skimmia

cheryl_blueridgeAugust 12, 2006

I have 8 skimmia plants, 6 female & 2 male, planted in a raised bed next to the foundation with a northern exposure. The plants are 5 years old and have been doing very well up till now. I have one plant that is yellowing. The others seem to be healthy. I can not see any insects on the plant.. any ideas on what may be causing this and what to do about it will be greatly appreciated.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Mites?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:55AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Skimmia is an ericaceous shrub. It requires acid soil or it will get chlorosis and go yellow. Even if you have acid soil, the soil near your foundation might be alkalina and cause a problem. Look for telltale yellow leaves with green veins.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 3:38PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

\Er`i*ca"ceous\, a. (Bot.) Belonging to the Heath family, or resembling plants of that family; consisting of heats.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

=========================

Thanks, S&B! That's my new word of the day. Hopefully, I'll recognize it the next time I see it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 4:52PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Unless this is one of those new re-classifications based on recent DNA work Skimmia is classed in Rutaceae, and not Ericaceae.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 8:54PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Plants may be ericaceous without being members of the Ericaceae family. Other examples are Gardenia and Camellia.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 6:31AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

"Calcifuge" is more to the point. Extending taxonomic term "ericaceous" to include all calcifuge shrubs, including those outside Ericaceae is a somewhat unfortunate practice as it is misleading.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 11:54AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

I disagree. Calcifuge refers to plants which do not grow well in lime-rich soil. Ericaceous implies the need for acid soil (in order to adequately take up Iron). Many plants may be calcifuge, but not ericaceous. Lilacs are an example.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:35PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Some ericads native to dry climates, arbutus and arctostaphylos for instance, are not particularly lime-hating. In fact it has been observed that native arbutus growing at a cement plant in Seattle look much healthier than many others in town.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 1:42AM
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Olivier_NorthFrance(USDA 7)

Growing successfully three of them in a close to neutral (pH from 7 to 7.35 depending on the location) loamy to slightly clayey soil, I don't believe Skimmia japonica requires acid soil. Nor does it require a particularly light soil full of organic material, its roots beeing more 'fleshy' and more able to cope with clay than the fibrous roots of a rhododendron, an azalea or a Pieris.

Of course, I wouldn't plant one in a chalky soil, but it shouldn't be qualified, in my humble opinion, as an ericaceous plant.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 2:53AM
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zcoolest(6)

Will skimmia grow in zone 6?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:06AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Zcoolest, I have been able to grow skimmia in Z6 on the North side of my house. They were happy until the following.
Cheryl, did you check on the sticks deep down inside the shrub? Mine are suffering from what looks like a fuzzy white scale on the sticks. I have the same or similar insect on my greenspire euonymus. The leaves are turning yellow from it and the plant is slowly dying back. They ruined one plant last year and are back again.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 4:07PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Oops, I just noticed the original message was old.
How did your skimmia do Cheryl?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 4:08PM
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