you please tell me what the trouble is with my two-year-old daphne?
I have been giving it the right fertiliser, along with tea leaves,
and I've been told that it may be the tea that's caused the problem.
The plant came right for a while, but is yellowing again from the
peculiar kind of growth is called fasciation and it can occur on
quite a wide range of plants. The symptoms are usually broadly flattened
stems, like with your daphne, and sometimes peculiarly shaped flowers.
The cause is thought to be damage to the growing tips of the plant,
perhaps by insects, slugs or frost, but other factors like disease
or virus infection or genetic malfunction may also be responsible.
It's almost certainly not tea!
The good news is that
if you prune out the affected parts there's every chance the plant
will recover and grow normally.
The problem of leaf yellowing
can be caused by poor drainage, but it may also be iron deficiency.
If drainage is good, apply aluminium sulphate or flowers of sulphur
to the soil to lower pH, which will make more iron available to
the plant. You can also feed it with iron chelate fertiliser or
iron sulphate according to the packet recommendations.
Gardener, Issue 171, 2005, Page 24
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.