Please help: my buttonbushes

Asked May 23, 2020, 11:25 AM EDT

Hello, My two buttonbush shrubs that have always (5+ years) thrived in the slightly damp, with clay-like soil portion of my yard appear to be afflicted with some kind of "wilt". The viburnums to the left, as well as blueberry and one other kind of shrub around it appear fine, just the two buttonbushes. I never apply any chemicals, and neither does the neighbor behind me. As you can see, I have not gotten around to doing any extensive weeding/mulching around the area where they are growing. Any advise you could offer would be most welcome! They are wonderful shrubs and attract quite a lot of pollinators; I would hate to lose them!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like frost injury from the recent cold weather. Leaf buds and tender, newly developed foliage is most susceptible to late frost injury. Damaged plant tissue may become distorted, wilted, or even blackened. We have had quite a few reports of frost damage to many types of plants recently; you are certainly not alone.

There is really nothing you can do. Just give the plant time to put out new growth as the weather warms up and temperatures stabilize. As long as leaves still have some normal green tissue they can still conduct photosynthesis and produce energy to support the plant's growth. You can prune later, if need be.