sweet mock orange leaves now drooping

Asked May 12, 2020, 3:52 PM EDT

I transplanted my sweet mock orange shrub that was growing under the deck three days ago and gave it plenty of water. The leaves which were once healthy are now drooping. I only moved it about two feet from where it was before and added a little compost to the soil. What did I do wrong?

Rockland County New York

1 Response

Thank you for contacting us about your transplanted mock orange. Your shrub is likely suffering from transplant shock especially if you were not able to get it moved before the buds opened.

During the move, the roots may have dried out, or maybe there were very few roots at all. If the tiny fibers on roots dry and die, or the roots are cut, the plant will have a very hard time staying hydrated. There are not enough roots to keep up with the needs of the plant.

The leaves may drop, but there is a possibility that new foliage will grow. Water the plant deeply, preferably using a soaker hose that encircles the root zone. There is a fine balance between watering too much or not enough since both can kill the roots; but at this point, it is best not to let the soil dry out too much between waterings. Conserve moisture in the soil by keeping 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch over the entire drip zone, but do not put it right against the plant.

Here is some information that may help you:

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/bp/bp-31.html

https://plantpathology.ca.uky.edu/files/ppfs-or-w-19.pdf