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Saving Hydrangeas from the Brink: The Stomata Story Behind Your Wilted Beauties

Saving Hydrangeas from the Brink: The Stomata Story Behind Your Wilted Beauties

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The hydrangea is a genus of around 75 species of plants that give off beautiful flowers. The plant is native to the Americas and parts of Asia. The most diverse variety of hydrangeas can be found in parts of Korea, Japan, and China.

The hydrangeas are generally shrubs that can rise up to three meters in height. However, some are also smaller trees, and in some cases, the lianas can climb to around 30 meters on trees.

If you have hydrangeas in your garden or your backyard, you will need to take care of them properly. However, most people are unable to provide adequate care to the plant, either because they have a slight misunderstanding of how to care for hydrangeas, or because they simply don’t have the time to care for the plant.

Unlike most plants, the hydrangea does require a considerable amount of care.

If you notice your hydrangeas dying or wilting, it could be due to a number of reasons. Let’s go through them one by one.

The Hydrangeas Wilt Because the Stomata Doesn’t Close Under Excessive Heat Stress

First, let’s talk about the stomata. What is it?

The stomata are small openings that are found on the underside of the leaves. These openings allow for the exchange of gases from the plant, allowing CO2 to enter the plant and then take part in the photosynthesis, which is critical for the survival of the plant.

If the plant is wilting, that’s because the gas is being lost to the excessive water vapor. During the exchange, the stomata opens and closes on its own.

To conserve water, the plant shuts off the stomata when the plant is under excessive amounts of stress. This might be due to drought conditions or when the temperature plunges considerably.

When the temperature rises, the stomata on certain types of hydrangeas, like the mountain or the bigleaf variants, doesn’t close at all. Ultimately, the plant continues to lose water, and eventually starts to wilt.

You might have seen the wilting take place right under the bright sun. In some cases, it also occurs during the dappled shade, especially when temperatures rise above the 90°F mark.

This problem can be fixed. During the mild sun in the springtime, you might notice your hydrangeas wilting during the day, and perk up in the night. It’s a rollercoaster ride, and most people think that their plant is going to die.

If the temperatures increase considerably due to a spike, you are also looking at probable death as well. Here are a few ways to fix this problem.

Ways to Prevent Your Hydrangeas From Dying

Install drip irrigation – drip irrigation is the best choice in most cases, because it helps conserve water and makes sure that the water is able to reach the plant much quicker. More importantly, drip irrigation ensures that there is no moisture on the leaves.

This ultimately reduces the chances of different diseases, such as black spots appearing on the leaves. You won’t have to worry about powdery mildew either. You also get to save money, because water won’t fall around the plant.

Use organic matter – organic matter is also able to conserve water and it brings down the need for water for the plant. The soil structure improves considerably, and organic matter also adds more nutrients in the mix. Ultimately, the soil grows in a better way.

You need to mulch your plants – when was the last time you mulched your plants? Mulching helps conserve moisture as well; it’s best if you run the drip irrigation system under the mulch. Ideally, the thickness of the mulch should be between two and four inches thick.

But, you should ensure that it’s at least two inches away from the base of the plant. Keep in mind that mulch serves as the ideal cover for insects to get close to your plants, so you will need to keep checking the base and around the mulch from time to time.

Check the soil on a regular basis – you need to bend down and put your finger in the soil. Does it feel moist to you? Or, does it feel dry? If the soil is moist, there is an adequate amount of water in the soil and you don’t need to add more.

Lighting balance – creating a balance between the shade and the sun is incredibly important. Most hydrangeas usually prefer the morning sun or dappled shade.

As mentioned above, excessive heat can kill your hydrangeas, so it’s important that you only provide dappled shade to your plants.

In most cases, you should move the plant away after 11 am from direct sunlight.

What Else Can You Do?

If you have overwatered the plants and there’s root rot, your plant is also going to die. You need to act as quickly as possible and take care of the problem.

Start off by repotting your hydrangeas in fresh and dry soil and do not overwater the plants. We have already talked about how to check the moisture of the soil.

You will notice the pant perking up after a while as the soil becomes more favorable to its growth. Air circulation is important for the plant to prevent mildew from developing on the leaves as well, so you might want to keep the plant in an area where it gets a considerable amount of air.

From time to time, you should consider applying a protective fungicide on your plants as well. Also, remember to fertilize the plants from time to time to keep them in prime condition.

Hydrangeas are beautiful plants and they will reward you well with a gorgeous bloom when you care for them.

These are just a few steps that you need to follow when it comes to caring for your plants, so make sure you take timely action for your hydrangeas and prevent any kind of wilting!

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