msalcido
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Location: Zone 7/8 - Dallas

What is wrong with my Hydrangea?

Hi all,
For some reason my ES Hydrangea is acting weird. Part of the bush looks like this -

[img]https://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll196/mlsalcido/96d9f275.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll196/mlsalcido/d88bc88f.jpg[/img]

The leaves are wilted and drying up, but the other part is doing great with ton of blooms. So is this root rot? If so, what do I do to prevent it from spreading to the entire plant?

Thanks for any and all assistance.

luis_pr
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My Quick Fire Bush was looking wimpy like that recently as well. The problem was too much wind and also, the soil was also getting dry. When the weather turns windy as it has in our area (15-30 mph winds or more), the leaves loose moisture faster than the roots can absorb water so the plant wilts and reduces water loss this way. The wind also causes a lot of evaporation from the soil so adding mulch should be a top priority. In my case, I added some more mulch to raise it to 3-4", watered and it was good to go by the next morning. In cases where the soil is moist when the wilting episode happens, I take no action and wait until the next morning to water; the leaves should recover on their own.

If the problem persists, consider if the location is just too windy and the shrub needs protection. I would consider root rot as a last resort. RR would require that the soil be wet for extended periods of time.

msalcido
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Location: Zone 7/8 - Dallas

Thanks Luis,
I don't think it's a lack of moisture. I have it heavly mulched and it is being watered every 2-3 days. My concern is that only the back part of the plant is doing this, the rest of the bush is looking good and blooming. I thought maybe the soil was to wet so I moved the mulc back a bit, in hopes that would correct the problem, but it didn't. The leaves actually not only are limp but some of them have dried up and become crisp. Should I cut these stems off?

luis_pr
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No, leaves may be replaced when they are browned out. You just have to wait and see if the plant does this in 2-4 weeks. Cut them off at the petiole, the little "stem" that connects a leaf to THE stem.

Two quick questions.

Are you saying that plant remains wilted and does not recover in the morning?

Is the black tubing a drip system? What is the green one a few inches closer to the house?

I have had problem with the drip not reaching to where the roots are. For example, the black tubing may not be sending enough water close to the roots on the back. Or it could be sending too much and keeping that area too wet. Tryconfirming that the soil is needed using a moisture meter or inserting a finger into the soil to a depth of about 4". I saw those meters at Lowes, Calloways and HD in the last month.

Do you have any pests in your area that could be damaging the plant roots in the back?

luis_pr
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Sorry, I typo'ed. "Tryconfirming that the soil is" should read "Try confirming that soil moistre (water) is really"

msalcido
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Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: Zone 7/8 - Dallas

Two quick questions.

Are you saying that plant remains wilted and does not recover in the morning?

Is the black tubing a drip system? What is the green one a few inches closer to the house?
Yes the plant remains wilted and does not recover in the morning. As a matter of fact, some of the leaves completely cripsed up; however the rest of the bush looks great.

The black tubing is a drip system. I haven't been watering from it since the sprinkler system comes on twice a week and waters them very well. I only use the drip system during the very hot temps during the summer. The green tube is a hose that we use to drain the pool with. I just checked it with the moisture meter and it register a 5 which is in the middle of dry, moist and very wet. So I don't think it's an issue of it not having water. The odd thing is that it's only that part in the back of the bush near the house and I have new growth coming from it.

I'm thinking I should cut those dead ones off - your thoughts?

Thanks!

luis_pr
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From an aesthethic perspective, yeah I would cut them. But if they are wilting because of root rot, that pruning will not help. You know, it is as if those roots were somehow damaged by a pest only on that side of the plant. My sister had problems with moles for example but there could be others. We or landscapers could do the same thing accidentally when working on gardening projects. For example, I almost stepped on a butterfly weed plant over the weekend. Hope I did not disturb it much.

luis_pr
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One last thought... as a result of someone else's post.... Make sure that drainage is not a problem in that location. A bathtub efect can sometimes develop, especially if the sprinkler system or drip water collects on one side of the hole. Water collecting like would deprive the plant roots of oxygen and cause wilting. If the problem persists long enough, root rot can develop. In the other post, the damage was advanced and the leaves were turning backish so I suggested propagating and moving the plant into a pot... temporarily until things improve. Bad/rotten looking roots can be pruned off while transplanting as long as you "sterilize" the pruners when done. It is usually easier to control water issues in a pot but after 2 months or more, the plant can be moved back to an improved and-or beter draining location (here in Texas though, I would put it back in the ground in the Fall since July is to warm to be planting just about anything in the ground).

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E.L.F.
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Location: Charlotte NC

I'm late to this post, but.....

I'd like to suggest that you get some acid into the soil .... the side of the plant closest to the wall is suffering and I'm wondering if it could be that the soil there, due to leaching from the brick and mortar, that the soil is less acidic than the hydrangea likes ........ even those grown in "alkaline'' soils to get pink flowers, still like a little acid during the non-blooming times because it's the PLANT that likes it acidic.....acid soil allows the best uptake of nutrients and makes for happy plants.... a little garden sulfur could make all the difference.....
of course, if your flowers are to be pink, you'd be taking a chance that the flowers could go blue, if there's aluminum in your soil.... a good soil test will help a LOT!!....ask the folks at your County Extension Office for instruction on how to get a soil test done.....
:D
Some people come into our lives and quickly go... some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts... and we are never, ever, the same....

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ElizabethB
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Go ELF. I am a big fan of County Agent and land grant university info. It seems that many areas of the country do not have responisive county agents. Sad thing. I am blessed with an extremely responisive County
Agent service and LSU Ag Center provides me with huge amounts of free info on anything I have questions on. It is all research based, region specific FREE info. Sounds like you have the same wonderful resource. Make good use of it.

Welcome and looking forward to hearing more from you.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

luis_pr
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A good idea Elizabeth but, I disagree that soil pH is/was the causal agent. High soil pH problems (pH at or above 7.0) are indeed present in most of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex so hydrangeas need to be amended regularly. They normally tolerate this soil condition, showing no symptoms but only up to a point. Once that threshold is crossed, the plant is unable to absorb sufficient levels of some minerals (phosphorus, iron, manganese, boron and copper) while, at the same time, facilitating the absorption of other minerals (nitrogen, potassium, sulphur, calcium, magnesium and molybdenum). Physiological symptoms become evident once the plant is unable to uptake enough of some minerals like iron.

You should be able to observe the following symptoms when the soil is too alkaline: yellowing of leaves except for the leaf veins which remain dark green. This symptom is progressive, starting with leaves changing from dark green to light green and then to yellow. New leaves will be the first ones to display this problem; older leaves will follow but much later. In some severe cases, the yellow leaves turn can turn white although eventually, they will turn brown. A picture of a hydrangea starting to suffer from iron chlorosis can be seen in the link below. If you look at the affected leaves in Mike’s pictures, you will notice that they did not show these symptoms.

https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8 ... ture&type=

But your suggestion of a soil test is very timely indeed. With sales usually down during the winter months, some plant nurseries offer soil test services for free. You bring the soil samples to them and they send them for analysis and contact you back when done. Locally, Calloway’s Nursery does this in either January or February. To compensate them for this, I try to purchase some amendments (compost, mulch, expanded shale, green sand, etc) to somewhat make up for the cost of the service. In this area, the “big storesâ€

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