The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea Leaves Yellowing

Question: I have a 4 years old hydrangea that is finally going to bloom. All the leaves are starting to yellow (starts around the edges then move inward) so bad I'm afraid it's going to be dead before the blooms open. It has never been a good grower (it is only 15") but this year it has bushed out well and produced more leaves than ever before. I used Osmocote at least 6 weeks ago. I put composted cow manure around it 8-9 weeks ago. I am having to water it because it hasn't rained much. I haven't moved the plant or changed any plants around it. Do you have any ideas on what to do to help it survive?

Answer: It sounds like a nutritional problem. I assume the plant is in the shade for most of the day (as it would like to be). I would suggest you start with a soil test. Your County Extension office (ph# 334-937-7176) can give you instructions on how to submit a soil sample for testing. High pH, soil drainage problems and root rotting fungi can also cause nutrient deficiency symptoms in the plant.

You didn't mention the species or variety of hydrangea. This could have some effect on size. Nevertheless, I still think the problem will surface in your soil test.

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