I had three Quick Fire hydrangeas planted this fall. They have lots of yellow leaves with dark spots sprinkled in them and lots of holes in the leaves like something has been eating on them. Also, the branches look moldy. What should I do to them before winter sets in? Should I pull the leaves off and also should I do any pruning?
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By Peggy from Springboro, OH
You may be overwatering, so I would cut back for a few days to see if it helps. I would make sure you are watering the base of the plant and not the leaves. Is there enough space between the plants for circulation? For the holes, it's probably slugs, so get Sluggo or put crushed egg shells around the plants (the slugs don't like climbing on them).
When you do water them add 1 T of Epsom salt to 1 gal of water & give them some fertilizer. Spread about 2 cups of Holly Tone around the base of them.
I am a Master Gardener in central Ohio. It seems like your hydrangeas are going into normal dormancy. See http://www.ipmnet.umd.edu/cutflower/docs/FS927-Woody%20cut%20stems-UMD.pdf for more info.
You don't need to pull off the leaves they will fall off naturally as the plant goes dormant for the winter. Don't worry. It sounds like your plants are normal for this area.
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I planted six hydrangeas along the south side of my 5 ft. fence. They are Limelights, Quickfire, and Pink Winky. They've been there 3 years. They grow well, but I'm noticing yellow leaves that are dropping off. The flowers are forming great, but I'm concerned. Are they getting too much or too little water? Please help. Thank you.
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By lincolnshire from Springfield, IL