What Do Black Spots On Hydrangea Leaves Mean

Anthracnose may be the cause of brown, tan, yellowish, or black patches on hydrangea leaves. It can also be recognized by the cankers that develop on the stems and branches. Hydrangeas are susceptible to anthracnose, thus it is important to remove and eliminate any dead or unhealthy plant parts. Mulch should also be removed from the affected area to prevent the spread of fungus spores. Use a fungicide made specifically for anthracnose, and carefully follow the label’s instructions.

Why are the leaves on my hydrangea covered in black spots?

Most members of this plant family, including hydrangeas, are susceptible to the fungus Cercospora, which causes leaf spotting. From July to fall, it is typical. The fungus lives in the soil and is transferred to the plant by rain or overhead irrigation. Usually, plants become infected a month or two before leaf spots show up.

How can fungus on hydrangea leaves be treated?

Unfortunately, there are still more bacterial, viral, fungal, and even fungal illnesses that can harm the longevity, health, and look of your hydrangea. Let’s look at a couple of them.

Botrytis Blight Fungus (Botrytis cinerea)

How to recognize it: Botrytis Blight kills flower buds before they bloom by attacking them. The fungal infection can spread to the leaves below when the contaminated flower parts fall onto them. Typically, water-soaked patches on the blossoms are the first indication of this fungus. Then, lesions that seem reddish or brown.

How to treat or avoid it: Since Botrytis Blight prefers cool, moist environments, try your best to maintain low humidity levels, maintain excellent ventilation around them, and appropriately spacing your hydrangeas. Watering earlier in the day and focusing on the root rather than the blooms and leaves will also be beneficial. Make sure your pruning shears have been bleach-treated before using them to stop the spread of any existing diseases. Additionally, be sure to pick up any fallen, damaged, or dead flowers and foliage. Fungicides should be used to treat the fungus if it persists.

Anthracnose Fungus (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides)

How it occurs: Plants that have received a lot of fertilizer are in a dense fog or persistent rain.

How to recognize it: Large, brown spots that are irregular or circular in shape and lighter in color in the center start to emerge on hydrangea blooms and leaves.

Instead of misting the blooms and leaves, water the plant’s base to treat or prevent it. As soon as you notice any unhealthy leaves or blooms, you should clip them. Use a copper-based fungicide on the sick plant. Additionally helpful are liquid kelp, hydrogen peroxide, and garlic oil.

Bacterial Leaf Spot (Xanthomonas campestris)

How to recognize it: Water-soaked spots that are angular and darkened appeared on the leaves and flowers. As they spread, these blotches resemble lesions and start to kill off the leaves.

Treatment or prevention: Wounds and holes allow bacteria to penetrate the plant. If these are your hydrangeas, you can take action to keep bacteria from harming them by applying copper hydroxide (Kocide).

Tomato Ringspot Virus

How to recognize it: The hydrangeas’ leaves start to turn yellow, and the plant’s growth is subpar.

Nematodes carry this virus, thus treating or preventing it is important. Therefore, be sure to use nematode-free soil or a blend. You can treat your hydrangeas with a nematode repellant if they already grow in nematode-infested soil.

Botrytis Blight (Botrytis cinerea)

The flower buds may even be fatally affected by this fungus before they bloom. Infected flower parts might also fall to the ground and infect the foliage.

Water-soaked patches on the blooms are one of the first indications. But these develop into sores that are reddish brown.

Botrytis is more likely to cause issues in cool, moist environments, such as several days of gloomy, muggy weather.

You can try to stop this illness by taking certain action. minimize the humidity. To avoid getting the flowers and leaves wet, avoid watering late in the day and just at the roots.

Keep your plants well-ventilated if you can. Pruning should be done on tightly spaced branches after correct spacing. As you prune, clean your pruning shears with bleach to prevent unintentionally spreading any disease.

Additionally, eliminate any dead or damaged flowers and leaves to stop the fungus from entering the plant. So that Botrytis cannot survive on the dead tissue, clear the area around the plant of debris.

Fungicides can be required if your issue persists. Iprodione and thiophanate-methyl are alternatives.

Leaf Spots (Cercospora species and Phyllosticta hydrangea)

On the base of the plant, cercospora appears as circular purple or brown patches. The leaves may turn yellow and drop off the plant as the diseases enlarge.

These illnesses can be avoided by watering without soaking the leaves. You can use liquid kelp, hydrogen peroxide, garlic oil, compost tea, or other remedies if your hydrangeas do become sick.

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides)

This widespread fungal infection is more likely to affect plants that have received a lot of fertilizer.

The conditions that encourage infection are created by persistent rain or dense fog.

On the leaves or blossoms, the fungus causes huge brown dots that lighten in hue toward the center. One distinguishing indication is the angular development of dots around the veins.

Additionally, you can cure this condition with liquid kelp, hydrogen peroxide, garlic oil, or compost tea.

How are black spots on hydrangeas handled?

So, suppose your hydrangeas have dark stains on them. Avoid worrying too much, but do get outside and try these cures:

  • Delete the diseased leaves. Snip off any contaminated leaves you may have, even a few. Even if you have a lot of contaminated leaves, you must still get rid of them. It will take longer, and stems might also need to be cut out.
  • Older stems should be cut off to allow for airflow. As was already indicated, cutting the stems will improve airflow and speed up the drying process for the leaves. However, you can also do this just after your hydrangeas have flowered. It’s best to make this a regular part of your early Spring pruning. Don’t cut off more than one-third of the stems.
  • Employ a fungicide. Utilize a fungicide spray, such as Copper Soap, to treat the affected areas.

Spraying, coupled with removing infected leaves and increasing air flow among stems, can help solve the issue if the infections are caught early.

What does hydrangea anthracnose look like?

Brown dots on the leaves are the first sign that your hydrangea has Colletotrichum gloeosporioides infection. These patches will be circular or just slightly irregular, as opposed to those brought on by other infections like Botrytis (also known as gray mold). Later, each spot’s center will turn tan.

The dots may take on an angular appearance if they are near a leaf vein. Whole leaves and flower petals may grow huge, erratic, dark brown dots that resemble blotches under the right circumstances.

Cankers, which are elevated edges with sunken centers, can also form on the stems. These can be dangerous because they can girdle or wrap the branches and stems, killing them over time.

New growth could be wavy or malformed, giving the branches a twisted appearance. The hydrangea can perish from a serious illness that has spread across the entire plant and resulted in malformed stems.

What does hydrangea fungus naturally treat?

Powdery mildew is a highly contiguous fungal disease that affects numerous plant species, including hydrangeas. It manifests as a white, powdery growth that appears on leaves and branches. The plant’s leaves start to droop, turn brown, and yellow before falling off. Shoots and leaves of the hydrangea may twist and wilt. Although it doesn’t need moisture to flourish, powdery mildew does best in shaded locations with temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. To adjust the pH balance and stop powdery mildew from growing and spreading, mix 2 to 3 drops of dish detergent that doesn’t contain chlorine or strong perfumes with 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda and 1/2 gallon of water. Spray the solution liberally onto the leaves to get rid of the fungus naturally.

Do I need to remove the dark hydrangea leaves?

If newly emerging hydrangea leaves or flower buds are exposed to a late-spring frost or chilly winds, they will turn brown. A unexpected cold spell can harm the newly emerging buds and leaves, which are exceptionally delicate and susceptible to injury. This can cause the buds to turn brown and wither away.

Naturally, hydrangeas grow in protected regions under trees that block chilly winds and produce a more stable microclimate that allows the young flowers to open up without facing a serious risk of frost.

Hydrangeas’ newly formed buds and leaves can become mushy and their leaves can turn brown when they sustain frost damage.

Since it is more exposed to the environment, the outermost growth is typically the one that suffers from the worst damage.

Sadly, the harmed flower buds are therefore unable to bloom, and the freshly growing growth is probably not going to recover.

Frost damage to hydrangea flower buds and foliage is more common in exposed areas, so plant or move your hydrangea to a more protected area of the garden, close to your house, or close to some other plants and hedges.

Particularly hedgerows are great wind breakers since they shield your hydrangea from the elements and might lessen the effects of frost.

There isn’t much you can do to save flower buds or younger leaves after they turn brown. As a result, prune back to healthy growth any growth that has been harmed by the frost.

In contrast to the flower buds on the plant’s outermost part, which are naturally less protected, hydrangeas frequently have growing flower buds farther down each branch. These flower buds typically survive a frost.

This implies that your hydrangea can still bloom, but much later and with fewer flowers emerging. With a little patience, you should still be able to enjoy some lovely blooms throughout the Summer.

How does anthracnose appear?

Describe anthracnose. In Wisconsin, several prevalent fungal infections that damage the foliage of woody ornamentals go by the name of anthracnose. Ash, maple, white oak, sycamore, and walnut trees are among those that experience anthracnose the most frequently and severely. Young leaf tissue is typically impacted by anthracnose.

How does anthracnose appear? Anthracnose is characterized by uneven patches and dead areas on leaves that frequently follow the veins of the leaves, which might vary from host to host. The color of the affected tissue can vary, but it is typically tan or brown. Extremely damaged leaves frequently curl and may even fall off. Twigs can also contract an infection in some tree species, including the sycamore, which causes twig dieback.

From where does anthracnose originate? Numerous fungi that live in leaf litter and are historically included in the genus Gloeosporium are the culprits behind anthracnose. These fungus have specialized hosts. A different type of tree will not be affected by the same anthracnose fungus that infects an ash tree, for example (e.g., maple). However, when anthracnose affects a single tree, the weather (usually chilly, damp conditions) is conducive for the disease to spread to many different species of trees.

How can I keep an anthracnosed tree alive? DON’T freak out. Anthracnose is a cosmetic disease that affects many trees, giving them a slightly worn-out appearance without actually harming them. However, you might wish to use a fungicide to manage the disease if a tree has been defoliated by anthracnose for a number of years or if it’s a tree like a sycamore where twig infections can happen. Typically, three treatments—one at bud break, one when the leaves are halfway extended, and one when they are fully expanded—are required for effective control. Copper-, chlorothalonil-, or mancozeb-containing fungicides are

registered in Wisconsin to control anthracnose. USE DIFFERENT ACTIVE INGREDIENTS for various treatments. To lessen issues with fungicide-resistant strains of anthracnose fungi, alternate the use of at least two active components. To ensure that you utilize the fungicide(s) you choose in the safest and most efficient manner possible, make sure to read and adhere to all label directions.

How can I prevent anthracnose issues in the future? By removing and discarding fallen, diseased leaves in the autumn, you can lower the amount of spores that cause anthracnose infections. Leaves can be composted, buried, or burned (where permitted). Make sure your compost pile reaches a high temperature before beginning to compost (approximately 140F). Additionally, be sure to regularly turn your compost pile so that the exterior leaves ultimately fall to the pile’s center. A compost pile’s high temperature and leaf tissue degradation aid in the eradication of anthracnose fungus. Additionally, keep your trees healthy by giving them the proper amounts of water and fertilizer. Details on how to properly care for trees can be found by speaking with your county’s Extension agent.

How frequently should hydrangeas be watered?

Although the hydrangea’s leaves and flowers seem delicate, little careful care is actually needed for them. Everything you need to know about caring for hydrangeas is provided in these recommendations.

  • Over the course of the growing season, water at a rate of 1 inch per week. To promote root growth, deeply water three times each week. All varieties of hydrangeas benefit from constant moisture, but bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas need more water. To water thoroughly while keeping moisture off the flowers and leaves, use a soaker hose. Hydrangeas won’t wilt as much if they are watered early in the day on hot days.
  • To keep the soil around your hydrangeas cool and moist, add mulch. Over time, an organic mulch decomposes, supplying nutrients and enhancing soil texture.
  • Apply fertilizer according to the type of hydrangeas you have. Every variety has varied requirements and will profit from applying fertilizer at various times. A soil test is the most effective tool for determining your fertility requirements.
  • In March, May, and June, bigleaf hydrangeas require numerous mild fertilizer applications.
  • Two applications in April and June work best for oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas.
  • The only time smooth hydrangea plants require fertilizing is in the late winter.
  • By selecting cultivars with resistant characteristics, you can avoid pests and diseases. Hydrangeas can have leaf spots, bight, wilt, and powdery mildew. Although they are uncommon on hydrangeas, pests might arise when the plants are under stress. Aphids, leaf tiers, and red spider mites are examples of potential pests. Your best line of defense is to properly care for hydrangeas.