Hydrangea Annabelle Heartbreak

northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)May 21, 2006

I posted this message on the Hydrangea Forum, but it seems most of the members there are in the U.S. Maybe you can help. I live near the Nation's Capital in Ontario. When we moved to this house 23 years ago, there was a hedge of Hydrangea Annabelle about 12 feet long which provided privacy to our front patio. It was perfect until about five years ago when it contracted what I was told is a "leaf roller". This little vermin takes two facing leaves, glues them together like a little envelope, and proceeds to reproduce therein. Eventually the stem just shrivels up and dies. I was told to treat it with BTK, which I did, but I realize the BTK would have to come into contact with the critter, which it doesn't because it protects itself so well. I have tried taking off the little envelopes but it is time consuming, and you can't get them all. The result of this infestation is that the blooms are smaller, and the bushes don't grow as tall as they used to. This year, I cut them back a little more severely than usual, and now that they're growing out, the infestation seems worse than ever.

I am losing plants every year, and I would hate to have to give up on them, they're a landmark in our neighbourhood. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Northerner.

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dannie(3b NWO Canada)

Hi

I am in North Western Ontario and I cut my Annabelle Hydrangeas to the ground each fall or in early spring. They come back from the roots just fine and spread easily. A thought might be to try the same with yours depending on how tall they are right now. They should come back from the roots just fine if they are well established. By the time they grow back, the infestation might be over.

You can see the hydrangea behind the planter.

Danni

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:31PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hi dannie: Thanks for your info. I have been cutting these back to the ground each year and did it early this spring, but it still comes back. They are about 18 inches tall right now and I lost 3 more plants today.

Northerner.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 12:24AM
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marricgardens

Have you tried the NIC website? Here's a link to insect controls. Natural-Insect-Control.com/catalogue/getsub.c
Hope this helps.
Another thing I would try is to get some Safer's End All, mix it up in a pail of water, and use it as a soil drench. It would be taken up by the roots and into the plant. When the larvae eat the leaves, they would ingest it. This method would probably be cheaper than the NIC. Good lukc. Marg

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 8:24AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Thanks, Marg. Your suggestion makes sense. I'll certainly try it.
Northerner.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 1:02AM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

Another thing that might be worth trying is in early spring, spray the entire area (including the ground, especially the ground) with horticultural oil. This is oil that is sprayed on fruit trees to prevent overwintering insect eggs from hatching. I'm not sure but what this might normally be done even in late winter - ask a nursery about that.

Deanna

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 6:26PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hi Deana;
Thanks for your input - I thought this post was long off the Forum. This fall, I cut the hedge back hard, raked out all the old leaves and debris and scattered horticultural sulphur generously on the ground all around. I had some success with this with my Lysmachia ground cover a couple years ago. But I will keep the oil in mind.
Northerner.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 10:55PM
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zuni(5a)

Hi Northerner, BTK does not work by contact. Rather, it must be eaten by the little buggers. I suggest you start using the following mix weekly as soon as the leaves begin to bud out in late spring:

Use 1 teaspoon BTK, 7 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of dish soap, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Spray both tops and bottoms of all leaves weekly or after a heavy rain.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 3:05PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Thanks for your suggestion, Zuni. Yet another but I will try anything at this point. I have almost given up on the hydrangea hedge. This year, I have so few plants left it can hardly be called a hedge. Lots of plants keeling over, and those that have survived the winter are growing very slowly, and only a few have blossoms forming, and they are very small. I will retain this info. for next spring and see what happens. Thanks for your interest.
Northerner.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:47AM
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lsk502002_yahoo_com

Thank you for this information. This year I am going to try NOT pruning and see if that helps. I also have a problem with the flower color. Only the first bloom of the season is white. All other blooms for the same season are green. Does anyone know anything about this?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 5:36PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I have given up on my Hydrangea hedge for a while - haven't done anything about it this year. But I do believe the existence of this infestation has something to do with increased shade in this area caused by a 'grown-up' maple. This is because a few bushes which have grown around the corner of the patio enclosure, getting full mornng sun are doing well, producing large white blooms. I also noticed the colour change of the blooms as cited in the above post, but attributed it to the extremely wet summer we had in Ontario, but it may have something to do with the amount of shade. We are planning to have the maple trimmed because it is also encroaching on my only full-sun bed. There's always next year!!
Northerner.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 3:36AM
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lois007

Have you tried phoning the Experimental Farm or Dept of Agriculture. They are loaded with info.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 1:42AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I see this thread is still alive and well. I did not get around to doing anything about the Hydrangeas last year because of illness in the family. I went out to prune this spring and they are so sparse, I'm thinking of digging them all up and putting something else in. It's not a big deal as we no longer use this patio very much since we put in a deck looking out over the backyard. I'll see what transpires over the summer. Thanks Lois.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 4:11AM
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daviquotep6

this is very nice flower,i wonder why they call it a heartbreak

Here is a link that might be useful: heartbreak

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 11:53AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I am amazed this post is still going. However,Daviquotep6, the name of the plant is Hydrangea Annabelle. The heartbreak is what it is doiing to me! But thanks for the link about heartbreak. Some of the quotes were interesting - a bit more sentimental than most I have heard. About the plant: I disregarded it in 2009 and the infestation never showed up and I had quite a nice show of blooms. Unfortunately that was short-lived - they returned this year. I am not paying much attention to them anymore because we exclusively use use our backyard deck.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 12:16AM
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