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HELP! Loropetalum problems...

Posted by Alvan none (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 12:04

I have had 19 loropetalums die -surrounded by healthy plants. So assuming it was a bad crop, I replaced 8 of them from Lowes. It looks like these May be dying too!!! Pic is attached.
We water with well water and there is soil/sand combo since were near the ocean. My neighbors have these shrubs with no problems. Why are the leaves turning yellow? Luckily Lowes has a return policy... :-/

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

Looks like leaf scorch......have you been keeping these plants moist (they prefer a moist situation and require acidic type soils)
Did you ferilize these plants.....which may contribute to leaf burn, if too much is applied.....

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

have a soil test done ... i am wondering if that cement wall is leeching into the soil ..

whats the tan stuff on the left of the pic ... are they planted in straight dune sand..

and why are they planted so close too the foundation???

the wall reflecting heat and sunshine and the sand.. might combine to make it simply too dry without some serious watering ....

did the neighbor plant in something better than sand...

and what did you do at planting.. other than drag it out of the pot.. and put a peaty potting media into the sand ... i lost a couple hundreds plants.. until i realized the sand was sucking all moisture out of the peat.. and once peat dries.. there is just about nothing that can be done to rewet it.. in the hot season ...

and if they fail.. why replant with the same thing???.. thats like beating your head on the wall ...


RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

Ken-I replanted with the same thing b/c I thought the first batch was diseased since they can from the same nursery. Our landscaper planted those. I planted these. Used some soil at the base and watered them well at planting. There is a good deal of sand mixed in around what soil cups the plant. We're on the bayfront. I wanted to plant the same plant b/c our landscape has no color. Not super happy with the plan we have-lots if plants very close together-they will crowd each other out soon. And all green. No variation. So the Lordopedulums were at least burgundy and against the white of our house added a little pop.
Can you (or anyone) suggest another plant that will do well in Florida that has a bit if variation (very light green even!)
Ians_gardener--I didn't fertilize and we water pretty well. But I did wonder if the iron in our well water didn't do well with these plants for some reason. The other plants seem fine, but maybe these don't like it?
Big I need to start over it can these be saved? Considering letting these go and not planting anything here until spring...

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 15:05

Looks like something you'd see at a big box plant department here after a hot day - because these places don't water often enough. Modern container ornamental culture is often essentially hydroponics, where plants are grown in coarse media through which tons of water is passed. Once these are shipped out of the production facility if the same heavy watering regime is not duplicated the whole time until good rooting out into the soil of the final planting site is accomplished severe damage can come on very quickly.

If your problem is instead mineral salts in the irrigation water there should be a line of salt along the edges of the burnt parts of the leaves.

If you look at the affected leaves and these are entirely brown on the bottom possibly that might indicate the problem is reflected heat. More recently planted rhododendrons in a collection near here used to get shade cloth put to the south of them during summer because the curator thought heat reflecting off the bark mulch was burning the undersides of the leaves.

You are planting a southeast Asian monsoon forest shrub in what may just be too different of an environment for it - on what looks to be a very severely sandy soil I would definitely have been mulching, something that should be standard practice even when the soil environment is not extreme.

This post was edited by bboy on Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 15:20

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

You are planting a southeast Asian monsoon forest shrub in what may just be too different of an environment for it

==>> that is the key ...

and the though FL might be close to that description.. in certain seasons ... what a forest does not have.. is a large white wall holding heat all night long.. and intensifying sunlight by reflecting it ... you are baking them.. and there is no night time recovery period ...

one way to offset the wall.. is to plant further away from it ... always remember.. plantings HIDE a foundation.. they are not planted on the foundation ....

sorry.. no FL experience for me ... so no recommendations ...

walk around town.. get pics of things that thrive.. and interest you ... take pix.. get names... here or in the name that plant forum ....

and no matter what you do.. you will have to perfect PROPER WATERING .. see link regarding planting and watering.. and mulching ....

since you went thru two crops .... in toto... its a cultural issue.. not a bug/disease issue ...

is this your home.. or a cottage ... watering to perfection is hard on a drive by basis ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

Loropetalum has a low tolerance for sodium rich soils. This looks EXACTLY like salt damage and I suggest that you have your soil AND well water tested for salt intrusion.

In the meantime, locate a source for granulated or pelleted gypsum. The chemical reaction of the calcium sulfate grabs and holds the sodium, making it unavailable for uptake by plants. Gypsum made my coastal container nursery possible. The coastal nurseries and golf courses bring in tractor trailer loads of pelletized gypsum on an annual basis. It enables them to grow healthy and high quality plants and turf in spite of the sodium in the soils and water supply.

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 13:15

Where adapted this is a shrub that grows above your head, may even form a small tree of some size so you may not want these right up against the wall anyway.

RE: HELP! Loropetalum problems...

FWIW, what gypsum actually does is to displace the sodium with calcium, not lock it up.
The sodium moves lower in the soil profile.

However this link says sodium in soil is an uncommon problem in Florida:

Here is a link that might be useful:

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