers Have Dried Up And Leaves Have Wilted

Question From: L. Trandel - Evanston, Illinois, United States
Q: My oak leaf hydrangia was doing beautifully with flowers. I had to prune back a tree that shielded it from the hotter sun and in 3 weeks flowers have all dried up and leaves all wilted. There had been plenty of rain and soil has not dried out. Will it come back next year or is a hopeless cause ?

A: You can grow oak leaf hydrangeas in full sun, however it's key to keep the soil moist. A layer of 3 to 4 inches of organic soil will help keep their feet moist and cool. The leaves will wilt on a hot day even if the soil is moist, but should pick up after the sun goes down. The flowers will not last as long in the sun. In late fall fertilize the shrub with Espoma Holly Tone at the label rate. Do not let the plant dry out. It would have been better to expose this shrub into full sun in later winter or early spring so the leaves could harden off. Will it make it through the winter, you will have to wait and see? Best Nancy