Need some help here! Flowering almond bush looking sad.

violet14(Z5 ON)June 12, 2009

Hi all!

I have a flowering almond bush in my garden at the front of my house. I bought it 2 years ago and last spring it bloomed so nicely and grew really well. This spring my almond only flowered on part of the plant and it looks like the leaves are starting to die except on one branch! It did have some damage this spring from hungry rabbits chewing some of the branches but other than that i don't know why this is happening. I haven't seen any bugs or caterpillars or anything like that....there are a couple of other bushes close to it, creeping evergreens and one rhododendron, maybe it could be too acidic?

Any help would be appreciated!

Here is a picture of my front garden, the bush is on the right behind the lillies (Big bunch of green over there!)

Here it is close up....

and here is a closeup of the other side of the garden..

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

we had an extremely hard winter in my z5 .... you???

mine has some damage.. but did flower OK but not great

i can NOT focus on your plant in these pix ... it looks basically dead to me.. but a closeup might help


    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 9:18AM
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lisa2004(NY Z5/6)

I had two that flowered every year, after which they would both look dead, wilted leaves, etc. Then they would start to produce new leaves again from the bottom and I would have to cut them way back to make them look decent. It seemed like flowering took all the life out of them.
I'm not sure this is their normal cycle, but I finially got tired of them and replaced them with something else.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:41AM
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violet14(Z5 ON)

I will try to get a closer picture for you to look at tomorrow, there are new leaves on one branch on the right side but otherwise the leaves have wilted and it looks almost dead. We did have a pretty hard winter here maybe it is from that? I might try cutting it down a bit and see if that helps is to regenerate....

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 9:53PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

If you are going to prune, now is a good time. My Flowering Almond did bloom nicely this year, then acted like some of the stems were dying. Mine needed thinning because it was getting quite floppy anyway. I trimmed out all the wilted leaf stems, plus the floppy ones and shortened the tallest so what was left is all the same height.

This seems to have helped because no more stems have wilted. Leaves look good.

I would trim a lot of the dead or wilted stems out, just leave a few. Perhaps some fertilizer worked into the soil would help too. This should strengthen the root system, so you could get new growth and a better chance for improved flowering next spring.

My Almond has been pretty faithful about flowering, even with our often, extremely cold winters, deep snow, hard winds. I do think it has improved with some trimming, which opened the bush up for better airflow in our humid summers. The rabbits don't seem to like it, I thought it was poison. I do fence in my tasty bushes!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:10PM
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Dan Staley

Nothing like a closeup to get an idea. I'd focus on the rabbit damage as being a causative factor in addition to its position, and prune to the ground and hope it comes back. If not, try a different shrub.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:18AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

It may be a hardiness problem. My 2 Spring flowering Almonds are impossible to kill. I cut them both to ground level once to try to kill them and they both grew back in a single year.

I guess I'll have to keep them, as it is is too much trouble to dig them up (I have too many fenceline shrubs too close together - they all grow larger than the labels say). Mine grow happily too close to other shrubs.

Mine grow 3' high and wide and are a bit twiggy. Gorgeous in spring flowering, but not much to look at the rest of the year.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 2:31PM
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..these have a fruitful life of 3-5 years..they are in the peach family, and subject to borers.....I buy from Millers, online, and do not expect them to go farther than 4-5 years, the flowering go down fast, even with expert care and food...they expend themselves quickly

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:09PM
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I still have (3) fairly viable Flowering Almond Shrubs.

I've always loved the spring bloom, and the shrub usually doesn't look too bad the rest of the year either.

Two years ago, after 5 years or so of growth and flowering, I began to experience wilting on my shrubs right after blooming. At first, it wasn't too bad, but as the years have gone by, the effect is becoming worse and worse.

I did some googling, and it appears that there is a fungal disease that is common to these shrubs that is commonly called "brown-off". What I found in prior years directed me to prune off the affected branches (to avoid infection of healthy branches) and to let the plants rejuvenate over the summer, which they did.

But, as I said, each year my plants would look worse. This year, I found that this disease actually enters the shrubs via the blooms (which makes a lot of sense).

Anyway, I've trimmed them back again, (thankfully, I do have some healthy growth and foliage) ... and I've given them a dose of Bayer's All-in-One Rose systemic treatment.

Next year, I'm going to try and remember to give my plants a fungal treatment in the weeks BEFORE they bloom. Hopefully, this might stave off the infection.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:55PM
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I'm not sure what you're talking about, John. I've got two flowering almonds that have surpassed the 30 year mark - and our winters here are harsher and more prolonged than even those in zone 5.

They do respond beautifully to removing dead branches and a clean up pruning. Mine are @5-6' high and have a nice spread. The only year they didn't bloom was when I'd let maintenance go on them for a few years. After going at them with a pruner, the next spring they were as beautiful as ever.

violet - cut or scratch a branch or two and see if there's any live wood with the green layer under the bark. Then in the fall, make a chicken wire cage - that's sufficient to keep the rabbits from foraging over the winter.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:09PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

as to aegis

i dont understand what a systemic can do with a fungus ...

but if it was labeled for such.. all the power to ya ... i dont have time to research it


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:19PM
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