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Lace cap hydrangea yellowing and losing leaves after transplant

Posted by severalservals 6a (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 25, 11 at 14:18

I've got a lace cap hydrangea that I had planted in the spring in a very shady spot on the side of my house with a northwestern exposure. It never did that well there, and appeared to be trying to grow up towards a better lit area, so I moved it about 3 weeks ago to a much sunnier spot with a northeastern exposure.

Our soil is mostly clay, but I tried to condition it with topsoil and sphagnum moss before transplanting, and after the transplant I watered very thoroughly by leaving the garden hose on a low stream right above the rootball.

Since then, the plant's condition has deteriorated dramatically. It has lost a lot of leaves, and most of the remaining leaves are yellow and spotted. I've attached some pictures below.

Does anyone have any idea what I've managed to do wrong to this poor plant? I'd love to save it, if I could.

Thanks very much.

Here is a link that might be useful: Recent photo of plant

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lace cap hydrangea yellowing and losing leaves after transpla

I doubt you've done anything wrong to this plant :-) Transplanting a hydrangea in the early part of November is only going to hasten the very natural seasonal yellowing and dropping of foliage. Honestly, I'm a bit surprised to see any foliage left at all. And a bit of spotting on the leaves now is nothing to be overly concerned about either - most likely some combination of transplant, seasonal and/or weather stress. It should be fine come spring.

In zone 6 it is a good idea to provide Hydrangea macrophylla with some sort of winter protection to prevent excessive dieback and potential loss of next season's blooms due to cold damage. If you search the archives of this forum, you'll find a variety of posts that discuss this topic and recommend methods.

RE: Lace cap hydrangea yellowing and losing leaves after transpla

Thank you so much! That's great news. I'll definitely follow up with the winter protection.

RE: Lace cap hydrangea yellowing and losing leaves after transpla

Excessive spotting may suggest that the old or new (or both) place had too much moisture so, I would suggest getting rid of the leaves in the trash when they finally dry out as the shrub goes dormant. This would minimize spreading fungal spores around. I would also wait to water until the soil becomes slightly less moist. As the shrub goes dormant, you can water once every two weeks or so -if the soil has not frozen- and the weather has been dry.

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