Kelly Lehman is the owner of Cranbury Fields Flower Farm and shows everyday gardeners how to grow amazing flowers on her Youtube Channel.
What to Do If Your Hydrangeas Have Flopped Over
Huge rainstorms can be disastrous if you have a garden full of blooming hydrangeas. Annabelle hydrangea flower heads get so large that when the rainwater gets trapped on their petals, it often makes them fall to the ground.
If you've pruned them, this is even more likely, as the flowers are on new growth, which means a floppier stem than hydrangeas that come in on last year's wood. When you have floppy stems combined with super heavy flower heads, they're likely to drop to the ground as soon as they get soaked.
Luckily, when that does happen, it's not a big deal.
How to Fix Collapsed Hydrangeas (4 Ways)
There are a few easy ways to fix fallen hydrangeas. Here are the best methods I've found.
1. Prop Them Against One Another
Sometimes I'll just pick up some of the heavier flower heads and prop them up against each other. Since these gals also have a giant leaf-support system, a lot of times they'll just kind of support each other.
Gently shake off some of the water and prop them up against each other. Once the rest of the rain evaporates off the flower heads, they should stay upright again.
2. Create a Support System With Dowels
Other times it's just too much to handle, so I have to step in and add some more structure. Luckily, this won't change the appearance of your hydrangeas unless you're looking closely. I like to use wooden dowels (your local hardware store should have these) and twine.
- Hammer a wooden dowel on either side of the plant.
- Pick up four to seven of your heaviest stems (make sure they look healthy and sturdy).
- Tie the stems to the dowels with a little bit of twine.
Note: Make sure that you don't have them tied really tight together. If the blooms are too crowded, they might start having mold issues and fungal issues. So make sure that you have a lot of space for the plant to have some airflow.
3. Zip-Tie Them Together
If you don't feel like fussing with the dowels, you can just use zip ties. In the photo above, I added two or three zip ties together, got a whole bunch of the sturdiest stems (I had probably four or five in there), and gently zip-tied them together.
As with the dowel method above, be careful not to tie the stems together too tightly—airflow is critical to keeping your plant healthy.
4. Cut Off Any Cracked or Broken Stems
If you come across stems that are cracked or broken or flower heads that are dead or mushy, just cut them right off. Sometimes this will alleviate the pressure from the plant and they'll just spring right back up!
How to Keep Hydrangeas From Falling Over
A way to alleviate this problem altogether is to put some tomato cages or some peony support cages in the center of the plant at the beginning of spring before any of the new growth even starts.
As the stems start to grow, they'll come up through the cage and wind up having a stronger support system in place from the get-go. It's a really easy way to get your hydrangeas to stand upright.
Want More Hydrangea Care Tips?
- Why Aren't My Hydrangeas Blooming? (7 Reasons and Solutions)
From overwatering to "winter zap," here are seven different reasons you might be struggling to get your hydrangeas to bloom and what you can do to change that!
- Should You Prune Annabelle Hydrangeas? (Care Tips and More)
Do you really need to prune Annabelle hydrangeas? No! It's entirely up to you. Here are the pros and cons of pruning.
- Why Hydrangeas Droop and What You Can Do About It
Kelly Lehman explains how to determine if your drooping hydrangea is flagging or dehydrated.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Kelly Lehman
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2021:
That is a great idea to use tomato cages to help support the hydrangeas. Thanks!