Hydrangea Leaves Are Shriveling

Question From: Farmington, Michigan, United States
Q: I have several hydrangeas around my house that appear to be dying. They are 2-4 years old. For the past month, leaves have been shriveling on about 5 of my 19 hydrangeas. On one of them, only about half the plant has produced leaves. Could be a different problem, but the shriveling leaves is a mystery. They get ample water. And my other perennials are fine. Desperately seeking help, Sylvia.
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A: Your hydrangeas may have honey fungus that will eventually kill the entire shrub. Examination of the main stem just below soil level may reveal a white fungal film under the bark. There is no cure and infected plants should be removed. To be sure I would send root samples to Michigan State for an accurate Id. For more information on how to prepare and send samples go to http://www.pestid.msu.edu/submit-samples/ Good Luck and let me know what they say. Best Nancy