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House Plants/plant care for my brestenburg hydrangeas

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Question
hello Darlene,
I have a hydrangea brestenburg that I bought about 3 weeks ago. I only keep it indoors in my sunny apartment but it's starting to wilt and the other day, full branches & petals fell off when I went to move it. My question: how do I care for it? Is watering it once a day and keeping it in the sun doing it harm?  I don't know the first think about how to care for this plant so I hope you can help!

Answer
Darla,

It is going to be very hard to maintain it indoors in an apartment. I know you think it is sunny but at best it is in a fully shaded location and getting no real direct sun. It needs a few hours of direct sun actually shining on it's leaves either in the early morning or late in the day. It also needs to dry out well between each watering.

If grown under low light, they may need water just once ever month or so, so monitor the soil carefully. To monitor water closely insert a bamboo skewer or a dowell rod into the soil all the way to the bottom of the pot and cut it off 1/2 inch above the soil line with scissors or wire cutters. When you think the plant needs water pull the skewer out and see if the top half of the skewer is dry. If it is not put the skewer back in the pot and wait several more days and check again. If it is dry give it enough water so most of the soil in the pot gets moist but very little if any of the water goes into the drain tray. An hour later empty all the water out of the drain tray so the plant is not sitting in water. If you can't lift the plant to empty the drain tray use a turkey baster to suction it out. That would rot those fine roots. You should only need to water it once every two weeks or less.

I believe that too much water and not enough sun is the root of your problem. If you decide to put it out on your patio or balcony it will need more water. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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