The Q&A Archives: Stunted Hydrangea Growth

Question: We have a previously, very healthy, bushy hydrangea that bloomed every year. We were even able to grow another from the main plant. This year the plant started well then completely stopped growing. Only the base ha leafed out. Of additional interest is the fact the shasta daisies in front of the plant are also stunted and bloomed very weakly this year. The Rudbeckia and cone flowers next to it are fine and very healthy. Two years ago we had to destroy a large group of peonies next to this bed for similar symptoms. Could this be nematode damage?

Answer: I would certainly suspect some time of soil-based problem, possibly nematode or some sort of soil-borne disease although accidental lawn chemical overspray or runoff could do that and other highly unusual factors such as an aging leaky gas pipeline could cause those types of symptoms as well. You might want to consult with your county extension (plant pathologist) and see if they can help you determine the specific cause of the problem and what steps to take to remedy it. I'm really sorry about your plants.

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