Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Help With Hydrangeas

Our blue, white and pink hydrangea bushes all turned to a light green color and have remained green throughout the summer. What would cause the colors to change? We have also had very poor success with the roses the last two years. They bloom early and the all the leaves fall off leaving just the flower. After the leaves fall then the newest buds never open. They seem to be starving for something but we cannot figure out what is lacking. Can you help?

-- James, Fayetteville

Anne’s Response:

Your hydrangeas are growing just as they are supposed to. The plant blooms its original color (blue, white or pink) then instead of having the flower turn brown and fall off it turns green and remains on the plant until frost turns it brown in the fall. That is one of the joys of the plant - a bloom form that remains attractive on the plant for a very long time. The problem with your roses is harder to diagnose. In most cases the leaf drop comes from leaves that have been affected with Black Spot fungus. The leaves get spotted, turn yellow and fall off. It is quite near the end of the rose season this year and there is not enough time to control Black Spot and produce a set growth of foliage and bloom before the first frost. Clean up all the dropped foliage and dispose of it. After the first frost spray the ground around the plants with a Lime-Sulfur spray to control any fungus spores that may be on the ground. In December spray the plants with the same product. Next spring start a fertilizer and disease control program. Many gardeners with just a few rose plants have found the Bayer 3 in One or All in One product a safe, easy way to fertilize the plants, and protect them from diseases and insects. The chemical is mixed with water in a watering can and the product is poured on the ground around the base of the bush, being careful not to get the chemical on the foliage of the plants.

1 comment:

Brighter Blooms Nursery said...

Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite. The supreme mix of bright colors and large leaves make this a mainstay in my garden.