Cercospora Leaf Spot . . . bad
I posted this in the hydrangea forum, but I don't know how much time people spend there now that it's colder... I think my problems are bigger than my hydrangea anyway. So... here goes.
A few months ago I posted some pics of leaves from my sick hydrangea, and everyone was kind enough to help me determine it was leaf spot. I tried taking everyone's adviceÃ¯Â¿Â½and clean out the area well, but my hydrangea looked mostly dead for the rest of the summer. Any new green it put out quickly turned brown-black and died. My neighbor has suggested I cut it back to only a few inches high and see if it comes back okay in the spring. I don't know how old the plant is, but it was here long before I moved in six years ago.
After the hydrangea developed the leaf spot, I started noticing the same spots on other plants throughout my yard, the annuals in the hanging baskets on the porch, the mandevilla, two small, new rosebushes, and even my rubber tree and peace lily houseplants that I put in the backyard in the shade for the summer away from everything else. It seemed to affect one plant, but not necessarily the one next to it. Very scattered. Nothing immediately close to the hydrangea was affected though. And only the hydrangea looked like it was close to dead.
How do I keep this from cursing me next year?? And is it a good idea to cut the hydrangea down almost to the ground?
Thanks! I really need help!