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Old 08-10-2010, 06:24 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default could anyone tell me what's wrong with this plant please?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5086948...n/photostream/

I've had it for 3 years and it's always looked magnificent. This year it
looks very sick.

I haven't repotted it or, I'd assume, overwatered it. The only thing I
can think of is I sprayed it with insecticide earlier this year as it
was being eaten alive by caterpillars.

Any help appreciated!

Craven.

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Old 08-10-2010, 08:19 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default could anyone tell me what's wrong with this plant please?

On Fri, 08 Oct 2010 18:24:36 +0100, Craven wrote:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5086948...n/photostream/

I've had it for 3 years and it's always looked magnificent. This year it
looks very sick.

I haven't repotted it or, I'd assume, overwatered it. The only thing I
can think of is I sprayed it with insecticide earlier this year as it
was being eaten alive by caterpillars.

Any help appreciated!

Craven.


It looks like a skimmia. Some yellowing of some leaves is normal at
this time of year (indeed at any time as even evergreens shed leaves
when they get old) but if it's under performing compared to previous
years, the main culprits I'd suggest are that it's potbound or needs
feeding. If it's been in the same pot for 3 years it may well need a
larger pot (the photo doesn't show the pot so difficult to tell
whether it's big enough).

Do you feed it at all? At this time of year, I'd suggest that you try
sprinlking a little bone meal or Growmore onto the surface and gently
fork it in (don't over-do it - just a little as you want to give the
plant a bit of TLC, not encourage it to put on lots of new soft growth
in the cold season) . Hopefully that will see it through the winter.

In the spring, pull it gently out of the pot (if it's rootbound it may
be difficult to get out but a but of gentle persuasion should do it).
If there is a mass of roots curling round the outside of the rootball,
you need a bigger pot. When replanting, tease some of the roots out to
encourage them to grow into the surrounding compost you add. If it's
not rootbound, you can pop it back into the pot.

Either way, remove the top couple of inches of existing compost and
put new compost in - this is something worth doing every spring.
Replacing the top layer of compost adds nutrients. Give it an added
boost by working some bone meal or Growmore into the compost you
replace.

And an occasional feed through the growing season won't hurt - plants
in pots quickly suck the nutrients out of the compost and those
nutrients need to be replaced.
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Old 17-10-2010, 04:50 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default could anyone tell me what's wrong with this plant please?

On 08/10/2010 20:45, Sacha wrote:
On 2010-10-08 18:24:36 +0100, Craven said:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5086948...n/photostream/

I've had it for 3 years and it's always looked magnificent. This year
it looks very sick.

I haven't repotted it or, I'd assume, overwatered it. The only thing I
can think of is I sprayed it with insecticide earlier this year as it
was being eaten alive by caterpillars.

Any help appreciated!

Craven.


I doubt you've done anything wrong. It's something Skimmias just do
sometimes. The leaves go pale and wan and the plant just gives up. In
different gardens I've seen it happen a few times. However, as yours is
in a pot you might to make sure vine weevil hasn't got at it. If it was
in direct sunlight it might also go into a sulk.


Jake, Sacha, thanks for your replies. I'll give it some tlc and repot in
the spring.

As I'm gardening on a terrace it's not really a complete ecosystem and
insects tend to run amoc.

Craven.


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