New Virbinum leaves turning brown and falling off

Asked June 5, 2016, 9:53 AM EDT

Why are the leaves on my new (4 weeks old) turning brown and crispy from the edges in and falling off? I dug a much larger hole and back-filled in with Miracle garden soil, manure and some peat moss. Then I dug a hole in that and planted the five gallon plant. After about a week, I noticed some leaves were turning brown from the outside in and falling off. I did use Miracle Grow fertilizer twice and I water it EVERY day. I planted 3 new ones, all the same way, and they all have a little brown, but one is much worse. Also, they all are still producing new leaves. Help!! Audrey

Niagara County New York plant disease viburnum horticulture

1 Response

Audrey,

I think you are stressing your viburnum with too much love. If your viburnum were grown in pots it you check to see that there were no circling roots and gently loosen them before planting? Also, plant roots need to adapt as soon as possible to the native soil in which they will grow and therefore it is not a good idea to back-fill a large planting hole with rich material. And, newly transplanted plants do not need fertilizer. In fact, they can suffer from it, as I think you are experiencing. Also, depending on the rainfall in your area, you may be over-watering your new plants. Lastly, since these young plants are stressed, they are susceptible to pests and diseases. The best way to address your problem, if you can, is to dig up the plants, remove the added soil and replace it with native soil or at least mix in at least half native soil. No manure, no enriched soil, no peat moss. Water deeply once a week unless it rains and when it gets hot later in the summer water twice a week. The important thing is to let the roots get established in the first year. To do this they need to develop a relationship with the microbes in the native soil. Right now you are literally smothering them with kindness.