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My new hydrangea flowers turn brown in early summer

Updated February 21, 2017

Hydrangeas do well in the moist conditions they find in the England, Wales and southern Scotland, with moderate winters and relatively sunny summers. These bushes can grow to 6 m (20 feet) in some cultivars, and they succeed best for gardeners who offer the right mix of conditions. Hydrangea blooming varies by cultivar, and always requires the right level of care.

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Hydrangeas grow in arborescens, macrophylla and panicle varieties, with the more common names of Mophead, Lacecap, Panicle and Peegee hydrangeas. Different hydrangea varieties have different growing patterns, including blooming time and duration, so it's a good idea for gardeners to know what kind of hydrangeas they have.

Growing season

Peegee hyrdangeas, or paniculatas, bloom from May to June. These plants may lose their blooms early for natural reasons. Panicle hydrangeas bloom later and should maintain blooms through summer, while macrophylla hydrangeas bloom from May to early July, then lose their blooms.


Hydrangeas that turn brown early and go against their natural growing seasons may have other problems. Grow hydrangeas in sites that give them partial or filtered sun, as too much bright sun burns both leaves and flowers. Make sure that your hydrangeas get good drainage at all times, as sitting water leads to root rot, and causes plants to shed both leaves and blooms.


Hydrangeas require specific conditions to maintain their flowers for their entire growing season and may lose the blooms if they don't receive the right level of care. Plant hydrangeas in a mix of natural soil and organic compost to guarantee both nutrition and drainage. Water the plants with 10 to 12.5 cm (4 to 5 inches) of water per week. Hydrangeas do best with 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertiliser applied three times each summer. Shortage of water or nutrition may lead the bushes to drop their leaves and flowers.

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