Why did my pair of oakleaf hydrangeas wither and die?

My bushes have been healthy specimens for many years producing huge panicles of blooms. But over 2 seasons, they died. They first exhibited stunted growth and then by the next season, they slowly died. The 2 bushes were planted next to each other. In between was a dogwood tree which also withered and died in the same time frame. What might cause this?


Being as your dogwood as well as the oak leaf hydrangea died, it seems likely that you may have a problem with anthracnose. Do you remember if the underside of the leaves on the plants had black, yellow or red spots or cankers on the branches? These are the symptoms of anthracnose which is fungal disease.

The other possibility is a problem hidden under the soil. Could there be a leaking water pipe or run off from a source that could be toxic or drown the roots of these plants? Salt kicked up from the road after a harsh winter could also be a culprit.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information

  • Last Updated Jun 07, 2018
  • Views 617
  • Answered By Ken Lloyd

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 1 0

Ask a plant expert

Send us an email or use the question form below.

Submit a question

Before submitting your question, try searching our Plant and Gardening FAQ page and Help Guides. Still need help? Fill out the form below and a plant expert will answer your individual plant and gardening questions. We will respond to questions in the order we receive them.

Your Question
Your Info
Fields marked with * are required.