A lot of my plants have yellow leaves that aren’t supposed to. It’s been raining frequently–often heavy downpours–and when it hasn’t been raining it’s been quite humid. So both the air and the soil are saturated–a recipe for plant disease if the plants aren’t adapted to those conditions. Here’s what I’ve been seeing:
Can This Plant Be Saved?
Why is this ‘Josef Lemper’ hellebore (Helleborus niger ‘HGC Josef Lemper’) pictured above turning yellow, when the one right next to it is deep green? To me, those leaves look like a sign of nutrient deficiency, except that the hellebore right next to it looks fine. So I wonder if the roots are rotting. I also see brown areas on the yellow leaves, which makes me fear that the whole plant will die soon. At Plant Delights Nursery they say that “well-drained soils are very important for success with Helleborus niger.” So maybe it is root rot. This is one of my favorite hellebores because it blooms in November and December before being buried in snow, and then picks up where it left off when the snow melts. I brought it over from my old garden earlier this spring and it appeared healthy and bloomed well, and the other H. nigers that I have still look dark green. Can this plant be saved (she asks, wringing her hands)?
One Stem–So FarUnlike the hellebore, this Bella Anna® hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘PIIHA-I’) only has one stem with yellow leaves. So far. But like the hellebore, the yellow leaves also show brown spots and patches. When it’s only one part of the plant, I don’t think it’s a nutrient deficiency. It’s more likely disease, though it still could be root rot, I suppose. (Which is a symptom of disease, when you think about it.) Sigh. I should probably prune this stem off, don’t you think?
New Growth–Or Sick Growth?
If I weren’t paranoid about yellowing leaves by now, I would look at this William Shakespeare 2000® rose (Rosa ‘Ausromeo’) and think the leaves were paler because they were new growth and would green up within a week. But now, I’m not so sure. Especially since the Darcy Bussell rose (Rosa ‘Ausdecorum’) across the walk has had the leaves on a whole branch turn brown–and I can’t remember if they were yellow first.The brown leaves also showed up on the one and only branch that made it through the winter of a different rose, which has since been pulled up and replaced.
What’s Up With These Yellow Leaves?
Different plants, different locations in the garden–it could easily be three different problems. I’ve tried googling without much success, so if you have any information to add, please contribute it in the comments. I think I will cut that one stem off the hydrangea, keep my eye on the rose, and wail and gnash my teeth over the hellebore–and scout out a source for a new one. What would you do?