Hydrangea Lacking in Food??

Discussion in 'Compost, Fertilisers & Recycling' started by reb999000, May 22, 2020 at 9:55 AM.

  1. reb999000

    reb999000 Apprentice Gardener

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    To All,

    My small Hydrangea is lacking in food (fading leaves is one symptom for this). I have re-sifted the plant six inches to the right and placed Blood & Bone Fertiliser + Snail Killer pellets to keep the Snails at bay.

    Apart from Blood & Bone, what other food would you recommend??

    Muck appreciated...

    Bob...

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  2. luis_pr

    luis_pr Apprentice Gardener

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    A nitrogen deficiency can cause a complete yellowing of leaves but this is rare. You can correct this problem by adding a salt like ammonium sulfate or organic sources like blood meal. However, it may be more useful to investigate why there is this deficiency or if the deficiency is caused by a different problem. For example, the roots may not be able to absorb oxygen and other minerals if there is a lot of water in the soil. The excess water may be caused by overwatering or by excessive rainfall. I observed that in the picture, the soil seems to be very wet but, I could not confirm that. You could get some soil in between two fingers and press to see if the soil produces water droplets. If it does, the soil is too wet. Inserting the two fingers to a depth of 10cms or so.

    Nitrogen toxicity (too much nitrogen) can also cause leaves to completely turn yellow. In this case, the reason is usually over-fertilizing. Or using fertilizers that contain a lot of nitrogen (the first number in the NPK Ratio). Or using that type of fertilizer too often. This toxicity will cause extremely dark leaves with some leaves turning yellow. A soil test can tell you if you have too much nitrogen

    A lack of other minerals can cause yellowing of leaves that keeps the leaf veins still dark green. Lack of magnesium or iron for example, could cause this type of chlorosis. The soil may not have enough of them or the roots may be unable to absorb them because the minerals have formed chemical bonds with other minerals. The reason for chlorosis may be due to overwatering, lack of the minerals or due to alkaline soil that blocks the uptake of the minerals. A soil pH test can be used to rule out alkaline soil problems. Checking the soil for too much water can be done to rule out overwatering. A formal soil test can be used to determine if the soil truly lacks the minerals.

    Too much sunlight can also cause leaves to completely yellow out. In such a scenario, only the leaves in direct contact with the sun would yellow out. The other protected leaves would remain dark green.

    Winter damage can also cause leaf yellowing. If a plant breaks dormancy too early, the sap begins to flow. If a late frost hits at this time, the leaves can turn a variety of colors: yellow, red, purple, dark green, etc.

    Heat stress can also make some hydrangeas develop complete yellow leaves. During the summer months, hydrangea paniculatas will tend to lose leaves at the bottom of the plant. Some people call this "showing their feet". I do not think this applies in your case as this is not a hydrangea paniculata and it is not yet summer time.

    Powdery mildew can also cause some leaves to yellow out too. But this fungal disease usually displays some white or grey splotches first.

    There are some cases where this is normal. There are hydrangeas whose leaves start yellow and stay yellow for a long time. One example is Sun Goddess. The more sun the leaves get, the faster they will change from yellow to dark green though.
     
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      Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 5:09 AM
    • reb999000

      reb999000 Apprentice Gardener

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      @luis_pr,

      Thank you very much for you information which I have found very useful.

      Apologies for not mentioning this in my original post. I have been disposing my loose tea leaves around the Hydrangea, as owing me being a loose leaf tea drinker, hopefully that did not contribute to the issue(s)??...

      Regards,

      Bob...
       
    • Spruce

      Spruce Glad to be back .....

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      Hi

      how long had it been growing in that spot before you moved it ...
      does it get direct sunshine ...
      dont over use slug pellets no need .. and depending on which ones not good for the wildlife , just saying... tea leaves will be fine ...

      Spruce
       
    • luis_pr

      luis_pr Apprentice Gardener

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      I have not heard of tea leaves causing a problem either unless they are full of lead. Camellia sinensis leaves, for example, would be just fine.

      I randomly spread coffee grounds though. But, I stop all forms of fertilizing about three months before early frosts/freezes in autumn.
       
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