Roundup damage question

jemboyschJuly 5, 2012

I am very selective with my use of roundup and thought I was being careful, but some spray must have hit 2 of my hydrangea cuttings back in April. I wanted to clear out the grass in between the hedge I'm establishing. At first I thought they would die but then I saw the green coming back and even new growth. Unfortunately, the new growth is distorted and they are definitely stunted. These 2 are more than 1/2 the size of my other cutting (started and planted at the same time). I'm sick about it. Wondering if they will grow normally next year or continue to be sickly. I could start new cuttings. Info on line says the roundup is out of the soil in several weeks but not clear on how long the effected plants remain stunted. Thanks in advance for your help.

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I rooted the cuttings last spring and planted in the ground this spring. This is what it looked like before I did the damage.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:12AM
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This is it this morning.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:14AM
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As you can see no more grass but not much growth compared to the other cutting next to it which as I said was started and planted the same time. This one is even going to flower this year. I did the same to both - fertilized with slow release in April, miracle grow in May and alfalfa tea in June. Debating now if I should fertilize this month - if I do I will go organic slow release for sure. Thanks again for any advice.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:22AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Looks like the stunted one has a bud?? Should catch up eventually. Roundup is by no means a permanent entity. These are what, limelights? Prune each to equal sizes once they have filled out. They should grow at equal rates next year provided they receive similar treatment and nutrition. Try slow release fert with weed control for flower beds instead of instant killer.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:17PM
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You are right Springwood, there is a bud! I didn't realize this until you pointed it out. I had to go out and check for myself to be sure. Ha! With all the stress this plant has been through, it still will flower! I hope you are right about the roundup damage not being permanent. Yes, these are limelights. I have experience with these plants and know how well they do when pruned in late winter/early spring. But I hesitate to prune next year as I am trying to increase the height to provide privacy from the neighbor. This is why I am concerned with the stunted growth this year. No one to blame but myself. I will probably smother weeds with newspaper and shredded leaves next spring instead of putting anything down. Once a month fertilizing seems to work so I will do this again next year. Once the temp comes down, I will do one more round for this year but use slow release. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:24PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Hah, no problem... Bloom-wise your cuttings are way ahead of my 5-year so by rights I should actually be jealous. Mine has microscopic buds and my little lime has ones like your stunted specimen.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:36PM
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Thanks again Springwood. If I can be so bold as to give advice to you, I would recommend the once a month fertilizing program for the limelight. In the past, I just gave mine a shot in the spring - usually something like composted manure or alfalfa tea. And I was happy with the results. But since I was interested in stimulating growth on this hedge I read up on a fertilizing plan and most recommendations were once a month until July or August. Not counting my roundup faux pas, my limelights did well this year.
I thought about trying the little lime but I don't have much room left in my yard. I still may try them in the future though. I have heard they don't flower the same as limelight. Is this true? Thanks again for you input.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:01AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Hey I'm no expert, just a hydrangea enthusiast undertaking a lot of testing and experience sharing. You are correct, as I only fertilized once with basic MG Shake n Feed this year. I could stand to do it in a few more spots, and now would be the last time I would do it before fall.

Little lime seems to have darker foliage and the flowers do seem to develop a little differently. I think this plant is a winner in most gardens!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 7:34PM
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