I have two pink hydrangea bushes that must be well over 20 years old, but some stems are black with white spots. Save For Later Print. Here are Amanda’s photos of her hydrangeas: Your poor plants! Hi Dr. Helga, We are now thinking it might be an armored insect problem! The spray you provided contains neem oil, a natural fungicide, but it might not be strong enough to kill this kind of fungus. Spots are normal on some hydrangea stems, but if they are new, that is definitely bad. They look wonderful! I’m glad that it wasn’t anthracnose. Do you mist it? There is one generation a year with young nymphs hatching from eggs in mid-summer and sucking sap from the undersides of leaves. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. I do think it could be cercospora leaf spot because the circular spots on the veins do look purple. Any guidance you could give me would be much appreciated!! Hi Alan, I’m sorry to hear about your rhododendron! This is mysterious. If it’s any comfort, I’m struggling to identify the problem, too! It’s a good idea to rotate… Read more ». We have had an ongoing problem with dieback on certain plants in our yard for years. The amount to use depends on the percentage of hydrogen peroxide you are using. I have an Oakleaf Hydrangea that is about 12 years old that I am concerned about. The symptoms sound like the plant might have Phytophthora root rot – a hideous disease. Pulvinaria hydrangeae, or hydrangea scale, is a sap-sucking scale insect. If you know that rust is likely to be a problem, you can grow the cultivar ‘Frosty,’ which is resistant to this disease. What remains doesn’t look like powdery mildew to me. That can often cause some of the upper branches to die. They were doing fine at the beginning,… Read more », Hi Jiyu, I’m so sorry to see the pictures of your poor plants. Thanks, Hi Veronica, I’m so sorry that your beautiful hydrangeas are so unhappy. You should pick up any leaves and vegetation under the plant and get rid of it away from your garden, so it won’t spread spores. I suggest cutting them right back to the ground in early spring to give them one more chance. Common problems when growing hydrangeas are insect problems such as aphids and spider mites, lack of blooms, sun scorch, powdery mildew, fungal problems, and rust. This appears days after the anti-fungal spray and I’m wondering if the brown edge is a different problem than the spot fungus I was originally treating. The leaves have this odd deformed and curly appearance. Hi Helga, Hydrangea Diseases; Hydrangea Diseases. Also, the stems look like they have bumps on them. Or you could be right about anthracnose. Put the stake in the center, then run twine out around a stem to pull it up but don’t wrap the twine all around the stem – only half way and then bring it back to the stake again. It’s difficult for me to figure out what is going on from your description. How much hydrogen peroxide should be used? That can also cause spots on the leaves, so I don’t think you have to worry that it might have two diseases at once. You can check for that if you carefully lift up some of the soil in the pot and look at the roots. I’ve only had one variety in the past that has not. I’m sorry that your macrophyllas have a new affliction. Hi Michele, I’m sorry that your hydrangeas are afflicted by something. As the lesions get larger, the leaves can turn yellow and fall off the plant. In the Autumn (Fall) we pruned the branches back by 2/3rds. Mildew on Hydrangea. If it’s Botrytis blight, that would also attack the flowers, which would be covered in a grey mildew. Thank you. Thank you for your reply and clarification. It’s been cool here and just a storm the past couple weeks don’t seem to be conducive to most diseases I deal with during… Read more », Dear Gary, Wow! Any ideas? my father in law brought me hydrangeas for my front porch and all the sudden one of them isn’t doing well. I don’t know if it’s host specific for hydrangea. From what I understand, there isn’t much you can do but prune back the dead limbs. These three are the most common viral infections that you are likely to encounter: If your hydrangea has brown spots or rings on its leaves, there is a good chance that it is infected with hydrangea ringspot virus. That sounds awful. Read more about identifying and treating anthracnose on hydrangea here. This year, I have been doing the same about once a week, but now I’m also noticing browning around the edges of leaves. Hi Monica, I’m sorry your hydrangea is under siege. I have not seen any white flies hanging around them, but we started noticing our Ruby Slippers with the same spots on lower leaves closer to the ground, after it has exploded with blooms this spring so when the fungicide didn’t work we looked to some other potential problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spot, rust, mildew, bud blight, and bacterial wilt. There is also some brown sap running from some cut branches. Like to advertise with us? Fertilizer burn is an excellent suggestion, but the symptoms from that usually develop on the edges of the leaves. The product just arrived and I used it Saturday. If so, now is the time to treat them.… Read more », Hi Helga, I posted last month about my endless summer hydrangeas possibly having anthracnose. Spider mites can cause that, but they like hot and… Read more ». Plus, using the same one repeatedly can cause resistance. I thought the disease on your hydrangeas was powdery mildew because there are spores on the top of the leaves. This limpet-like insect also feeds on acers and cherries. I would strongly suggest that you switch to a different spray. Are the plants in full sun? We have heavy shade and heavy soil in our yard, and hot summers here in Columbia, SC. I can’t find a lot of pictures of the symptoms, but here is a photo from the University of Minnesota Extension – it’s number 3 here. , Hi Wende, I’m so sorry that your long-term hydrangea has an infection. Hi Helga, please help. It could be stressful for the plant to be inside, since the humidity in houses is typically low, and light is limited. It can be difficult to diagnose leaf diseases. Are they brown, rust-colored, or white? Please do keep us posted! Unfortunately, I can’t find a… Read more », Dr George. Thank you! But fungi are very good at developing resistance to fungicides. Ask the people in the garden center for a fungicide with copper, chlorothalonil, or mancozeb. Last year, I started noticing the brown spotting. It looks like a fungal infection to me, which could explain why the sevin didn’t help. Thank you Helga. This disease is difficult to control, but you can manage it by cleaning up infected leaves and debris that has fallen to the ground around both hosts. 1 Review. TIA. But I’ll keep at it spraying every 7 days as instructed. My hydrangea has some illness that I cannot identify. It starts out with lesions that are angular shaped and dark brown to purple, and it also starts from the bottom of the plant. I really am delighted that your hydrangeas are coming back. Sterilize your pruning shears before cutting the plants, and plant clean stock in soilless media to avoid the viruses that are transmitted by nematodes in the soil. I don’t know of any pathogens of hydrangea that would cause the total death of limbs in weeks. Will see how they look after first week of neem oil treatment. I would give the fungicides more time to work. Q: I get some kind of leaf disease on my hydrangea bushes every year. They were doing great with abundant nice green leaves and lots of flowers. That is awesome that you removed the debris! Having trouble identifying what is going on. Anthracnose can be fatal to hydrangeas, so prune out dead or diseased plant parts and destroy them. The underside is also powdery looking. Hydrangeas that Fall in the mud: Here is a way to support floppy hydrangea stems on an Annabelle or other large flowered shrubs. That disease is usually treated by fungicides. I’m not sure how to advise you to provide… Read more », Hi Helga, have discovered this sticky problem on my 5+ year old hydrangea bush in my front garden. I’m not sure what could be causing it. It can spread throughout the plants and cause them to die back. That kind of leaf distortion is usually from a viral infection or an insect infestation. Answer. They have been there for seven years. Here is more about what we do. Hi Kay, I’m sorry to hear that! Vanessa889 Jun 19, 2016 2:57 AM CST. What do you think? I was afraid that might be what has been going on. However, once again, you can spread the virus with your tools. I would also prune off all of the infected leaves. Hi Julie, I’m sorry that your summer blooms look so ugly. We will introduce you to the major hydrangea diseases, so you know what to look for and how to prevent and treat them. Be sure and disinfect your pruning shears after you are done. Cool weather favors many types of fungal infection, but I’m not sure if that is the case with anthracnose. Have you fertilized them recently? Also remove dead or damaged flowers and leaves to prevent the fungus from gaining egress into the plant. Hello Helga! One disease that can be bad on oakleaf hydrangeas is Cercospora leaf spot. Mulched a week later. I’m not sure it is the same disease in all the plants, but it acts the same. I have hydrangea that I planted a year ago and they came back, however some leaves have a yellow discoloration. If it is powdery mildew, there are several fungicides that you could apply. Remove lower leaves on the stems. However, there are steps you can take to keep your beauteous shrubs from falling victim to one of these diseases. I take off the bad leaves, but throughout the growing season they keep getting ugly leaves. I don’t understand. I fertilized the plant a month or so ago with Miracle Gro and it gets watered weekly by my sprinklers. Hydrangea pests and diseases aren’t usually too prevalent, but when that glorious flower show is interrupted, it’s tough not to panic. Clean up debris around the plant, so that Botrytis can’t live on the dead tissue. However, they got frost damage last winter from a freezing night because I forgot to bring them inside. There is a fungus called Nectria that causes cankers on trees and shrubs. They are borne on stiff, upright, hairy stems which occasionally branch. I’m not positive, but I suspect it might be due to Hydrangea Chlorotic Mottle Virus. Hi Jorge, Thank you for your update! What can be causing the blooms to dry up and turn brown and wither up? Hello, I’m having serious problems with two plants I bought last summer for large containers. You can prevent the disease by reducing humidity and increasing air circulation. I’m so sorry that your hydrangeas are having such a variety of problems. Even if it’s an organic one, the fungi can develop resistance to it. Pretty much the same result. I just received these hydrangeas the day I sent them to you. Unfortunately, this kind of fungus develops resistance very quickly. It afflicts macrophyllas the most seriously, although it will attack some of the others. Not every fungicide will work on every fungus. They feel a little spongy. Updated: July 31, 2016. Its a mist spray and I do it close to sunset for shade. Hydrangea Diseases. Also, cut off the infected leaves (and disinfect your pruning shears with 10% bleach or 70%… Read more ». Two days later most of those leaves were showing brown spots. If you have a persistent problem, you may need to use fungicides. Hi MCooke, I’m sorry to hear about your problems with the hydrangea. We have seen cat present around our flower beds. The hydrangea seemed to be recovering and produced 1 bloom this year, but then the leaves developed black spots. Sometimes overfertilization can cause symptoms like that. Your poor plants! I can never find info online of anyone having the problem. I recently purchased two Oakleaf hydrangeas from a local nursery. Hopefully you can save them, and please keep us posted! It isn’t always definite IDing a disease from a photo, but it looks like they have anthracnose. Had to prune them severely To get rid of the burned out leaves. Don’t worry, it doesn’t harm the plant and new growth shouldn’t have spots. This is the time of year… Read more ». I appreciate all of your help! Some of the leaves have curled up and have gone brown and dry on the ends of the leaves. Typically, these are white and waxy and, as you say, quite large. I received a beautiful hydrangea plant for Easter and the blue blooms were beautiful. Hi Helga, Helga then returned to Cornell to obtain a PhD, studying one of the model systems of plant defense. Be sure to disinfect your pruning shears to be safe with 70% hydrogen peroxide or 10% bleach. The roots of hydrangeas that are infected with Phytophthora root rot turn brown and are brittle. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation. If you provide a leaf, they might be able to help diagnose what organism is responsible. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Hi Helga, These spots become larger lesions and can kill the leaves. Which spray have… Read more ». I will try that. One distinctive symptom is that spots by the veins develop at an angle. Also, I still use the serenade treatment. 0. We have a company coming to treat around the plant and hopefully save it! I’m currently using Natria Disease Control. Best of luck! What it should do is keep the infection from spreading to other leaves and flowers. Let us know if that helps! Also, they like hot and dry weather, which doesn’t sound like an issue at the moment. That is a good way to tell whether the spots are due to a fungal rust infection or to something else. Varieties that are tolerant to this virus are available. That could be why you had problems with your other trees. Status report: I trimmed off all the effected leaves and sprayed the rest with chlorfirinal (sp?). They don’t have flowers yet, so I’m not sure about the first problem. From my… Read more », Hi Terence, I am so sorry to hear about your hydrangeas. They are sort of tan colored. They all start to drying out from the end of the leaf. The one that is all sticks was the one that was iffy last year and they have not bloomed in 2 years. Don’t water late in the day, and only water at the roots, so you don’t get the flowers and leaves wet. Maybe Endless Summer (not sure): spring began well but leaves are again discolored, brown and dry. It would be… Read more », My very healthy hydrangea went from a lush green bush to this mess in a matter of weeks. Hi Tina! If you are growing your hydrangeas in containers, you can avoid tomato ringspot virus by using a soil mix that is free of nematodes. I’m still struggling to identify and therefore treat my two hydrangeas. Do you think the purple and dead patches on the edge could be frost damage? Hi Helga Any organic recommendations? If the severe trim doesn’t work, you will have to bin them. There are no chemical options to control this disease. Hi Dan, Thank you so much for posting photos! Hydrangeas forum: Help me save my hydrangea (black stems, brown spots on stems) Page 1 of 2 • 1 2. I’ve had another grower say “they just don’t like being potted” but I’m not sure if it’s another reason. You are right – hydrangeas do like partial shade, and your spot inside sounds like a good one for it. But it continued to get worse. Hi Ruth, Hello from a former Delawarean! Have browning leaves and flowers turn brown also, Hi Tina, Without a photo, I can only guess. 4) Do… Read more », Can you tell me what is killing my hydrangeas? Hydrangeas infected with this virus will have a pattern of yellow mosaics on their leaves. I have some, including a variegated variety, that don’t look awful but not especially healthy either. Are there any particular symptoms? Discover easy solutions to these issues. Hydrogen peroxide is pretty unstable over time, and you will want something that will keep providing protection against the fungi. The average lifespan should be 50 years, but the symptoms are worrying. You are doing the right thing by cutting the diseased leaves off. 1) Fertilizer burn: There are a couple things you should do. It’s anthracnose. The infected areas would all have white patches in them. Hi DLyn! I do not want to stress the plants. After that, resume regular watering. Phyllis P. Hi Phyllis, I’m so sorry that your hydrangeas are suffering. The first symptoms are water-soaked spots on the flowers. Control insects, since they spread many of these diseases. You should probably use… Read more ». As the lesions get larger, the leaves can turn yellow and fall off the plant. It still looks like anthracnose to me, although there is another possibility. While the leaves on my other Oakleaf are getting large and full, the leaves on this hydrangea have stopped growing. If I keep cutting off the impacted leaves I’m afraid the plant will die. Oakleaf hydrangea has 8 to 12-inch-long leaves shaped like oak leaves (Fig. Based on your post I am thinking maybe bacterial? Arrange the stems in a vase and place in a cool spot. Artificial Myra Hydrangea Stem Grey 72 cm . Dear Ryan, I’m so sorry that your hydrangeas are showing such horrible symptoms. Fungus or chemical injury? I also wonder if your hydrangea could be infested with scale insects. Honestly, I’m not sure about the leaf curl. I’m not sure that you can do much about it. Thank you so much for providing the pictures and sharing your good news. Is there a chance that you could post a picture of the flowers? There is a fungus called Cercospora that can cause purple spots, but they usually start as small lesions and don’t take over whole leaves from the tips. Prune out the diseased parts and destroy them.… Read more ». Hydrangea plants inoculated with the isolate developed similar symptoms. Thank you for providing pictures! Hi Helga ~ I can’t tell you how pleased I was to find your site, as it’s thorough and clear without being dauntingly technical & long. The others are blooming normally. Hi Helga- thank you for your expertise. Dear Julie, I can’t be sure, but one possibility is that the flowers later in the season are reacting to the hot midday to afternoon sun. I put my hose at the base of each plant and let it trickle on the root ball for about 30 minutes. It definitely looks like an infection. 3) Are there round orange spots on the bottom of the brown leaves? Two days later I started noticing some browning on some of the leaves. Thank you for the informative article! Let us know how it’s doing in a week or two, and I hope it will be a good status report! Often fungicides only kill certain types of fungi, and it’s also possible that the infection could be bacterial or viral, so it is important to figure out which organism is killing your hydrangeas. I forgot to add that I am growing the Hydrangea Paniculata Pillow Talk. Check the water in the vase daily and mist the blooms with water. Hi Helga, Other diseases that can affect hydrangea include blister rust (Pucciniastrum hydrangea), bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum), viruses, and virescence (caused by a phytoplasma). I live in Nor Cal in warm inland temps. Since, most ailing hydrangea symptoms are foliar, the number one cause is usually fungal. I am happy to provide more details. Are you near a county ag extension office by chance? Is it worse on the undersides of the leaves by chance? There are no grey mildew and there are no circular lesions on the leaves. If I remove the dead portion it just looks like the plant is dead, yet there are flowers blooming on other branches. I’m not positive, but the symptoms make me think that your hydrangea might have Botrytis blight. Fascinated by the childhood discovery that plants make chemicals to defend themselves, Helga embarked on further academic study and obtained two degrees, studying plant diseases as a plant pathology major. It looks like the rain and humid weather unleashed an attack of fungi on them. I am wondering if the cause could be a deficiency of phosphorus. I am in zone 7 (East Texas) and we have sandy soil. If you would like me to, I can delete your previous message. Hi Victoria, I’m glad that you were able to prune them. The Spring brought early growth with one plant doing better than the other, both started leaf production and is still fine but the other plant leaves have withered as though lacking water, both plants have been watered the same, usually once a… Read more », Hi Alan, I’m so sorry to hear that one of your hydrangeas is afflicted with something! I have a problem fungus that I can’t seem to identify or treat properly. 2) Anthracnose: You should pick up any plant debris like leaves that is on the soil and dispose of… Read more », Hi Helga, Thank you so much for saving my Hydrangea it started to bloom now . It’s been a very wet spring. Is that correct? I’m not an expert on azaleas, but my guess would be that it is Cercospora leaf blight (caused by a fungus, too). That can scald the flowers, so they turn brown. Hydrangea macrophylla is the most susceptible. Treat your pruning shears with bleach as you prune, so you don’t accidentally spread any disease. I made an error in my post about my hydrangea problems. Is there anything a bit stronger that may work? I hope your… Read more ». I think the only thing you can do is prune back the dead limbs, so they don’t get colonized by secondary fungal or bacterial pathogens. I have a few more questions and an answer to your question: 1. I’m sorry that your hydrangea plant is manifesting symptoms. I’m going to cut off the impacted leaves and spray the rest with fungicide. My hydrangea has something going on and it is not good! Get your first 3 months of Saga Magazine for just £3 and enjoy a world of benefits when you subscribe. That is an excellent idea, especially since you know there are fungal pathogens right next to them. They start out fine but end up covered with these spots by mid-season. There are two prominent insects that suck on hydrangea stems and damage them. Your third picture looks like insect damage to me, but I can’t find anything that looks precisely like them either. Water your plants at the bottom, so the tops will not get wet. Those fungi are really widespread, and the weather must have been perfect for them to infect. Did the other spray help at all? I have some doubts about using hydrogen peroxide to treat anthracnose. Powdery mildew is most likely to be a problem on hydrangeas when the days are warm and the nights cool. However, it could possibly be downy mildew. Anthracnose can cause large dead spots on leaves, but it’s usually brown. Unfortunately, if your hydrangea contracts this disease, you will have to purge it. Sorry~ I couldn’t figure out how to add the photos on my first comment, so they’re coming separately. However, that usually manifests as spots in the middle of the leaves rather than causing dead tissue around the edges of the leaves. It seems like their stems are stung by an insect which suckles the juice, the stem shrinks and then dies!
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