Is my hydrangea salvageable?
It is in a sunny spot in clay soil.
How and when should I prune it?
In general, hydrangeas can be grown in clay soil, but they are susceptible to both drought and to waterlogging, and both these conditions can occur in clay soils which have poor drainage. If you have not already done so, it is always a good idea to make some improvements to your soil by adding organic matter such as well composted manure. This will help improve the texture of your soil, and will result in better drainage during times of heavy rain, and more soil nutrients. Mulching around your hydrangeas is also advised: make sure that you keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem of the plant.
All types of hydrangeas prefer a site with partial sun and partial shade, but in our zone most will thrive in full sun. Hydrangea arborescens, of which one variety is the very popular “Annabelle” will quickly show the effects of drought, however, by drooping leaves and blossoms. Hydrangea paniculata, or “PeeGee” hydrangea, also blooms well in full sun.
The Toronto Master Gardeners receive many questions about hydrangeas and I am including below a few links to previous posts that you may find useful, especially in regard to pruning. How and when you go about pruning your hydrangea will depend upon what type you have. If you are unsure of what kind of hydrangea you have, here is a link to a website that will help you to identify it. This website is a really good all-around resource as well: http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com