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Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

Posted by jactaylor24 Long Island, NY (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 10, 12 at 14:52

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?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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.


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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)?


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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??


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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.


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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?


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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.


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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.


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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.


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

and you forgot to mention sandy ..

there you go .... facts matter ..

go figure..

i wish you the best

ken


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RE: Please Help!!! Japanese Pieris Mountain Fire dying!

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


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