When you see damage on Spring hydrangea leaves, it’s most likely leafrollers.
At this time of year, leafrollers are tiny green caterpillars that take hydrangea leaves and either (1) glue the leaf edges together with silk webbing or (2) take a single leaf and roll it up like a cigar.
The tiny caterpillars then hang out in these leaf nests, feeding and resting until it is time to pupate. Once they pupate they will emerge as moths.
Chances are leafrollers won’t kill a hydrangea however the rolled and pinched leaves do look unsightly and if left unchecked, can reduce bloom production. And we all want our blooms!
How do you fix leafrollers?
Gently open up the pinched or rolled leaves and run your finger over the surface of the hydrangea leaves taking out any webbing. If you see a tiny green caterpillar in there, simply just drop it in a pail of soapy water or for the braver gardener, you can squish the little green caterpillars with your fingers.