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skimmia

Posted by cheryl_blueridge WV (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 12, 06 at 17:31

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 16, 06 at 10:55

Mites?


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RE: skimmia

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.


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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 17, 06 at 16:52

\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.

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


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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 17, 06 at 20:54

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


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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 18, 06 at 6:31

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


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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 18, 06 at 11:54

"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.


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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 18, 06 at 12:35

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.


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RE: skimmia

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 19, 06 at 1:42

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.


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RE: skimmia

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.


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RE: skimmia

Will skimmia grow in zone 6?


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RE: skimmia

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.


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Oh Well

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


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