Ask a Question forum: Hydrangeas Discolored Leaves

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Name: Keaton
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Keaton1ao
Aug 14, 2017 6:44 AM CST
Hi all, having some trouble identifying what’s wrong with my hydrangea. It doesn’t look like black spot or leaf spot it’s got more of a purple discoloration to it. It gets morning sun but majority shade, did not bloom this year because it got hit by the late frost, and we just went through a 90+ degree dry spell for about two weeks before it rained again that all may contribute to this. I haven’t done a ph soil test yet but am going to today. Could you tell me what is causing it to look like this?
Thumb of 2017-08-14/Keaton1ao/0f0ea6

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Aug 17, 2017 6:09 AM CST
SInce no answer yet, I will suggest it is likely a stress reaction and not a leaf disease. Maybe it got really dry during the hot spell?
Does not seem to be on this sheet from Alabama Extension, again makes me lean to getting too dry.
http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/...
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 17, 2017 11:11 AM CST
I was thinking along the same lines as Sally. The red could be stress, but I wondered if the yellowing could indicate a nutrient deficiency. That could also come from being too dry, though. There are a few leaf spots but they don't look too serious at this point. My guess from the colour of the flower, if the camera is accurate, is that the pH is around neutral.
Name: Keaton
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Keaton1ao
Aug 17, 2017 11:20 AM CST
so I should probably lower that pH then? I read that hydrangeas like sound 5.5 if I'm going for Blue correct? Sorry for all the questions Smiling I'm brand new to all this so this is a learning experience. Could this be solved by just fertilizing in spring and fall? because I did not fertilize at all this year
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Aug 17, 2017 11:42 AM CST
Did you do the soil/pH test you mentioned earlier? You do need to lower the pH to get blue. If the flower is purplish then you're already part way there otherwise it would be pink, but it is best to find out a more accurate pH so that you know how much sulphur or aluminum sulfate to apply to lower the pH enough but not too much.

Were the leaves a normal green before the hot dry spell?
Name: Keaton
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Keaton1ao
Aug 17, 2017 12:00 PM CST
I did not get to the pH test that day but I have the test at the house I just need to go out and do it. Last year the leaves were beautiful and full all year and it bloomed a good bit. Yes the leaves were green before the 2 week heat wave and drought but it has since rained a good bit and it does not seem to be reversing. Could it be that the damage to the leaves are permanent? Also like i said I didn't fertilize at all so it may contribute to it not having the nutrients it needs or honestly it could be a combo of nutrients and heat. I have another hydrangea in my back yard and it gets full sun all day long and to keep it alive last summer i had to water it quite often and i over watered and it got black spot so thats what I didn't want to do to this once since it is in the front yard and can be seen. Just trying to figure this particular plant out so I can get into a yearly regiment of keeping it pretty and disease free!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Aug 17, 2017 6:32 PM CST
Once yellowed, leaves do not change back.
I personally almost never fertilize. And Georgia clay based soil is pretty good at holding nutrients.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Southeast OK (Zone 7b)
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KarenHolt
Aug 18, 2017 8:28 AM CST
If you have had hot weather then cooler weather the hydrangea may be trying to go into dormancy. My red slipper hydrangea is doing that now. Earlier this year than last but our weather is hot, cool, hot, cool. Last year our weather was steady so no early dormancy.

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