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Hydrangea Petiolaris- is this a virus?

My Hydrangea Petiolaris out leaves were badly caught by a late frost, so I had to trim of some of the leaves once frost had passed. I now notice this bubbling of the leaves between all the little veins.  What is it, and what should I do about it?  I have 'Mosaic virus' in my head- which I think a nearby buddleia (no longer around) once had some years ago.

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  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,146
    What does the back of those leaves look like? I don't think you need to worry too much, especially if only a few leaves look like this. Is it in flower at the moment? (mine is).
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • The backs are like a jigsaw, and when I cut through a leaf the back and front have pulled apart with a pocket of air between.  
  • Not yet in flower-we are on exposed site in Cumbria. your comment
  • luis_prluis_pr Hurst, Texas Zone 8aPosts: 121
    edited 30 May
    I think it may be leftover damage from your late frost. Frost tends to cause all kinds of injuries when the temperatures go down and ice crystals form. If that were to be the case, leaves that opened much later after the frost would appear to be fine. They should be smaller than the ones in the picture.
    HdMV (hydrangea mosaic virus) usually causes the leaves to turn yellow and become distorted, and the growth of the plant will be stunted. It is more common in hydrangea macrophylla than on hydrangea anomala. Your plant does not display those symptoms. HdRV (hydrangea ringspot virus) usually causes pale yellow or yellowish-white spotting on the leaves. Leaf distortions, such as rolling or crinkling, may be apparent in some varieties of hydrangea.Ringspot symptoms may also present as fewer florets on the flower head and stunting of normal plant growth. But testing of infected plant material is the only way to conclusively identify hydrangea mosaic or ringspot viruses.
    This time of the year (mid to late Spring), be on the look out for some hydrangea leaf pests like the leafroller insect or the hydrangea leaf-tier/leaftier larvae. Luckily, they seem to prefer the leaves of hydrangea arborescens (Annabelle-like hydrangeas) more than hydrangea macrophylla.


  • Thank You Luis, we have had frosts quite recently so hard to tell about the younger leaves.  
    my other hydrangea petiolaris is on the other side of the house and not as exposed. That one had a bit of leaves frosted and brown, a few weeks ago, but not as much.  I've just checked that one for the 'bubbling of leaves' and it only has a few with the bubbling.
    Therefore, I am surmising that it is indeed frost damage! 😅 
  • luis_prluis_pr Hurst, Texas Zone 8aPosts: 121
    Wishing you lots of blooms if the climbing hydrangea has already started to blooms (they can take a while to bloom initially sometimes).
  • Thank you Luis, a lot of flowers lost due to frost but hopefully plenty still on each climber!
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