help, bluebird is in trouble

novice_2009(zone 6b)May 15, 2009

My recently planted bluebird is not doing well, and I have no idea what it is. This is my first hydrangea. The leaves have some reddish brown spots on them, one or two look like they've been nibbled on, and the blossom buds have a rust color also. I'm not concerned about the nibbled leaves(very minor), but the discoloration. It should have blue flowers, but it is normal for the buds to be reddish brown? My guess is no. Please, if you know, tell me what this is. I'm gardening organically, but i just need to know what it is! Thanks so much!

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ladywindsurfer(Z7 SE)

If your BB receives several hours of sunlight each day, it is normal for H. serratas to develop burgundy/rusty colored foliage. The flower color will be influenced by the pH of the soil, a pH of about 6.5 or less will cause production of blue flowers, above that and you likely will have pink ones. I have tried only one BB, that was planted in very acidic red clay soil and after one year of blue flowers, it began to produce pink ones, a color I did not want in it's location and the only one in the garden with pink flowers, so I dug it up and gave it to a friend. It was replaced with a Blue Billow, which has remained true blue!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:38AM
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A little off topic but I have both blue billows and bluebird and both are pink. I overwintered them in my garage and have just planted them, so first year in the ground but right now both are pink. East Tennessee is supposed to have acid soils? I'll see what happens in later years.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 6:38AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Well, this is in a raised bed right at the foundation of the house. I tested pH before planting, it was so alkaline it was off the charts! So I added Epsoma sulfur. So the rust colored spots on leaves aren't a dx? What a relief!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 7:51PM
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