viburnum disease - wilting leaves

christie_sw_mo(Z6)July 1, 2006

Something's wrong with one of my viburnums. On about 1/3 of the shrub, the leaves are wilting and dying. The leaves on the rest of the shrub look just fine. I can't find any spots or anything on the wilting leaves which are curling under and now getting pretty dry. The branches with the leaves that are wilting all go back to the same "trunk" which I assume I need to prune out. ???

I have several other viburnums and I'm hoping this isn't something that could spread. My sick one is a 'Mohawk' that I planted about five years ago. There's another Mohawk planted about 8 feet away and a viburnum Aurora planted about 8 feet away in the other direction.

I'm in Missouri and we don't have viburnum leaf beetles here yet nor do I see any signs of them.

It may have been stressed from a very dry winter. Otherwise it looked pretty healthy until last week when it started wilting.

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tinamcg(Z5b Kansas City)

The symptoms you describe sound a lot like verticillium wilt, and viburnums are among the many many plants that are susceptible to it. There is little you can do except prune away all the affected limbs, keep it watered and fed, and hope for the best.

My smokebush was diagnosed with verticillium three years ago. It began to do just what your Mohawk is doing now. I thought I would have to remove it, but decided to wait. Now, I'm still not sure verticillium was the real problem because my smokebush rebounded and is beautiful now, but I've read that attacks of this disease can comeout of nowhere with years in between. After three years, I watch that shrub like a hawk looking for signs of wilt.

Good luck. It's a heartbreaker, that disease.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:53PM
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I lost a tulip tree to that a few years ago but the whole tree wilted and died within a few days. This is only affecting part of the shrub so I assumed it was something different. I'll read up on it some more. It's encouraging to hear that your smokebush is still alive. Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 8:08AM
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I"m told that curling leaves on my Mohowk (which by the way, my neighbors also get on this cultivar) are due to spider mites or aphids. Not serious if this is your problem. Insecticidal soaps should help.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 1:52PM
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