What\'s Wrong With My Pee Gee Hydrangea?

Delmar, MD

Does anyone know what disease this bush might have? It is a Pee Gee Hydrangea I have had for more than 20 years. It has looked beautiful every other year, and I normally have to trim it a couple of times during the blooming season. It began leafing out this Spring and half of the bush looked normal and the other half looked like this. So I cut all of the branches back and then the entire thing ended up in this condition. Now the problem has spread to another hydrangea next to it.

Thumbnail by spgfr
Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I just saw this thread this morning and did some research. It is almost certainly a virus of some kind. The distortion is indicative of a virus. It could have come from sucking insects. The fact that your other hydrangea has the same condition also points to this cause.

I am sorry to tell you that there is no cure. Only prevention. You will probably have to remove and destroy the plant (don't compost it). If you have a number of hydrangeas close together it is critical that you remove the one next to it, or the virus will simply move down the entire row of plants.

I wish I had better news.

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