Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fungal Disease Can Discolor Hydrangea Leaves

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fungal Disease Can Discolor Hydrangea Leaves

Article excerpt

Byline: PAULA LAMB

My hydrangeas are starting to develop blackish spots on them. What should I do?

I have had several calls about this problem. While there are a number of types of leaf spot disease, it sounds like you are describing the more common Cercospora leaf spot.

It is a fungal disease that is fairly common on hydrangeas and starts to appear in the late summer and fall. Depending on how widespread the problem is, there are some steps to take. If not too far advanced, a good control method is to simply remove and discard the infected leaves. Try to avoid overhead sprinkling. Watering at the base is preferred.

Deadheading the flowers after bloom has peaked should also help control the fungus. And, if the plant is compacted, prune out some branches to encourage more air circulation within the plant.

If the spots have infected the entire plant, you might try using a fungicide labeled for this leaf spot. More than one application may be needed. As always, follow the instructions on the label.

Someone recently told me that there are weekly nature events offered by the park rangers on Fort George Island. Where can I get more information about this?

Fort George Island is actually one of seven of the Talbot Islands State Parks. These islands act as barrier islands for Northeast Florida.

Throughout the year, park rangers host programs that are designed to educate visitors about the importance of the area's ecology, wildlife, and vegetation.

Here are the programs for the remainder of August. Today, at 2 p.m., a park ranger will feature "Animal Signs" with a presentation and guided hike identifying tracks of critters that inhabit the area. Meet at the Ribault Club on Fort George Island Cultural State Park. No reservations are necessary, and the program is free.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Ribault Club, a park ranger will present "Barrier Islands" and speak about the natural history of sea islands and their important role in coastal ecology. Again, no reservations are required, and admission is free.

And at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, you can join a park ranger at Pavilion 1 on Little Talbot Island for the presentation of "Talbot Critters" to learn about common species that inhabit the area. …

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