Help me ID this problem?

Westford, MA(Zone 6a)

I planted two Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blue Wave' about three weeks ago.

Does anyone know what the discoloration in the leaves in the attached picture indicate?

Also, they are not blooming profusely. I assume when newly planted, they focus their energy on root formation, rather than blooming and I can expect to be dazzled next spring?

Thumbnail by peony8
Westford, MA(Zone 6a)

I tried getting a closer image, but I think it's too fuzzy.

Thumbnail by peony8
Westford, MA(Zone 6a)

This spring one shrub has two blooms and the other has only one. I can't wait! This is such a gorgeous plant.

Thumbnail by peony8
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I wouldn't worry about them not blooming, many things when they're first planted won't bloom much. Unfortunately you can't always expect a great show the second year either--there's a saying for perennials which is also true for shrubs many times "first year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap". I typically see some blooms from my hydrangeas the second year, but for mine it's usually been the third year before they really get going. Also in your zone you may need to protect these over the winter if you want blooms at all--in zone 5 they definitely need to be protected, and in zone 7 I think you'd get reliable blooms without protection, but you're sort of in the middle--some mild winters you might get away without it, but if you want to be sure of getting blooms then you'll probably need to protect them.

Can't quite tell what the problem is--look at the tops and the undersides of the leaves, do you see insects of any sort? If so I'd hose them off very well, and then apply insecticidal soap or neem and hopefully that should take care of it.

Westford, MA(Zone 6a)

Nope, no insects. Maybe it was just the stress of moving them from greenhouse to nursery to my garden.

Quoting:
"first year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap"


That's what my ivy did! I thought I'd never get it to climb up and hide the chain link fence, but it's really starting to do it job now.

Thanks for the tip about hydrangeas. I didn't realize most perennials and shrubs took up to 3 years before they really put on a show.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

There are some that get going faster...but those are usually the ones that want to take over the garden! LOL The well behaved ones generally take a few years to really get going. I am really seeing the 3rd year leap this year--I completely redid my landscaping in fall/winter 2006, so this is year 3 for most of the garden (although I've been adding some things every year since that) and it's amazing the difference it's made. I did have plenty of things that bloomed well last year, but it's amazing how everything's taken off this year. But I still have some pokey shrubs (not hydrangeas) that are showing no signs of blooming yet, hopefully year 4 will be the charm for them!

Westford, MA(Zone 6a)

Thank you! And I am so glad for this forum. I'd drive myself crazy without it, thinking I bought dud plants.

For example, an Enkianthus 'Red Vein' I purchased last spring never made any flowers. The leaves didn't even turn red in the fall! This year the shrub produced one little cluster or blooms, even though the foliage is healthy and growing.

Now I know I can expect more pretty stuff in another year or so. :)

As for taking over my landscape, I am a little afraid of the Eupatorium I planted late last summer! One plant sent up seven new ones!

Maybe I'll ask about that one in the general perennials section of this forum.

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