Perennials forum: What is eating my hydrangeas!!?! Help please!

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Little Rock, AR (Zone 7b)
ejohnsonpt
May 7, 2017 1:40 PM CST
I planted these guys at the beginning of this season. They get afternoon sun a little after noon. They share a bed with shrubs, who have no issues. I have put out slug bait and also sprayed for aphids. I've never seen any animal, pest or bug on the plants at all and I have checked at all hours of the day. I am just at a loss of what to do. I don't want to over pesticide...
Thumb of 2017-05-07/ejohnsonpt/f9e85e

Little Rock, AR (Zone 7b)
ejohnsonpt
May 7, 2017 1:45 PM CST
This is a picture of one of the other plants
Thumb of 2017-05-07/ejohnsonpt/13da48

Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
May 7, 2017 7:46 PM CST

Moderator

Not really seeing insect damage, only really see 1 hole in a leaf of the better looking plant. How much sun do you get and where is your location. Mop Head Hydrangea normally are supposed to get morning sun with afternoon shade.
Little Rock, AR (Zone 7b)
ejohnsonpt
May 8, 2017 6:47 AM CST
There is definitely bug damage, in the first picture, the lack of bloom leaves have been chomped off, nothing has ever fallen off the plant or wilted and died, everything has been eaten off.

I'm in central arkansas, it gets morning shade to until about 1 pm the mostly sunny throughout the afternoon, but has the other shrubs that shade it some as well.
Little Rock, AR (Zone 7b)
ejohnsonpt
May 8, 2017 6:48 AM CST
This shows the damage a little better on the leaves
Thumb of 2017-05-08/ejohnsonpt/b09561

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 8, 2017 7:19 AM CST
It does look a little like slug damage. Have you been able to check at night with a flashlight?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Little Rock, AR (Zone 7b)
ejohnsonpt
May 8, 2017 10:10 AM CST
Yes I have. I've checked at dusk, midnight, 3 am, and 6 am. Never found but 1 slug and 1 tiny snail in the entire flower bed and neither of them were on the plant.
Little Rock, AR (Zone 7b)
ejohnsonpt
May 8, 2017 10:15 AM CST
I am in zone 7b
Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
CindySue
May 21, 2017 6:07 PM CST
I would stake up a shade cloth - 40 or 50% - and see what happens. Not right on top of it but high, with lots of air under it and extending far enough to shade them from the sun until later in the afternoon.

Coming out of hard shade (Is that a brick wall behind them?) and straight into afternoon sun in 7b...that's rough. He's still gonna be a little damp and a little cool and then boom, full sun. Give them some shade and see what they do.

If the shade does the trick, instead of moving them, you could plant them their own little shade tree or build them something neato to give them just a little more protection. You could adjust the amount and timing of the additional shade to determine what you'd need.

Of, of course, you could simply move them. But I'd give them some shade first - reduce the stress a little bit - before moving them.

Vegetable Grower
TheGoodSoil
May 30, 2017 9:27 AM CST
My hydrangeas have also been going through this lately as it's getting hotter in my area and they get a good amount of direct sunlight. The good thing is that they do return to their normal form as the day goes on. I may have to look into more shade as well though.
[Last edited by TheGoodSoil - May 31, 2017 6:05 AM (+)]
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Vegetable Grower
TheGoodSoil
May 30, 2017 3:46 PM CST

Thumb of 2017-05-30/TheGoodSoil/1491a3

Here are my hydrangeas with the same problem. So it's too much sun? Should I move them to the shade?
[Last edited by TheGoodSoil - May 31, 2017 6:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Three guesses...
Decatur, IL (Zone 6a)
CindySue
May 30, 2017 4:34 PM CST
TheGoodSoil said:
Here are my hydrangeas with the same problem. So it's too much sun? Should I move them to the shade?


Many hydrangeas can take quite a bit of sun but if it's in the shade half the day and then BOOM - hot sun - it's going to have an affect but, that said, it MAY be able to adapt to it.

You have that light siding behind it, which is actually going to provide some light if it's not deeply shaded in the mornings. And once it gets it's legs and puts on some growth, it's going to shade itself which will help increase the flow of moisture from the roots and greatly slow down the drying out on top.

(I moved the rest of this post to the blog)
[Last edited by CindySue - May 30, 2017 5:33 PM (+)]
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