What is happening to my styrax Fragrant fountain
Purchased one month ago. Received in good condition. Has
shown signs of decline. Planted in part sun in well drained rich acidic soil. New growth is evident but established leaves are turning brown. plant is small about 12"
Philadelphia County Pennsylvania
I am concerned that the browning leaves are due to inadequate moisture. Styrax (Japanese snowbell) does not tolerate extreme heat or drought. To help your plant cope with these conditions make sure you water well in the summer, especially during hot periods. Water deeply during hot periods. Trees can absor a lot of water. Use a soaker hose for an hour or more to spread out water over the root area or some other method to add water slowly so the soil can absorb it. Test after watering with a screwdriver. You want moisture down all the way to the roots. If your screwdriver is easily inserted the soil is moist down to the tip of the screwdriver. You can test for dryness with this also. If the soil is dry the screwdriver is more difficult to insert. Mulch will also help. A 2 inch layer of mulch in a donut-shape around the drip zone of your tree witl lessen soil surface evaporation and keep the roots cooler. The mulch will also block sunlight, and keep weeds from growing; plus as soil organisms break it down mulch will add organic matter to the soil. This article has additional information:http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/detail.php?pid=478