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Sudden death!

Hi I'm new to this forum. I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on why a fairly young climbing hydrangea that previously appeared happy may have suddenly died. It's in an ericaceous container with other acid loving plants, in a sheltered courtyard on a north facing wall. I planted the whole container last summer. The hydrangea appeared happy and was growing / climbing (with expected dormancy over winter) until about a month ago when it started to wilt, and it's now very much dead! Im assuming something has attacked the roots?? Everything around it remains happy. Is there any way of telling what has killed it when I take it out? I don't want to replace it for the same thing to just happen again. And advice would be gratefully received! Many thanks


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,767

    Hi Kateandtheclay image

    I wouldn't have planted a Hydrangea petiolaris in a container - they grow into big hungry plants and need lots of nutrition and water.  If I did put one in a container it would have to be a very large one containing John Innes No 3 loam based compost.

    If you've used an ericaceous peat based or multi-purpose compost it's unlikely to be happy there for long.  It is also the preferred home of vine-weevil grubs which will eat the roots of many plants.

    When you take it out look for vine weevil grubs among the roots



    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Eurgh thanks Dovefromabove will look out for those little beasties! It's a very large container but didn't realise they were quite such needy plants, thank you! Maybe it simply got a bit dry or something but as I say everything else in the container is happy (as the hydrangea was previously). Any suggestions as to what I can replace it with? Its a small courtyard and this is the north facing wall I'd like to cover with climbers, evergreen if poss. Already have a lot of ivy and honeysuckle (and Virginia creeper).....
  • Does anyone have any suggestions??
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,767
    If the container is big enough and the compost is loam-based, have a look at the Clematis alpinas - many of them are happy on north facing walls.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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