What is this plant

catt_2006(3a)July 12, 2013

This is growing in my flower bed and I don't know what it is. I have been letting it grow waiting for it to flower to see what it would do. It now has these little buds on it and I'm getting impatient. Anyone know?

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Geez, looks like a hydrangea to me. Lucky you!

*edit* I can't tell you much more without guessing but those leaves make me think the plant is lacking a nutrient.

This post was edited by SouthCountryGuy on Fri, Jul 12, 13 at 23:24

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:17PM
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catt_2006(3a)

Thank you, I haven't paid it much attention because last year it didn't flower at all, was going to take it out this fall. Hmm now to figure out what it needs.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:03AM
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Pudge 2b

It appears to be suffering from iron chlorosis (when the leaf is yellow but the veins remain green). I have this problem with susceptible shrubs and trees in my yard because I have alkaline soil. Chelated iron will (may) help although it may be a temporary fix if it's a soil issue.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:08AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

pudge don't you also have to lower the ph to make iron available to the plant? I was under the impression that if the ph was to high the plant was unable to make use of available iron.

Catt That will be a great looking shrub! When it gets a little bigger and fully flowered you will be able to compare with pictures online to figure out what type it is. Not many are hardy to 3a so it shouldn't be too hard. For some reason my guess would be an Annabelle.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:02AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

SCG, you're right about lowering the pH but often that's only temporary too because of buffering in the soil's chemistry. With reasonably small plants you can usually do enough by using a fertilizer with iron added, or using chelated iron, but for trees and things I'd just pick something compatible with your soil.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 3:50PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

northspruce Funny you mention planting things compatible with ones soil. I am currently amending soil to get the PH down for a Rhododendron. I am now concerned about sustenance. Hopefully I can be the little train that could with a diligent program.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Pudge 2b

I can't grow roses because of iron chlorosis. I tried all kinds of methods to get them green but it was an ongoing battle. I don't think you can amend the soil enough to permanently change alkalinity unless perhaps you have a deep raised bed. I just don't grow roses any more and, as Gil says, choose plants that are happy in my alkaline soil and they grow and are healthy without effort.

Having said all that, sometimes plants can show signs of iron chlorosis because of a cold, wet season. But if the plant is consistently chlorotic, I would suggest moving it to another location - lower elevations in the yard are sometimes not as alkaline as hill tops.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:34PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

While I have already taken this thread way off topic I have 2 last questions. I guess by amending I should give my methods. I excavated a hole 6' round by 4' deep. I took all this soil and dumped it as it was too alkaline. I am taking slightly acidic top soil and mixed in equally composted bark fines and composted manure, about 20% total. This brought the ph down to just over 6. Now I am mixing the soil with powdered sulphur in my concrete mixer and will continue to do so until the PH hits about 5.5. I will then put it in the hole. Am I fighting a losing battle? If we are worried about leaching from the sides I could seal them creating a pot. Second is how alkaline is your soil that roses won't grow?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:38PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

SCG, that sounds like it could work in the long term. It's pretty much what Pudge described with a deep raised bed, except not raised.

My old yard was alkaline, very thick fertile clay and while the roses occasionally became chlorotic they really liked the fertile clay soil. Here I have silt with towering spruce trees and I haven't measured the pH but I know it's acidic. All the groups of plants that like light acidic soils go crazy here. Roses are just okay, the soil is a little lean and dry for them.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Pudge 2b

Exchanging the soil such as you have done in as large a hole as you have made would probably be more akin to results from a deep raised bed. Time will tell if your battle will be successful.

It's not just roses but they are just 'off my list'. I have a Weigelia that has always been moderately affected, as are Ninebark (both Golden and Diabolo), Elder, 3 plants of one variety of Spirea but not any of the other varieties. Some years - the wet years - are worse than others. I took out an Amur Maple because it was severely chlorotic and had the burnt leaf margins.

So far my 3 Hydrangea are not showing any signs of chlorosis. Limelight is several years old, Little Lime and Invincible Spirit were just planted last year. I've never dug one up and moved it so I don't know how extensive a root system they have so I don't know if the roots of Limelight are into that heavy clay subsoil or I could have gotten lucky with its location and found a pocket of deeper non-clay soil. My Invincible Spirit is forming flower buds now that look just like the ones in the above photo.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:56AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Thanks North and pudge. I figured as much but you never know what I learn from discussion. Only one of my 5 hydrangea's is budding or blooming. I wish they all would but I was told that sometimes they miss the first year as they establish roots. The one blooming was purchased this year, the bella anna. Looking forward to next year...thanks for a great discussion and I hope catt keeps us up to date on how the hydrangea is doing.

SCG

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:43AM
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catt_2006(3a)

Hi everyone, thanks for the great discussion. I feel pretty silly not knowing that plant was a hydrangea as I have others in my yard. However all of the others have white buds, except for the endless summer who is already flowering and none of the others are affected with those yellow leaves. I did move it this year in the spring, maybe that affected it. It never flowered or set buds last year so I will try to amend the soil but why would the other hydrangea not be affected. My friend had thought the plant may be a viburnum. I would be thrilled if it ended up being invinceable spirit.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:32PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

catt Ohh, I didn't know you moved it. I had one I moved (long story) this year just before the cold wet spring. It looked like yours a few weeks ago and is slowly getting better. As pudge said plants can show signs like this due to a cold wet spring then add transplant shock. Maybe you should just wait it out for a bit and see what happens.

Love to see pics of the others and how this one does later on.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:22PM
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catt_2006(3a)

Here is a different Hydrangea in the same bed as the one I posted above. So maybe I will leave the soil and just see how it does. Could be because I moved it. Tried to post pics of my others but don't know how to post multiple pictures.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 8:50AM
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catt_2006(3a)

Anyone know what the above pictured hydrangea may be? Also, if this is in the same bed as the one at the top of the post than should i still worry about the soil?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 7:51PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

That looks like an annabelle, but my vision maybe off.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Pudge 2b

I thought perhaps Limelight.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:00AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I am with you now pudge. Blooms probably would be bigger on an Annabelle.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:04PM
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catt_2006(3a)

Hi all just want to follow up on this thread. In the picture below the middle hydrangea is the one that was pictured at the top of this thread. I never did end up amending the soil so it must have just been the move that made the leaves so sickly looking last year.

Sorry for the bad lighting in the picture.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:39PM
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twrosz

Hi catt_2006 ... the whites are definitely 'Annabelle' or 'Incrediball' and the pink is most likely 'Invincibelle Spirit' or the very similar 'Bella Anna'.

Your plants are doing great!

Terrance

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:30PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Beautiful, catt!

The white ones are definitely Annabelle or Incrediball. The flower heads of Limelight are a bit more conical and the leaves are more coarse too.

This is very pretty indeed! Congrats.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:49PM
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