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Oak Leaf Hydrangea dying!

Posted by oneslip MO (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 9, 10 at 14:31

Help, I have lived in my house for over 8 yrs and we have 2 very large Oak Leaf Hydrangeas (6'X6' or maybe bigger) in the front yard. The plants are right next to each other. One of the hydrangeas looks like it is dying, the leaves are wilting, turning brown and then falling off. I have taken a knife and scrapped some of the bark off and I see green so that is a good sign, I scrape bark further out on the limbs and they are brown and dry. We have had a pretty hot summer this yr here in St. Louis but my question is why would one plant have issues the other would not? Another thing I noticed was small ants around the base of the hydrangea so I have put some Tero baits for that issue. Would appreciate any suggestions, ideas or just plain knowledge on whether this plant is going dormant or has a more serious issue. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Oak Leaf Hydrangea dying!

Is the soil getting drier on one of the shrubs? You may need to water more or more often. Make sure you have 3-4" of mulch up tp to the drip line.

Do you have any evidence that there are insect pests (not the ants) at work? Check the leaves' top and bottom. Check stems too.

Also, some winter damage can show up as browning stems at times when the plant is stressed (say, during the summer months).

Some pests also drill under the soil and can disturb the roots. The pest(s) may have caused more damage in one shrub so it becomes more obvious.

Oakleafs are notorious for having root rot when exposed to wet soil for long periods of time. Drainage may be keeping one plant fine and the other not.

It is too early for dormancy. That will happen when Fall's cooler temperatures arrive.

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