Skip to Content

How Does an Overwatered Hydrangea Look Like? ― The Answer

How Does an Overwatered Hydrangea Look Like? ― The Answer

The pretty globe-like flowers of the Hydrangea are a symbol of the summertime. And their delicate flowers appear pink or blue depending on the pH of their soil.

Hydrangeas need lots of water to produce these stunning blooms. But if you give your Hydrangea too much water, this can be bad for its health.

That said, how much water does a Hydrangea really need and how much water is too much?

Well, let’s find out. 


What does an overwatered Hydrangea look like?

An overwatered Hydrangea will have yellowing leaves that may fall off prematurely. It will also produce fewer buds and its blooms will be misshapen. And in severe cases of overwatering a Hydrangea will have brown, wilted leaves.

Overwatering can spell disaster for a Hydrangea and you must address these symptoms quickly. But don’t worry, if you think you have an overwatered Hydrangea on your hands, in this guide, we’ll tell you exactly how to treat it.


Symptoms of an Overwatered Hydrangea

The symptoms of an overwatered Hydrangea can range from mild to severe. And the tricky thing is that the symptoms of over and underwatering are pretty similar.

In both cases, plants won’t be able to absorb nutrients from the soil. And this will stunt their growth and make them look generally unhealthy.

One of the first signs that you might be overwatering your Hydrangea is if the leaves start to turn yellow. Eventually, these leaves will begin to drop off. 

An overwatered Hydrangea will also have fewer buds. In some cases, these won’t bloom. And if they do bloom, the globe shape of the flowers will look irregular. 

Long-term overwatering will inevitably lead to root rot. This is a fungal infection that thrives in damp conditions and will destroy your plant’s root system.

If your Hydrangea has root rot then it will have brown wilted leaves that feel soft to the touch. Wilting Hydrangeas are also a sign of underwatering but the wilted leaves on an underwatered Hydrangea will be dry and crispy.

To find out if your plant is wilting because of overwatering or underwatering then feel its earth. You can do this by sticking your finger into the pot, or digging into the ground around outdoor Hydrangeas.

If the earth is dry then your plant is dehydrated and you need to give it a drink. However, if the earth is wet then it’s overwatering that’s causing the problem.


How to Save an Overwatered Hydrangea

Saving a potted Hydrangea from overwatering is much simpler than saving one in the ground. But in either case, the first step is to stop watering your plant immediately. 

If you have a potted hydrangea then move it to a warm place out of direct sunlight. A north or east-facing window or spot in the garden is ideal.


Let your Hydrangea dry out up to 75 percent before you water it again. And for Hydrangeas in the ground, you can aerate the soil to help them dry out.

If your plant only has mild symptoms of overwatering then this might be enough to rectify the problem. However, if you suspect that your Hydrangea has root rot then you need to take further action, quickly.

If you have a potted Hydrangea then you need to take it out of the pot and have a look at its roots. If the roots are discolored and slimy then this is a sure sign of root rot.

You must remove your plant from the soil and remove the affected roots with clippers. Make sure that you sterilize its pot before planting it again otherwise it might get reinfected.

For outdoor Hydrangeas in the ground, if you suspect root rot then you need to dig into the earth with a fork to get a look at its roots. 

If you discover brown, rotted roots then you need to dig your Hydrangea up with the rootball and transplant it into a container or another part of your garden. And you must remove all of the affected roots first.

The good news is that Hydrangeas are fairly shallow rooted and they’re easily transplanted. 


Hydrangea Watering Tips

When it comes to watering your Hydrangea then there are a few tips you can follow to avoid overwatering.

And one of the first things you need to look at is your Hydrangeas environment.

Hydrangeas enjoy the sun, however, it’s better if they get their sun in the morning. They like partial shade and shouldn’t be exposed to the midday glare. This is because they dry out too quickly.

As well as this they like rich, moisture-retaining yet well-draining soil. So you should avoid growing them in slow draining, clay-like soils.

Heavy clay soils will cause too much moisture retention. So if you don’t have the right soil in your garden consider planting Hydrangeas in pots or containers.

Make sure that the pots or containers have lots of drainage holes. And to prevent an overwatering problem in the future, you might want to consider growing Hydrangeas in terracotta pots.

Terracotta pots are much more breathable than ceramic or plastic ones. And this helps a lot with drainage and evaporation.

Hydrangeas like water but they don’t like being overwatered. And they prefer a good deep watering once or twice a week rather than several light sprinklings.

And you should never water your Hydrangea while its earth is still wet. Instead, wait until the top inch or two has dried out first.

Young, freshly planted Hydrangeas need lots of water to help their roots become established. 

But you should water mature plants less. And reduce the amount of water you give to your Hydrangeas after blooming and during the winter months.


Frequently Asked Questions About Overwatered Hydrangeas


Do Hydrangeas like lots of water?

Hydrangeas like lots of water but they don’t like to be overwatered. This means that they do well in moisture-retaining yet well-draining soils.


Is it easy to save an overwatered Hydrangea?

If the symptoms are mild, then it’s pretty easy to save an overwatered Hydrangea. But if the overwatering has lead to root rot then it can be a bit more difficult to save your plant.