Hydrangeas Leaves Turning Brown

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
June 10, 2010
A purple hydrangea flower in bloom.


I got a hydrangea last summer. I have worked with the soil so that it changed to blue. The leaves are turning brown. Am I watering it too much or not enough?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Brenda from South Bend, IN


You're probably watering too little. Hydrangeas like a lot of water (the prefix hydro is Greek for water). Sometimes the tips or sides of a hydrangea's leaves will appear brown. This usually happens after it has suffered a dry spell or when it goes through a period where, for whatever reason, the roots were not absorbing moisture well and then the plant suddenly gets a good watering. When cells in the leave's tips suddenly take on water, they literally swell up and burst. What you're seeing with the brown tips is actually dead plant tissue where the cells burst.

This kind of browning can also happen to plants when they are initially transplanted and are suddenly given a heavy dose of water. Keeping your hydrangea consistently watered will prevent this from happening.

In general, over watering is usually followed by yellowing leaves that turn black at the edges. When under watered, leaves will droop and then turn brown.



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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
April 14, 2006

My husband brought me a hydrangea bush, I am not sure what type, and it is curling and turning brown on the ends. We have gotten a few days of rain and I am not sure if that could effect this type of plant.

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6 Questions

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May 12, 2020

I bought endless summer hydrangeas last week and the leaves turned brown. I'm not sure what happened. Is it because of the weather? The past days, it snowed and the temperature dropped to -2 degrees.Hydrangeas Leaves Turned Brown - damaged leaves


What to do?

Hydrangeas Leaves Turned Brown
Hydrangeas Leaves Turned Brown


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
May 15, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you have the plant outside the leaves have been damaged with frostbite. This happens in very cold weather and can really damage the plant.


I would move the plant to a bit warmer place until the weather clears up. Remove the damaged leaves and this should be fine.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
May 18, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

It looks like your plants are still in rather small pots and if these (with no protection) were in -2 degrees for over 4 hours it is possible your plant roots were frozen and the plant may actually die.
These are not plants that can tolerate freezing weather but apparently the stores are selling them so they probably thought you would keep them inside until all freezing weather and frost was gone from your area.


If you plan to plant these outside be sure to check what type of care they will need - summer and winter - in your USDA zone.
Some types will grow in these zones but not all species:
: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
If you do not know your zone you can check it here:

You can Google Hydrangeas care with your zip code or your USDA zone and find out how to care for them. This is very important as you'll need to know how and where to plant as well as how to water and fertilize.

Here is a good site but you also need a site specific to your area.

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December 29, 2018

I got a new hydrangea (runaway bride) and put it a large pot with half garden soil and half ericaceous. The leaves keep turning brown at the ends.

I gave it a good watering in the soil and am keeping it indoors for now with the frosts. Any idea why this is happening please?

Tips of Potted Hydrangea Turning Brown - leaves with brown tips


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 29, 20180 found this helpful

It might not have been watered enough prior to you getting it and that is why the leaves are brown at the tips now. See what happens in a week or so.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
December 30, 20180 found this helpful

Not enough water and some sunlight if possible (but not too much sunlight).

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August 16, 2010

I Have a hydrangea tree (Pee Gee) and it's in partial to full sun. Only one side is blooming and the leaves are starting to turn brown and die. What can I do to revive my tree?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By sara from South Bend, IN

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August 16, 2010

Why are the leaves on my hydrangea bushes turning brown?

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