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Hydrangea leaves curling and browning

Hello, I hope someone can advise me on why my hydrangea leaves are curling and browning. Last year they flowered more or less normally but then the leaves and flowers dried up, in August (I’m in France).  This year they have just come into leaf but leaves are already curling so clearly something is very wrong.  I can’t see any bugs on the leaves but I am thinking it must be an infestation of some kind?
Any advice at all would be really appreciated, thank you
Allie
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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,524
    It's caused by frost just as the leaves are starting to open.
    Mine have it too this year :(
    The plant will be fine, it's just the leaves look a bit unsightly
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,365
    I suspect that’s a bit of frost damage on leaves that are still young and tender. It’ll be ok. 

    If the leaves are drying in August it’s probably due to lack of water … hydrangeas need a lot of water … and then a lot more 😉 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Thank you for answering Pete and Dove, I really hope it is just frost damage, but I’m pessimistic about the prognosis.  I’m attaching another photo, close up of a leaf.  I wouldn’t be worried if it weren’t for the fact that there was a problem last summer, just with the lace cap variety, the mop heads weren’t affected.  I’ve just gone to check the mop heads (growing alongside the lace caps), and they are fine, no leaf curl or browning.
    It’s so disappointing.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,524
    If you look at the photos you kindly provided you can see in the 1st pic it's just the ends of the leaves that are affected. So it's likely that a frost has nipped the top of the leaf whilst it was still a bud - that's why it's just the ends of the leaves that are affected.
    On the 2nd pic you can see a crease mark - that where it got a touch of frost just as it started to unfurl.
    I get the same problem with Lacecaps and Mopheads if there's a frost.
    The paniculatas don't seem to be affected.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,596
    I'm wondering if the latest photo that you posted shows signs of some kind of scale insect damage. I'm not sure, maybe someone else can confirm. 

    As @Pete.8 says, l think it's just coincidence. The previous photos show slight frost damage, my small mophead hydrangea that was planted in the ground recently looks very similar.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,524
    The little 'craters' on the 2nd pic are probably where raindrops or condensation has frozen on a tender new leaf and killed the cells underneath. They'll develop into small holes.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you Pete and Anni.  Fingers crossed it’s just frost.  
  • squidgyhollysquidgyholly CambridgeshirePosts: 10
    One of our hydrangeas has the same problem and I think that was caused by frost too - it was so lovely and warm and it started to grow leaves like there was no tomorrow, then one really chilly night has really upset it! 
  • Same here Squidgy - and I noticed yesterday that the magnolia has the same problem.  Must be the frost - which is actually a relief!
  • squidgyhollysquidgyholly CambridgeshirePosts: 10
    It's so disappointing when the frost gets them but I know what you mean about it being a relief, at least it's nothing sinister! 
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