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Bigleaf hydrangea
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Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
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Bigleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla
Also known as: Lacecap hydrangea, Hortensia
The bigleaf hydrangea is a deciduous shrub native to Japan, and is known for its lush, oval, colorful inflorescence. The two types of Hydrangea macrophylla are mopheads - with large, ball-shaped, sterile flower clusters, and lacecapes - with small round fertile flowers in the center, and sterile flowers on the outer side of each inflorescence. Depending on soil pH, blooms can change color from pink to blue.
Water
Every 1-2 weeks
Water
Sunlight
Partial sun
Sunlight
care guide

Care Guide for Bigleaf hydrangea

Bigleaf hydrangea requires consistent moisture. It will benefit from soil that doesn't drain too fast; mulching the plant will help retain moisture, as well. When the soil is overly dry, the leaves will begin to droop. During hot summer days, the foliage may seem wilted, but if the soil still feels moist, don't water the plants 鈥?the leaves will recover in the evening.
Fertilization
Fertilization
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Bigleaf hydrangea should be fertilized once or twice a year with slow-release, all-purpose chemical fertilizer. Apply it in spring and repeat the application in a month or two, if needed (depending on the soil). Keep in mind that using a specific fertilizer on some hydrangeas can affect the flower color, as increasing acidity may change them from pink to blue.
Trim the dead, diseased, overgrown branches in winter.
Sand, Loam, Clay, Chalky, Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Potting Suggestions
Potting Suggestions
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With fast-growing roots, a bigleaf hydrangea in a pot will need plenty of space and water to prevent it from drying out.
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Bigleaf hydrangea
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Bigleaf hydrangea
Water
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Sunlight
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Hardiness Zones
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6 - 9
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Fall
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Bigleaf hydrangea
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Spring, Fall
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Questions About Bigleaf hydrangea

Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Seasonal Care Seasonal Care Seasonal Care
Why Should I Water Bigleaf hydrangea?
Regardless of the types of the plant that you’re growing, it’s important to know its watering needs so that they will grow well. Bigleaf hydrangea needs a lot of water and can quickly wilt without the right moisture.
They require moist soil but make sure that the ground is well-drained. Bigleaf hydrangea doesn’t want wet feet since they tend to get root rot. Overwatering can also lead to slow production of flowers and stunted growth, which can also be a problem seen with underwatering.
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How Much Do I Need to Water My Bigleaf hydrangea?
The amount of water needed can vary. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as the weather in the area, the amount of shade, and the species. The Bigleaf hydrangea you’ve just recently planted will need more water than the established ones. A can of water each week can be ample for Bigleaf hydrangea, especially if they are in the growing season and when they are grown in pots.

When outdoors, you need to measure the amount of rain they are receiving with the help of moisture meters. When the soil is dry, water them thoroughly with a sprinkler. It’s best to water less often but thoroughly with the Bigleaf hydrangea to ensure they are getting the adequate moisture they need.
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How Often Should I Water Bigleaf hydrangea?
It’s best to water the Bigleaf hydrangea deeply two to three times a week. And you should water it more often if you live in a hot climate. Its water needs are average, and it needs moist but well-drained soil.
A good rule of thumb is to get a feel of the soil. It might be the right time to water your plant if you notice that it’s about 2-4 inches dry.

Water it 1-2x a week if it’s planted outdoors. Know that it’s getting more moisture outside, watering less with the help of rainwater is ideal.
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What’S the Best Method to Water the Bigleaf hydrangea?
Soaker hoses can be the best method to keep the moisture from the leaves and flowers. These methods are great when you want more efficient water delivery at the very base of the plant without needing to get the entire foliage wet.
Lay the hose around the plant, leave it on for about 30 to 45 minutes and wait until the soil is moist but not too wet. Hook your regular hose to this, and cover with mulch. Others may use drip feeders to retain moisture throughout the day.

When planted in pots, you need to water the Bigleaf hydrangea using a watering can. Wait until you see that the water is dripping down the pots at the bottom part. The portable cans can help you reach the soil and let the water penetrate the roots deeply so they can grow better.
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How to Make Sure That I Water Bigleaf hydrangea Adequately?
It's best to water the Bigleaf hydrangea in the early morning to prevent it from wilting. It may be unable to handle the heat and can show signs of wilting in the afternoon. Make sure to apply a thick layer of mulch to keep the soil cool and retain moisture.
Once it feels the coolness of the evening, it will go back to its usual glow. Always water deeply and be consistent with the moisture. However, remember that it’s better to experience a slight wilting in the afternoon than to over-water them.
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What Should I Do If I Water Bigleaf hydrangea Too Much/Too Little?
If you overwatered Bigleaf hydrangea, you might want to take a few steps back and prevent further damage. Bigleaf hydrangea is hardy, so they have a higher chance of surviving. Give the plant a chance to dry everything out and stop watering it. The plants don’t tolerate their roots sitting in water for longer, so aerating can help.
Some of the symptoms of an overwatered plant will be premature falling of yellow leaves. You might also see fewer flowers and misshapen buds. In more serious cases, this can result in wilted and brown leaves. Long-term overwatering can result in root rot.
The symptoms of underwatering can be similar. Wilting Bigleaf hydrangea can be a sign of underwatering. Feel the earth by sticking your finger into the soil, and if it’s too dry, then this is a sign of dehydration. Too little watering can also happen, so you might want to add some in the evening. Always check the soil for dryness and follow the regular schedule of watering in the morning.
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Should I Adjust the Frequency of Watering Bigleaf hydrangea According to Different Seasons or Climate?
When watering during the summer, it’s important to take the environment into consideration. These plants enjoy the early morning sun but not much of the midday glare since they can dry out too quickly.
It’s best to start planting these species in spring or autumn. Provide ample water, especially when you notice that the soil is dry during the summer. Don’t water the plants during the winter as they will enter a period of dormancy.
Fill the pot up to the rim, let the water soak, and run out of the drainage hole. Always water when the soil feels dry and if you have windy and hot weather. The plant supports a lot of big blooms, and they need ample water to maintain them.
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Should I Change the Watering Frequency During Different Growing Stages of My Bigleaf hydrangea?
During the growing season, it’s best to water this at a rate of 1 inch when it’s just growing. This should be done 3x per week. When growing in pots, you need to have one with a diameter of at least 18 inches. A non-porous one can help hold consistent levels of moisture.
An established plant does not need watering as much as one in the early phase of growth. They can be watered twice a week but always check the soil to be sure. Just make sure that there will be no waterlogging that occurs.
The plants might experience transplant shock when they are just newly planted. Just water until the depth of the moisture reaches out to 10 inches beneath the surface. Help the roots become more established during the dry, hot weather by checking the soil frequently.
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What Should I Be Careful with When I Water My Bigleaf hydrangea in Different Seasons, Climates, or During Different Growing Periods?
Overall, the Bigleaf hydrangea loves water and should be provided with enough to keep it hydrated.
Be careful not to overwater and never use cold water with them during the winter. They enter a dormancy period and they barely need water to survive.
In the spring, planting should be done where they will be given enough time to grow. Water more when they are young and make sure to give them enough mulch to keep the soil moist.
During the summer, just make sure that the soil is moist. Overwatering can result in a lack of blooms, but a heavy soaking can be done once a day whenever the soil needs this. For 3x a week, ensure water in the early mornings or afternoons.
The ones on the balcony or gardens should be watered generously during the summer months. This is because the water can evaporate quickly.
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Should I Water Bigleaf hydrangea Differently When I Plant It Indoors But Not Outdoors?
The Bigleaf hydrangea that is grown outdoors doesn’t generally need a lot of water compared to the one grown indoors. This species absorbs the water quickly, so watering can be done twice a week. When you grow Bigleaf hydrangea in partial shades, you generally encourage moisture retention and prevent the drying winds from wilting them. It’s best to keep the water away from the flowers as this can lead to gray mold.
The Bigleaf hydrangeaed indoors can be watered at least 2x a week or more when they are just in the growing phase to help the roots become more established.
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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Bigleaf hydrangea based on 10 million real cases
Wilting after blooming
Wilting after blooming Wilting after blooming
Wilting after blooming
Flowers may wither for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: Check the soil or potting medium. Coarse textures can allow water to drain too rapidly, preventing the plant from taking up enough. If the soil and roots seem very dry, add sphagnum moss or other mediums that hold water. Water according to recommendations for each plant's species. Low humidity can be corrected by misting the plant regularly or placing it near a humidifier. Keeping it near other plants helps, too. Keep the environment consistent in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. Keep it away from vents, heaters, and air conditioners, and avoid moving it to locations where it will experience a temperature shock. Hot, dry heat, and cold drafts are problematic for many plants. Especially if the plant is outside, it could be experiencing heat or light stress. Try moving it to a shadier location.
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering
Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Petal blight
Petal blight Petal blight
Petal blight
Bacterial infections can cause flowers to become soft and rotten.
Solutions: Like other fungal diseases, the progression of petal blight is extremely difficult to stop and impossible to reverse once it infects a plant. The best course of action is to remove all damaged flowers immediately and dispose of them entirely. Do not put them in the compost pile, where spores could grow and spread.
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Wilting after blooming
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Wilting after blooming
Flowers may wither for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Wilting after blooming is sometimes a natural aging process of the flower, while other times it may indicate a problem. Orchids, for example, can bloom for anywhere from two weeks to three months, so wilting after a few days signals a problem for most varieties. This can happen to virtually any ornamental flowering plant, but those with shallow roots and limited tolerance for drought, full sun, and low humidity are more susceptible.
This is a common problem, and often has an easy fix. Sometimes, however, it is the result of more serious causes such as pests or disease of the root system.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  • At first, flowers may look a little limp.
  • Petals may start to appear dried out and turn brown.
  • Eventually they may drop off the plant all together.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Wilting blooms can be a sign of an unhealthy root system. Any condition that prevents the plant from absorbing enough water and nutrition can result in wilting blooms and sometimes other symptoms. If the plant doesn’t have enough water, it cannot maintain appropriate pressure within stems, leaves, and blooms, causing them to wilt.
This can result from physical damage – for example from root breakage during re-potting or attack by insects like cutworms. If you recently re-potted your plant, physical damage to the roots is a likely cause. If you see insects, they may be eating leaves, roots, or flowers. Fungal infections can also cause root rot and damage, preventing water and nutrient uptake.
Finally, wilting blooms can result simply from age. If no other symptoms are visible, it may simply signal the natural end of the flower’s lifespan. If it seems premature, this may be caused by environmental factors: water, humidity, light, or stress. Under-watering is a common cause. Similarly, plants adapted to high humidity dry out easily when humidity is low, like during winter or in dry climates. Too much light can also stress plants that need shade, causing blooms to wilt.
Solutions
Solutions
  • Check the soil or potting medium. Coarse textures can allow water to drain too rapidly, preventing the plant from taking up enough. If the soil and roots seem very dry, add sphagnum moss or other mediums that hold water.
  • Water according to recommendations for each plant's species.
  • Low humidity can be corrected by misting the plant regularly or placing it near a humidifier. Keeping it near other plants helps, too.
  • Keep the environment consistent in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. Keep it away from vents, heaters, and air conditioners, and avoid moving it to locations where it will experience a temperature shock. Hot, dry heat, and cold drafts are problematic for many plants.
  • Especially if the plant is outside, it could be experiencing heat or light stress. Try moving it to a shadier location.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Read up on moisture, light, and soil type preferences for each plant to avoid underwatering, incorrect light levels, or other conditions that can cause wilting blooms.
  • Avoid re-potting during the flowering period. This causes additional stress on the plants because they need to repair root damage and adapt to the new micro-environment, all of which can result in wilting.
  • One other potential cause is ethylene gas, a plant hormone related to ripening. Some fruits and vegetables emit ethylene, especially bananas. Apples, grapes, melons, avocados, and potatoes can also give it off, so keep flowering plants away from fresh produce.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Leaf beetles
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Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Flower withering
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Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
Solutions
Solutions
If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface.
In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well.
If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Prevention
Prevention
This is definitely one of those instances where prevention is more effective than cure. Here are some preventative measures for avoiding premature flower withering.
  • Water plants according to their needs -- either keep the soil slightly moist or allow the top inch or two to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilize lightly on a consistent basis, depending upon the plant’s growth. Quick-growing plants and those that flower or develop fruit will need more frequent fertilizing than slow-growing plants.
  • Purchase plants that are certified disease- or pathogen-free.
  • Look for disease-resistant cultivars.
  • Isolate plants showing disease symptoms to prevent the spread to neighboring plants.
  • Practice good plant hygiene by removing any fallen plant material as soon as possible.
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Petal blight
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Petal blight
Bacterial infections can cause flowers to become soft and rotten.
Overview
Overview
Petal blight, sometimes called flower blight, is a fungal disease that only affects the blooms of some ornamental flowering plants. As the infection progresses, it destroys the flower, yet it never damages the vegetative or green parts of the plant.
When flowers are infected, the symptoms look similar to Botrytis blight, but Botrytis also infects dead or dormant vegetative tissue.
The disease was first discovered in Japanese plants in 1919 and in the US in the late 1930s. Presently it is also found in New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Europe. Unfortunately, no plants have high resistance to petal blight, but specific cultivars are more susceptible than others, particularly species with double blooms.
Petal blight infection rates are high when temperatures are mild to warm (optimum temperatures are 15 - 21 ℃) and the weather is misty or rainy.
Overall, petal blight is an aesthetic problem that ruins blossoms. The disease is not harmful to the long-term health of the plant.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The severity of the symptoms varies, depending upon the species of plant infected. Signs of petal blight are commonly seen on the blooms just after they open.
  • Pallid spots on colored petals.
  • Brown spots on white petals.
  • Browning around the petal edges.
  • Small spots look water-soaked.
  • Spots rapidly enlarge and merge.
  • Flowers become limp.
  • The entire flower turns light brown, but does not crumble.
  • Flowers become slimy at first and then take on a leathery texture.
  • A ring of white or gray mycelium can be seen at the base of the petals.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Petal blight is caused by several different fungi, with each type infecting specific plants. Ovulinia azalea infects azaleas species and cultivars, and rhododendrons. Ciborinia camelliae infects camellia cultivars.
Shortly after blooming, the fungus infects the base of the flowers by the calyx. The fungus produces cell wall-degrading enzymes that destroy flowers within a couple of days. When the flowers fall to the ground, the fungus' hard fruiting bodies fall to the soil as well, overwintering until the following spring.
When temperatures hit the optimum range the following season, spores are transmitted by insects or can spread on wind currents up to about 12 miles. Once in the soil, the pathogen can be active for three to five years.
Solutions
Solutions
Like other fungal diseases, the progression of petal blight is extremely difficult to stop and impossible to reverse once it infects a plant. The best course of action is to remove all damaged flowers immediately and dispose of them entirely. Do not put them in the compost pile, where spores could grow and spread.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Apply a preventative dose of fungicide as soon as blooms start to show color on the plant. The preventative can be applied as a soil drench or directly to the flowers on the plant.
  • Avoid overhead watering during blooming.
  • Remove any leaf litter and dead flowers at the end of the season.
  • Cover the ground under infected plants with 4” of fresh organic mulch before winter, taking care not to disturb the infected soil.
  • Buy bare-root specimens when available.
  • When potted plants are purchased, remove the top layer of potting soil and replace it with fresh mulch.
  • Plant cultivars that bloom early in the season before the temperatures get high enough for petal blight pathogens to be spreading.
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Distribution Map

Habitat

Sunny places near the coast
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
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More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub
Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink
Blue
White
Purple
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green
Yellow

Name story

Bigleaf hydrangea
When it is not completely blooming, its huge leaves attract massive attention as they grow up to 15 cm in length, which seems to protect its delicate buds. When the hydrangea is fully blossomed, its huge green leaves perfectly capture the beauty of the flower. Its species epithet, macrophylla, also refers to its big or long leaves, which is also why it's called bigleaf hydrangea.

Symbolism

Gratitude for understanding, strong emotions, apology, boastfulness

Usages

Artistic Value
Hydrangeas, including the bigleaf hydrangea, have been the focus of visual art from all over the world.
Garden Use
Bigleaf hydrangea is a deciduous shrub commonly found in gardens. It is prized for blooming throughout the summer and its large ball-shaped flowers (‘Mopheads’). Its height means can be used for hedging, as a screen, or as an accent plant. Bigleaf hydrangea is often a feature of cottage and seaside gardens. Plant with coneflower to make a color contrast.
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Bloom Time
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Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice has small white flowers that bloom in mid-summer. The common name comes from the seeds of this plant, which are burrs and are very sticky. These burrs are extremely small and are very difficult to remove from clothing and pet fur. This method of seed dispersal is very effective for this plant, and if caught on clothing often times the entire seed stem, or even the whole plant will come out of the ground.
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Bloom Time
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Moreton bay fig
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Bloom Time
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Garden Usage
Plants of genus Ficus are often used in arbors and shrubs, as it usually grows large. If it is planted in a garden, choose a wide plot to give it enough space. It can also be planted in a flowerpot and maintained indoors at early stages, and transplanted to a garden later on. Its attractive green leaves require a warm, humid environment; we consider it a medium level difficulty plant to care.
Red maple
Red maple
The red maple is a common North American tree with distinctive red leaves and flower buds. Its sap can be made into maple syrup and the wood is good for furniture. Though non-toxic to humans, the leaves are very toxic to horses. According to the U.S. Forest Service, red maple is the most common tree in eastern North America.
Bloom Time
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Garden Usage
The Maple is a plant of the genus Acer. The red maple is mainly used as a landscape tree because of its beautiful leaf color changes and elegant shape. The leaf color can change dramatically; colors include yellow, green, red, orange, pink, and purple. The red maple is often used as a garden shrub or as a potted plant.
Cotton fruit
Cotton fruit
Cotton fruit is a fast-growing fruit tree. It is commonly cultivated and the popular fruits are widely seasonally available in both local and international markets. There are two varieties that produce either yellow or red fruits. These varieties were once thought to be two distinct species. The fruit has various uses in Asian cuisine, however, care should be taken not to swallow the whole seeds for the risk of intestinal obstruction and perforation.
Bloom Time
Mid winter, Late winter, Early spring
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Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangea
Add to My Garden
Bigleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla
Also known as: Lacecap hydrangea, Hortensia
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Every 1-2 weeks
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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Bigleaf hydrangea based on 10 million real cases
Wilting after blooming
Wilting after blooming  Wilting after blooming  Wilting after blooming
Flowers may wither for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: Check the soil or potting medium. Coarse textures can allow water to drain too rapidly, preventing the plant from taking up enough. If the soil and roots seem very dry, add sphagnum moss or other mediums that hold water. Water according to recommendations for each plant's species. Low humidity can be corrected by misting the plant regularly or placing it near a humidifier. Keeping it near other plants helps, too. Keep the environment consistent in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. Keep it away from vents, heaters, and air conditioners, and avoid moving it to locations where it will experience a temperature shock. Hot, dry heat, and cold drafts are problematic for many plants. Especially if the plant is outside, it could be experiencing heat or light stress. Try moving it to a shadier location.
Learn More more
Brown spot
Brown spot  Brown spot  Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Learn More more
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles  Leaf beetles  Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars  Caterpillars  Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Flower withering
Flower withering  Flower withering  Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
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Petal blight
Petal blight  Petal blight  Petal blight
Bacterial infections can cause flowers to become soft and rotten.
Solutions: Like other fungal diseases, the progression of petal blight is extremely difficult to stop and impossible to reverse once it infects a plant. The best course of action is to remove all damaged flowers immediately and dispose of them entirely. Do not put them in the compost pile, where spores could grow and spread.
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Wilting after blooming
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Wilting after blooming
Flowers may wither for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Wilting after blooming is sometimes a natural aging process of the flower, while other times it may indicate a problem. Orchids, for example, can bloom for anywhere from two weeks to three months, so wilting after a few days signals a problem for most varieties. This can happen to virtually any ornamental flowering plant, but those with shallow roots and limited tolerance for drought, full sun, and low humidity are more susceptible.
This is a common problem, and often has an easy fix. Sometimes, however, it is the result of more serious causes such as pests or disease of the root system.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  • At first, flowers may look a little limp.
  • Petals may start to appear dried out and turn brown.
  • Eventually they may drop off the plant all together.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Wilting blooms can be a sign of an unhealthy root system. Any condition that prevents the plant from absorbing enough water and nutrition can result in wilting blooms and sometimes other symptoms. If the plant doesn’t have enough water, it cannot maintain appropriate pressure within stems, leaves, and blooms, causing them to wilt.
This can result from physical damage – for example from root breakage during re-potting or attack by insects like cutworms. If you recently re-potted your plant, physical damage to the roots is a likely cause. If you see insects, they may be eating leaves, roots, or flowers. Fungal infections can also cause root rot and damage, preventing water and nutrient uptake.
Finally, wilting blooms can result simply from age. If no other symptoms are visible, it may simply signal the natural end of the flower’s lifespan. If it seems premature, this may be caused by environmental factors: water, humidity, light, or stress. Under-watering is a common cause. Similarly, plants adapted to high humidity dry out easily when humidity is low, like during winter or in dry climates. Too much light can also stress plants that need shade, causing blooms to wilt.
Solutions
Solutions
  • Check the soil or potting medium. Coarse textures can allow water to drain too rapidly, preventing the plant from taking up enough. If the soil and roots seem very dry, add sphagnum moss or other mediums that hold water.
  • Water according to recommendations for each plant's species.
  • Low humidity can be corrected by misting the plant regularly or placing it near a humidifier. Keeping it near other plants helps, too.
  • Keep the environment consistent in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. Keep it away from vents, heaters, and air conditioners, and avoid moving it to locations where it will experience a temperature shock. Hot, dry heat, and cold drafts are problematic for many plants.
  • Especially if the plant is outside, it could be experiencing heat or light stress. Try moving it to a shadier location.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Read up on moisture, light, and soil type preferences for each plant to avoid underwatering, incorrect light levels, or other conditions that can cause wilting blooms.
  • Avoid re-potting during the flowering period. This causes additional stress on the plants because they need to repair root damage and adapt to the new micro-environment, all of which can result in wilting.
  • One other potential cause is ethylene gas, a plant hormone related to ripening. Some fruits and vegetables emit ethylene, especially bananas. Apples, grapes, melons, avocados, and potatoes can also give it off, so keep flowering plants away from fresh produce.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Leaf beetles
plant poor
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Flower withering
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Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
Solutions
Solutions
If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface.
In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well.
If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Prevention
Prevention
This is definitely one of those instances where prevention is more effective than cure. Here are some preventative measures for avoiding premature flower withering.
  • Water plants according to their needs -- either keep the soil slightly moist or allow the top inch or two to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilize lightly on a consistent basis, depending upon the plant’s growth. Quick-growing plants and those that flower or develop fruit will need more frequent fertilizing than slow-growing plants.
  • Purchase plants that are certified disease- or pathogen-free.
  • Look for disease-resistant cultivars.
  • Isolate plants showing disease symptoms to prevent the spread to neighboring plants.
  • Practice good plant hygiene by removing any fallen plant material as soon as possible.
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Petal blight
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Petal blight
Bacterial infections can cause flowers to become soft and rotten.
Overview
Overview
Petal blight, sometimes called flower blight, is a fungal disease that only affects the blooms of some ornamental flowering plants. As the infection progresses, it destroys the flower, yet it never damages the vegetative or green parts of the plant.
When flowers are infected, the symptoms look similar to Botrytis blight, but Botrytis also infects dead or dormant vegetative tissue.
The disease was first discovered in Japanese plants in 1919 and in the US in the late 1930s. Presently it is also found in New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Europe. Unfortunately, no plants have high resistance to petal blight, but specific cultivars are more susceptible than others, particularly species with double blooms.
Petal blight infection rates are high when temperatures are mild to warm (optimum temperatures are 15 - 21 ℃) and the weather is misty or rainy.
Overall, petal blight is an aesthetic problem that ruins blossoms. The disease is not harmful to the long-term health of the plant.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The severity of the symptoms varies, depending upon the species of plant infected. Signs of petal blight are commonly seen on the blooms just after they open.
  • Pallid spots on colored petals.
  • Brown spots on white petals.
  • Browning around the petal edges.
  • Small spots look water-soaked.
  • Spots rapidly enlarge and merge.
  • Flowers become limp.
  • The entire flower turns light brown, but does not crumble.
  • Flowers become slimy at first and then take on a leathery texture.
  • A ring of white or gray mycelium can be seen at the base of the petals.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Petal blight is caused by several different fungi, with each type infecting specific plants. Ovulinia azalea infects azaleas species and cultivars, and rhododendrons. Ciborinia camelliae infects camellia cultivars.
Shortly after blooming, the fungus infects the base of the flowers by the calyx. The fungus produces cell wall-degrading enzymes that destroy flowers within a couple of days. When the flowers fall to the ground, the fungus' hard fruiting bodies fall to the soil as well, overwintering until the following spring.
When temperatures hit the optimum range the following season, spores are transmitted by insects or can spread on wind currents up to about 12 miles. Once in the soil, the pathogen can be active for three to five years.
Solutions
Solutions
Like other fungal diseases, the progression of petal blight is extremely difficult to stop and impossible to reverse once it infects a plant. The best course of action is to remove all damaged flowers immediately and dispose of them entirely. Do not put them in the compost pile, where spores could grow and spread.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Apply a preventative dose of fungicide as soon as blooms start to show color on the plant. The preventative can be applied as a soil drench or directly to the flowers on the plant.
  • Avoid overhead watering during blooming.
  • Remove any leaf litter and dead flowers at the end of the season.
  • Cover the ground under infected plants with 4” of fresh organic mulch before winter, taking care not to disturb the infected soil.
  • Buy bare-root specimens when available.
  • When potted plants are purchased, remove the top layer of potting soil and replace it with fresh mulch.
  • Plant cultivars that bloom early in the season before the temperatures get high enough for petal blight pathogens to be spreading.
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Sunny places near the coast

Map

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
plant_info

More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub
Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink
Blue
White
Purple
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green
Yellow

Name story

Bigleaf hydrangea
When it is not completely blooming, its huge leaves attract massive attention as they grow up to 15 cm in length, which seems to protect its delicate buds. When the hydrangea is fully blossomed, its huge green leaves perfectly capture the beauty of the flower. Its species epithet, macrophylla, also refers to its big or long leaves, which is also why it's called bigleaf hydrangea.

Symbolism

Gratitude for understanding, strong emotions, apology, boastfulness

Usages

Artistic Value
Hydrangeas, including the bigleaf hydrangea, have been the focus of visual art from all over the world.
Garden Use
Bigleaf hydrangea is a deciduous shrub commonly found in gardens. It is prized for blooming throughout the summer and its large ball-shaped flowers (‘Mopheads’). Its height means can be used for hedging, as a screen, or as an accent plant. Bigleaf hydrangea is often a feature of cottage and seaside gardens. Plant with coneflower to make a color contrast.
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