Penniculata strange leaf problem.

EscobarMay 12, 2013

This is a Hydrangea Penniculata Phantom. It is a standard in a large tall container. New leaf growth is being affected by something. here are no visible bugs on it. new leafs are not developing right, they are tiny and clumping together, almost looks like they are forming a flower, but to early for that. The rest of the plant looks good,except for a few wrinkled leafs. It gets plenty of water. My other Limelight Hydrange that is 15 feet away is looking great. Full sun on brick patio, did great last year in this location. what could this be?

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Distortion of the foliage by puckering or crinkling, especially on new growth, is usually the result of insect damage, typically from sucking insects like aphids. There may well not be insects on the plant right now but they were very likely there just as that new growth was forming......that's like their favorite snack!

There is still time to prune that off if it bothers you.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:22PM
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If the problem persists, I would try releasing beneficial insects like ladybugs, etc. To prevent future infestations, release the ladybugs about 2-4 weeks before the date when the problem started this year (so if the problem started today, release them next year around the middle of April). Once you have a high enough level of these benefiail insects, you will not need to repeat this every year of course. To maintain these guys around, provide them with some water and reduce (or eliminate) the use of insecticides as insecticides will also kill beneficial insects. And if the number of beneficial insects gets too low, that can allow aphids to get out of control in future years.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Thank you for your responses.

Garden gal, do you think if I remove this new growth I can still get flowers this year?

Luis, will definatelle go out and get some ladybugs. Hopefully it will bloom this year. It is such a gorgeous little tree.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:25PM
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