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Preparing Hydrangeas for Winter

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Boy Caught in Snowstorm
We have had a few nights where the temps have dropped in to the high 30s, a stark reminder that it’s time to prepare to wrap some of my bigleaf (macrophyllas) and mountain (serratas) hydrangeas for winter. Those that aren't planted in protected locations as I described in my other blog posts, https://bit.ly/2lRGNlm and https://bit.ly/2A8tzZE need a little help if I want to give them their best chance of having their buds make it through the coming winter to see flowers in 2020. 
Exactly what does this mean right now? SHRUB COVERS: something to safely protect the plants from ice and snow, maybe even give them a few degrees of insulation.

LEAF SPOTS ON HYDRANGEA

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On my recent garden visits, I’ve noted an abundance of leaf spots and unsightly foliage on hydrangeas. They can be bacterial leaf spot from an infection by Xanthomonas campestris, or Cercospora which grows from the pathogen Cercospora hydrangeae. I’m also seeing powdery mildew on many plants. You can thank Erysiphe friesii var. friesii (formerly Microsphaera friesii). If you’ve got blemished foliage, a trip to your local extension office can diagnose which it is so you can apply the proper treatment, if at all.

WEBWORMS ON PANICLE HYDRANGEAS

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In July, I wrote about webworms (Hyphantria cunea) on panicle hydrangeas.For the past several weeks, the second generation has been active in my neck of the woods. And boy, are they active! It seems every day they form new webs where none were the previous day. That will continue through October or until the first killing frost. Ugly doesn’t come close to what the plant looks like when these beasties are at work.

PANICLE HYDRANGEAS ON PARADE

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I have been roaming around these past few weeks, visiting open gardens throughout my local area. The panicle hydrangeas have been just glorious in every garden I have seen with their undeniably spectacular flowers and form. Not to mention the impressive flowers of oak leaf hydrangeas are showing their magnificent colors as well.

HYDRANGEA CARE FOR JULY – PART TWO

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Hard to believe we are past mid-July – already! NOW is the time to take care of a couple of hydrangea chores, ideally by August 1.