A dozen dead Hydrangeas?!

Barry817April 27, 2014

I've had over a dozen beautifully blooming healthy hydrangeas for the past 3 years and this year every one but ONE looks like the picture attached. My green thumbed father is adamant that our lawn service poisoned them via overspray, and the fact that every one EXCEPT the single one that came back normally are positioned within 2-3 feet of my lawn edge supports that hypothesis, but I would like some support before blaming them outright. What kind of lawn-care chemical could have done this?? I'm sure they will say that they have been treating my lawn for years and it never happened before... so is there any other rational explanation? There is a bit of new growth in each so will these eventually come back to full life? I would really appreciate any input/ advice!!

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

I would be more inclined to say the cane damage was due to the harsh winter rather than chemical overspray. If chemicals killed the canes they more than likely would have killed the roots as well. Yours look better than mine do right now and yes they will fully come back.

SCG

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Linda

Your Hydrangeas are not dead; just treated harshly by the winter. Mine look EXACTLY the same and there are no chemical sprays in or near my garden. They will come back from the growth from the roots. Cut back the top canes and hope for a milder winter next time.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Barry817

THANK you Linda and SCG! I certainly can accept natural causes.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:02PM
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Linda

Repeat post.

This post was edited by whitelacey on Sun, Apr 27, 14 at 12:27

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Linda

Barry,

Just curious: how come green-thumbed father didn't know this? Are you lucky enough in your neck of the woods to never see winter-kill? Here in Ohio it happens all the time.

Your Hydrangeas will probably not bloom as much this year. They look like the variety 'Endless Summer' which blooms on both old and new wood. This year it will be blooming on new wood only.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:31PM
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Barry817

THANK you Linda and SCG! I certainly can accept natural causes.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:33PM
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Barry817

Linda,

Location is the answer to both your Q's... My dad lives in Md and I moved to SC... so he assumed my plants shouldn't have had any problems since we are so far south and none of his had any problems. I am completely clueless to horticulture in general but want to learn and was wanting to be sure I didn't do anything wrong MYSELF to cause them not to come back.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:10PM
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hokierustywilliamsbu

Winter kill-thats how most of mine look too!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:16AM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

This nursery near Atlanta reports 80% of their gallons macs died back to the ground. Some of mine showing growth from low on the canes & below ground, but slow going in this delayed Spring. Haven't cut back the canes, since a few deer nibbles show live pith. Trusting they'll eventually grow from the roots, if not from above...

Here is a link that might be useful: Mac losses

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:20PM
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kidhorn(7a MD)

In the future, try piling leaves on top of the plant before the first freeze of the season. It won't completely prevent cane death, but in most cases you'll a few blooms where you otherwise wouldn't get any.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:43PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Give the stems another month to produce. Some of them still look beige/brownish in color. Some of the buds might've gotten nipped, but many stems still appear to be alive. Don't give up on them until about June.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:47AM
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