Oakleaf Hydrangea Foliage And Flowers Turned Dark Curled And Died And New Leaves Die When Small

Question From: Broken Bow, Oklahoma, United States
Q: My Oakleaf hydrangea was in full bloom in the summer, 4 years old, large and healthy. Limb by limb the folage and flowers started turning dark and curling and dying as if it were late early winter. I took off all the damaged leaves and flowers. The plant is still alive putting on leaves. They are turning purple and dying off while they are still small. What is it ? What to do? Pic taken today November 1st 2016 but typical for the last few months. The little white spots are new.

A: Clean up all infected leaves. Mulch the plant with 3 to 4 inches of wood chip. Keep it watered until the soil freezes. In spring spray it with a fungicide if the new leaves show sign of damage. Do keep it watered. Lack of water will stress hit making it vulnerable to disease. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy