leaves turning brown
recently planted a Viburnum 'Emerald Beauty' in a semi-shaded
spot in my garden. A couple of weeks after planting the leaves started
to droop. I gave it lots of water and some liquid fertiliser and
it perked up, but some of the leaves are now turning brown. I can't
see any sign of pests. Other plants in the same bed are fine. Do
you know what the problem might be?
sounds as if your viburnum has a root disorder. It could be one
thing or a combination of things causing the symptoms you describe
and is a process of elimination.
excessively disturbing the roots before planting can cause
wilting and leaves to shrivel. If the tree has been grown in the
open ground and lifted recently, it could show signs of wilting
until it recovers.
Too much fertiliser applied
at the time of planting has the same effect, as does allowing the
plant to dry out after planting.
The worst senario is
root rot. This will cause wilting and leaves to brown and shrivel
up, and there is not a lot that can be done.
If you think you may
have applied too much fertiliser, you can save the plant by leaching
the excess fertiliser out of the soil. You will need to water the
plant for at least an hour to wash the fertiliser out.
If your viburnum dried
out after planting, water regularly, depending upon the weather,
until it is established. Mulching around the plant will help retain
If you think it may be
a root disorder, there is very little that can be done. Reduce the
watering, cut the plant back by about a third and see what happens.
Usually, plants with root rot disorders will not recover. If the
plant was purchased from a garden centre, take it back with the
label and receipt; they should have a replacement policy for plants
that fail to thrive.
I think that it is likely
to be transplant shock and the plant will recover. If the plant
has dropped its leaves, cut it back by about a third to a bud; it
will come away.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH