Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

jactaylor24December 10, 2012

Hello! I have 5 beautiful Japanese pieris mountain fires. They were growing beautifully, and all of a sudden the leaves started turning brown and falling off on one plant. I wasn't worried until the others seemed to be doing the same thing- one after another. Please help! I love these little guys don't know what to do!

I've read some websites saying the soil may not be acidic enough and to add distiller vinegar, some saying to use soapy water for insects and others saying to add Epsom salt because they may be lacking in magnesium. I don't want to start adding things without knowing what's wrong. Does this look like a pest problem, root rot? Any ideas?

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jactaylor24

This another pieris whose leaves haven't fallen yet but are turning brown...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:55PM
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jactaylor24

And here is the lot of them planted approx. 5 feet apart from each other. I bought them at Home Depot and still have the receipt so if I must return them Under the one year guarantee I will, but I would much prefer to keep them. They are so lovely.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:57PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

You're absolutely right to hold off treatments until you know what's wrong. They look as if something quite severe has happened to them suddenly. I don't think it's anything to do with the soil acidity, that would show up gradually. How long have they been in the ground? My first question would be have they been thoroughly watered since planting if it has been dry? My second would be have any chemicals been used near them? Washing that vehicle? Salt for ice? Anything dosed on the lawn (which also looks pretty sick)?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:40PM
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jactaylor24

Hahaha I've always said my neighbor has an awful lawn and he is a landscaper! The lawn hasn't had any treatments that I'm aware of... But who knows? We did suffer some flooding from Hurricane Sandy and there was ocean water that came up our yard, but I thought it might be okay because they actually flowered a little after that. We have been having bizarre weather- Hurricane Sandy, a snowstorm one day- the next day is 60 degrees, etc. do you think I should cut off the stems that have lost all of their leaves??

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:53PM
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jactaylor24

Oh they have been in the ground since the middle of September. Otherwise there hasn't been any salt, chemicals, cleaners anywhere near them that I'm aware of. I watered them regularly in September And October but not as often recently as we had the floods and much more rain than normal for this time of year.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:59PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I've read some websites saying the soil may not be acidic enough and to add distiller vinegar, some saying to use soapy water for insects and others saying to add Epsom salt because they may be lacking in magnesium. ===>>> you better find some better websites...

I don't want to start adding things without knowing what's wrong. ==>>> brilliant ...

transplant shock ...

and what if any sandy impact was there ... i suspect too much water.. unless you are in some mysterious part of LI that did not get any rain ..

what is your soil type... does it drain????

who planted them.. how were they planted ... what did you throw in the planting hole ...

there are about 50 variables.. before you go worrying about amending your soil .. they havent been there long enough.. for it to be such ...

anyway.. no plant holds its leaves forever.. transplant shock will make older leaves fall off ... what do the buds at the end of the branches look like.. do they look good???

more facts please

ken

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:01PM
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jactaylor24

Ken,

We did get flooded from Hurricane Sandy. South shore Long Island- then subsequently suffered a snowstorm, and weather that alternates from 30 degrees to 60 degrees any given day.

I planted them (my husband dug the hole) and I followed instructions to mix half original soil with half potting soil I bought to throw back in the hole. Our soil is a little Sandy over here and seems to drain well. Thats about it....

The buds on the end look pretty decent and one of my neighbors sliced a small piece of he branch to show me the branches are still alive. Just don't understand why the browning leaves then falling off... What can I do for transplant shock?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

We did get flooded from Hurricane Sandy. South shore Long Island- then subsequently suffered a snowstorm, and weather that alternates from 30 degrees to 60 degrees any given day.

===>>> oh my jac ... and you are wondering if its a soil issue .. lol

thank God you didnt start sprinkling them with vinegar and oil.. and a little feta ...

again.. the 30 to 60 is not relevant ... IMHO ... if it were minus 30 to 60.. well .. lol ..

do you know how to gauge when to water.. insert finger 2 to 3 inches.. do not water again.. until the soil is dry at 3 inches... and frankly.. that MIGHT NOT BE UNTIL SPRING ... its not a calender or a guessing thing.. insert finger ...

when it is dry .. water until it is damp at 3 inches ...

i am not happy that you amended the planting hole ... but what can you do now..

if the plants are warrantied.. you do what the warrantor tells you to do ..

the future is all in the buds.. i have had evergreen plants.. lose every single leaf/needle the first winter.. and bud out and take off like normal.. the following spring..

just dont drown them..

i dont grow them.. but i am pretty sure .. they will take the minus 17 of z5 MI .. so quit worrying about 30 degrees.. ok???

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Dzitmoidonc(6)

I think it is salt water damage. Some plants are very sensitive to halogens (chlorine, flourine, astatine). Also, the damaged roots cannot take up water after the damage, therefore the drought look. Some of the holes filled up more, maybe the dirt was not as packed. Also, the brown on the green leaves is more evidence of chemical damage from the inside.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:47PM
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akamainegrower

The onshore winds from Sandy were salt-laden. I think this is what has caused the leaf burn and subsequent drop. Salt water around the roots is no doubt another factor. You can try rinsing off the leaves with fresh water and flushing the planting area with it. At this point, however, the damage has probably already been done.

On the bright side, I think these plants will probably look quite odd for a while, but will leaf out normally next spring.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 5:45AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I feel slightly vindicated. Salt - but not from de-icing. I had no idea you were flooded. That would also have messed up the neighbour's lawn.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:53AM
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jactaylor24

Thank you! I will keep watch over them and see what happens next spring. Hopefully they will be okay.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:17AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

and you forgot to mention sandy ..

there you go .... facts matter ..

go figure..

i wish you the best

ken

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:47PM
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sunrisedigger(6a)

I also have the Pieris Mountain Fire -- Now thinking back I had to determine where and what exact micro climate , was going to make this fussy plant happy for lack of a better term. Anyway,I north facing partial shaded spot That's where the trouble began with
a bit too much sun.
The foliage gradually turned a yellowish green from a meduim green. It still gave me color in fall but there's something just not right. Growth became so slow and this last winter just made it look like it's bailing.
Then I read about low iron can influence color. Wondering if this thing is suffering from low iron.
Here's what I'm trying: I 've transplanted it close to a shadier place along the same fence but under a Spartan Juniper.
I've found Plant Prod water soluable Chelated Iron at a local building store. I'm giving this a dose now and seeing if things green up. If they do there's a good chance all other values will improve Worth a try ... This is my prognosis

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 12:18PM
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LarryC0319

We live in Connecticut and have 2 mountain Fire Pieris we had planted in May. The leaves are turning a yellowish color. Is this normal and if not what can we do to revive them.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 8:21AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

larry.. you could start your own post.. and include a pic of your plants ... just saying the leaves yellowed.. really isnt much to go on ...

we would also need a full history of your plants ... like... recent transplants ... how planted.. soil type.. any amendmenst to the hole ....etc ...

ken

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 9:51AM
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LarryC0319

They were purchased from a nursery and planted the end of May. Do not know soil type. Added new Scott's potting soil to the hole when planted.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 3:53PM
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akamainegrower

Can't tell from the photo, but two most likely causes: dried out at the roots. Dig one up and check. Soak and replant if this proves to be the case. Other possibility is lacebug infestation which causes leaves to turn yellow and then ghostly white. Check the leaf undersides. Lacebug nymphs leave shiny, dark speckles of excrement there. Lots of advice for dealing with this pest available online.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 5:42AM
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LarryC0319

The yellowed leaves have spots on them. I sprayed with Seven. Lets see what happens. Hopefully it will save them.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 10:34AM
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