SOLVED: Please help ID

Newbury Park, CA

Anyone know what this is, and whether it's worth trying to rescucitate it or should I uproot it and replace it with something else?

If worth reviving, how to do it? I'm not sure what ails this plant.

Thumbnail by mwtzzz
Castro Valley, CA

My first thought was it is a variegated weigela which is a gorgeous bush esp in flower. My second thought was a Cornus alba cultivar. Though then it should have redder stems.

I am not wedded to either ID.

I would try to save it. It has some kind of leaf spot disease. Might be fungal. Could just be old leaves. But since the bush looks deciduous, I would pluck off all the diseased leaves, even all the fallen ones around the base of the plant to get rid of a source of future infections. It looks like it is trying to leaf out. Trim any branches that are dead. Sterilize your pruners after.

I would water it well. Avoid watering the leaves. Then in the next day or so, I would lightly fertilize to get it going if your winter is over and your plant thinks it is spring. Even if not, you do not get cold weather do you? So even if it leafs out early, you won't have a cold front harm the new growth.

San Francisco, CA

It’s a very sad Hydrangea

Newbury Park, CA

Thanks both of you for the comments. The leaves look like variegated weigela, but I saw the flowers on this last summer and they looked like the hydrangea flowers, so I guess it's one or the other.

I'll try to rescucitate in the manner you suggested, I'll remove all leaves, trim down, and fertilize. Actually I have a row of these and they're all in sad condition, so hopefully I can get them to bounce back, it'd be a shame to lose them all.

Castro Valley, CA

For sure then it is worth it to try to save them all.

I bet Vestia is right. I am but an old gardener, he I believe works in nursery.

I googled some info for you. Do not let it overwhelm you.
https://gardenerspath.com/how-to/disease-and-pests/hydrangea-diseases/

https://plantaddicts.com/common-problems-with-hydrangea-leaves/

https://www.wilsonbrosgardens.com/hydrangea-leaf-spot-prevent-treat-control.html

Good luck!!

And have the best holiday!

BTW
The reason I suggested you water it a day or 2 before you fertilize then water that fertilizer in, is because our rain here in California has been scant. The dirt dries out. If you feed it and water it when the plant is very thirsty, the plants will drink up too much and that can burn the roots and even kill the plant. Ask me how I know. LOL

This message was edited Dec 24, 2021 3:26 PM

Castro Valley, CA

OMG The heavens just opened up.
We are drenched!
Are you getting rain too?

I am so thankful. I am not able to water, so God just did it for me!

San Francisco, CA

ZilyZily should not be so modest... Quite knowledgeable.
I too, am an old gardener, with two degrees and 55 years years in the nursery “field”.
NWTzzz hopefully you are getting rain as well. Now is the time to feed and continue to water if the rains do not keep coming every week.

Newbury Park, CA

Both of you, thanks for those tips, and the links. yes, we're getting quite a bit of rain down here in SoCal. I haven't yet trimmed the hydrangeas, but I will soon and will feed them afterwards. Hopefully I can save them because the flowers last summer were huge and looked really nice.

I have another plant that needs ID, I'll open a new thread, maybe you'll recognize this one as well. It's kind of a weird one.

Newbury Park, CA

Here's the trimming I did to try to get rid of the diseased leaves and to rescucitate the plant. Was this what you meant, or was I too aggressive (or not aggressive enough)?
I sprinkled some rose and flower fertilizer around the base as well.

Thumbnail by mwtzzz
Castro Valley, CA

Yes. Exactly. I am a bit concerned about the darker brown areas on some of the stems but since there is so much budding on them, I think it will be OK. You trim to the 1st healthy node.

What are the 3 numbers on your fertilizer container? It might be made to encourage blooms not leaf growth. You want your 1st number, the nitrogen, to be the highest of the 3 to promote plant growth, not flower growth. You can switch to a flower promoting fertilizer before blooming.

Happy New Year, mwtzzz!!

Newbury Park, CA

Happy New Year. The numbers on the fertilizer I used yesterday are 4-8-4. So I guess I need to add some higher nitrogen fertilizer.

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