kg!
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Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

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Hello! I have 3 relatively new Merritt's Supreme hydrangea plants, and they are all displaying what looks like a mixture of new leaf clusters and blooms...some of the leaves are even half pink and half green! Is this normal or is this some weird hydrangea disease? I haven't been able to find any similar pictures online. I live in zone 7. Pardon the dying leaves in some pics...we went on vacation during a heat wave and my plants are trying to recover :)
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imafan26
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

I think pink means the soil is more neutral to alkaline. Great litmus plant. It looks like normal coloration for blooming. If you want the blooms to be blue, the soil has to be acidic with a pH of 5.5 or lower. For pink, the pH is 6.5 to neutral. Between Ph 5.5-6.5 you could have a mix of both or purple.
Put out some slug bait.
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thanrose
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

It's normal enough. What we think of as hydrangea petals are actually bracts, modified leaves surrounding the actual tiny blossom. Rather like a poinsettia in color, or bougainvillea. Those bright colors are not the flowers. So true leaves in your case are coloring up a bit like the bracts do. It's an interesting feature and may never occur again on this plant.

luis_pr
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

Hmmm, maybe not. I think kg! is saying that hydrangea leaves are turning pink, not that the hydrangea blooms are pink. The pictures are not of sepals that are both green and pink.

There is a rare disease called Virescence that may be happening here. Symptoms of this disease include hydrangea sepals that normally should be shades of pink/white/blue/purple but generate leafy structures which turn green or partly green. So what you are seeing pink-green in the picture is the infected sepals of the blooms!

In time, the plants become stunted, with these leafy looking shoots growing from the sepals. Eventually, these plants decline and die (not quickly, some may be ok for months or even a few years but will not last like -say- 50+ years like a hydrangea could if given proper care.

If what I described sounds like that, you may want get your money back as there is no treatment or cure.

If this is it, there is no cure. Infected plants should be discarded. Parasitic micro-organisms (like bacteria but called MLOs) are usually the culprits. They are sometimes spread by other insects so minimize cuts that allow entry into the insides of the plant and try to maintain good insect control.

More info: https://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-di ... a-diseases
https://www.apsnet.org/publications/phy ... 05_608.PDF

Luis

imafan26
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

Virescence symptoms "Flowers are green and may be stunted. Leafy shoots grow from the flower parts. Plants decline and die"

I am not sure this is virescence. The flowers turn green with virescence not the leaves turn pink. The plant is usually stunted and you are right there is no cure. The flowers that are visible are pink not green. The leaves are turning pink, in virescence the leaves usually turn yellow not pink (vein yellowing), and usually the plants are stunted.

It is hard to tell. I could not find any articles with color pictures of virescence and the black and white pictures still depict mostly color changes of the flowers not the leaves. The description of the virus does not say that the leaves turn pink only that the flowers turn green.
https://www.apsnet.org/publications/plan ... 07_659.PDF

Color changes in hydrangea leaves are usually more purple than pink and are usually a nutritional problem
https://www.newgarden.com/notes/hydrangea-qa

The leaves do look like they are growing from the flower buds and that may be why they are turning pink. Leafy shoots growing from the flower parts may be a symptom of virus, so that may make a case for virescence even though the main symptom of green flowers is not present.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

luis_pr
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

Exactly, the growth in the picture is actually from the bloom sepals not the leaves. The pink is normal and the green like that is not. As the disease advances, you see less and less of the normal pink colors and more green on the sepals.

kg!
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

Yikes! Thanks for the info! Would you suggest I wait a season and see if they turn out ok, or should I go ahead and pull them out now? They are in a bed with hostas and a dogwood tree, and I definitely wouldn't want to infect my other plants.

luis_pr
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Re: Hydrangea leaves turning bright pink? Is this normal??

Yes as virescence does not knock 'em out dead quickly. Mine lasted about a year and a half before it started becoming weaker and very odd looking and sensitive to our hot summers, I finally replaced it.

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