Hydrangea trouble

mammaj
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7:34 AM - Sep 15, 2003 #1

Have always had trouble with hydrangeas dying off after a year & have now found little creatures eating away inside the stems any ideas?Mammaj

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FuzzyWillow
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6:59 AM - Sep 16, 2003 #2

I have no idea, but hopefully someone will see your post and come up with an answer..

Kathy
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mammaj
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7:29 AM - Sep 16, 2003 #3

Meanwhile my 2 hydrangeas have the grub sentence over their heads Must get some cuttings quick.Mammaj

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scotia10
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3:06 PM - Sep 16, 2003 #4

I'm curious???? you say>>> Have always had trouble with hydrangeas dying off after a year[/url]
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mammaj
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7:02 AM - Sep 17, 2003 #5

Not aphids, these things were inside the stems as I couldn't see any reason for them to die off until it was too late, they go into the ground with rotted cow muck. I'm usually given one at easter as a gift & I keep it in a pot until autumn then plant it, in spring leaves appear & then after a few weeks it all just fades away. By chance I found these grubs in a stem this year & presume the other times to have been the same cause. Mammaj

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scotia10
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3:23 PM - Sep 17, 2003 #6

I'm looking for clues! are they worm like? wireworms come to mind. If so these have probably been imported with the 'muck' and they have found a nice nesting place for the winter, in a DRY stem
You say you keep it in a pot then put it in the ground in the autumn, is there a reason why you dont plant it out in the garden when you get it?
By growing it in a pot you increase the chances of the plant be starved of water.....think this way HYDRA (water).
A tip for all!...... this applies to all 'hollow' stemmed plants; they generally require more water than solid stem ones i.e. the stem must be full at all times.
You may have you noticed when you cut say a Daffodil, how it oozes sap,nature can't cope with this if the plant(stem) is allowed to dry out, the stem just withers and dies.
In the event your plant inadvertantly dries out you could try pricking the stem just under the flower head, this will break the vacuum within the stem, and might allow water to rise up the stem, a bit like the mercury/spirit in a thermometer.
Sorry for all the guesswork.
http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk
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wannabegardener
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4:45 PM - Sep 17, 2003 #7

How utterly fascinating - I did not know that .Thanks , Scotia I plan on putting some Hydrangeas out next year and had you not told me about the extra water needed, I'd have killed them .Theresa
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mammaj
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7:20 AM - Sep 18, 2003 #8

Sorry not wireworms either, more like little maggots. I keep them in pots til autumn as it is pretty dry here (Italy) & I can keep them well watered & the giver of the gift can see it when they visit! By autumn I can plant it in shady spot & then I keep it watered when necessary. I think you're right about the manure as I sometimes bung some in the pot to keep things going. Mammaj

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scotia10
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3:24 PM - Sep 18, 2003 #9

I'm getting more & more intrigued after each posting.
OK A couple of questions;
Before planting them out do you remove the flower heads?
Maggots!!! suggests moth activity, and as moths are basicaly nocturnal this is probably the reason you have not seen the cause.
Now if you have cut the heads off, you will have given the moth larvae somewhere dry & sheltered to pupate.
Meaning its not the manure I'm afraid.
Over to you!
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mammaj
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3:40 PM - Sep 21, 2003 #10

No word of a lie but yesterday I planted 1 plant out & as I was watering it in a small, whitish moth landed on a leaf! May well have nothing to do with it but I got shot of it just in case & I don't usually cut the heads off as I'd heard they can give protection thru winter. I will be vigilant about moths & I've planted in a different area as well. Thanks for help Mammaj

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