Annabelle variegation

Ruth_MI(z5MI)June 21, 2011

Last year one of my Annabelles had a stem with variegated leaves. It came up the same way this year. If I follow the main branch down, all the stems that come off of it are variegated except one. The rest of the shrub has the normal, solid leaves.

I've read about variegation due to virus, but have no experience with it. There is no change in the leaf texture. I like the variegation a lot, but if there's an issue with the health of the plant, I'll do what I need to do.

Sorry about the not-so-good picture - just took it with my phone.

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Plant viruses can act in different ways. Some are harmless to the plant; others can be quite detrimental. Also, not all variegation is the result of a virus.....sometimes it is just a genetic abnormality or 'sport'.

If your plant appears otherwise healthy and blooms well, I'm not sure I'd be concerned ;-) In fact, I'd try propagating the variegated portions by cuttings. If it remains stable and you are able to consistantly reproduce variegated plants from the cuttings, you may just have "discovered" a new, variegated Annabelle hydrangea!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:11PM
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Thanks so much gardengal - and perfect timing too! I happened to check this for responses just after you posted, and just before heading out for an after-rain walk in the garden. I now have four cuttings in pots, and got to prepare them while listening to baby wrens chirp in the wren house and feel the sunshine after an afternoon of rain.

I know so little about viruses that I didn't want to ignore this as a potential issue if I shouldn't. I also have a lot of Annabelles and Incrediballs.

The plant is very healthy otherwise. And I have to (sheepishly) admit that for some reason I didn't think about cuttings, despite having three other pots of hydrangea cuttings rooting at the moment. So I appreciate the suggestion. I'd thought of separating that part of the plant, but it would be a fall project and I was uncertain about doing it. Cuttings make so much more sense! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:49PM
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