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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Champion Bird
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I've done everything I can to try and make my plants thrive.

:doh Very depressed to find that a lot of the plants in my front yard appear to be dying. :(

Our front yard faces North, North West and contains a big liquid Amber and a Chinese Elm that provide a reasonable amount of shade.

The browning seems to be affecting everything - Lilly Pillies, Monsteria, Camellias, Murraya etc

I tried to give my plants a good soaking at dawn and dusk on the really hot days... :(

Is it just heat stress? Or is there something more sinister going on?

What can I do to perk them up?

Image

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:help:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:09 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Apart from the obvious , very hot and dry ( no amount of watering with the hose makes up for rain .) I think you have a fungal problem and the warm weather allows this to run wild . High wind on very hot days just burns the leaves too beyond recovery .


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Thanks for the info Martin.

Any ideas on what I can do to fix it?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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I think the main problem is the wind burn so perhaps some protection ( since I fear more hot weather to come .) I am guessing these are probably fairly newly planted ?
A good protection is sacking material on the two sides most prone to the wind . two sides only since fully enclosed will trap air and not allow flow . ) You often see this sort of plant damage when people put plants on utes or trailers and drive with them uncovered . The leaves simply dry out and burn beyond repair .
The slight fungal problem I would deal with this after summer


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Also keep the mulch away from the trunk of the plant - make a well with the mulch away from the trunk.

I find these types of Camelia's hard to grow so good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Champion Bird
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I don't see any fungal problem that needs treating.
The brown edge on the leaf suggests the roots have been burnt. This may be caused by too much fertiliser, bore water high in salt, fresh manure or compost, or incorrect pH.
Camellias need an acidic soil. Do you know the pH of your soil?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:09 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I agree with Artemis, I saw a segment with Gardening australia and they said the same thing, that over the course of a dry summer the stress is more concentrated, like no rainfall to dilute whats in the soil. To me the leaves don't look sunburnt or wind burnt. But we could all be wrong sometimes. Change in season and more rainfall would help. Check your greywater/septic if anywhere nearby, or the neighbours, salt levels in the water, or too much fertilizer that has locked up nutrients.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Did you actually check the soil before watering, to see if it actually needs it? If your soil is waterlogged then extra water is only making the situation worse. Hard to imagine in the sort of weather we are having, but you said that you are watering twice a day on some days so I thought I would mention it. If the soil is waterlogged it will also smell sour. Waterlogged roots will rot and the plant will exhibit symptoms of not enough water because the roots can no longer draw the water up to the plant.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:40 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Thank you everyone for your advice. I've been nurturing some of these plants for more than a year, as part of a hedge - and Im devastated at the thought of losing them!

I recently spread some Dino Fert around - could this be causing the problem?

I spread it around maybe 3 weeks ago?

I used it last year without these issues... Also - the Monsteria did not receive any fertilizer, but it's also quite burnt??

If it is fertilizer burn, how do I rectify it?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Guzzigirl - our soil is very dry in some areas and in other areas I have managed to improve it...

I'll double check it tomorrow.

I think, however, based on what everyone's feed back has been - I think it is severe burning.

Last Friday, when it was over 45 degrees, we had some strong wind come through in the afternoon - strong enough to knock some big branches off the trees in our yard.

I have been watering and fertilizing the gardenias same as the Lilly Pillies and Camellias - and 90% of them seem to be absolutely fine...

??

So what would be my best course of action?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I mentioned the over watering as it is often overlooked as a culprit, but I thought it was unlikely. The most likely cause is that the leaves have suffered severe dehydration with the hot windy weather. The vascular system of the plant has just not been able to keep up, ie. it was losing water faster than it could replenish it. If that is the case then as others have said try and provide some sort of wind/sun break to reduce further damage. Keep the water up but don't apply any more fertiliser. Some seasol would help though as it is not a fertiliser as such but strengthens the plant's cell walls making it less susceptible to various problems including temperature extremes. I would dilute it more than advised, maybe half strength, for now though. If the plants survive then you could prune it back to encourage new growth, but I wouldn't do that until it cools down somewhat. Any new growth now would just fry.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Ok. I'll try and put up some wind breaks this weekend.

As soon as I noticed the browning I fed the plants with seasol.

Fingers crossed.

I'm sure I will lose some plants - but maybe I can save some too with my new information.

:th

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Location: Tasmania
Good luck. I hope your plants recover.
I agree with guzzigirl that Seasol would be the best treatment- and you've already done that.
Keep deep watering the plants, about twice a week.

One more possible cause, have a look at photo 2. See the spider webs among the branches.
This could be Red Spider/ Two Spotted mite. It often attacks stressed plants during hot, dry conditions.
Have a look at the under side of the leaf. If present you will see the tiny red mites. Get a spray from your nursery to treat this one.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:49 am 
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Champion Bird
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I just now went and dug around a little in the dirt around the worst affected plants.

The soil was damp, but not sludgy and I didn't detect any bad odour. However, I did notice that there's only a thin layer of mulch in some areas - so the first thing Im going to do is lay down some more mulch to protect and insulate the roots.

I think I might also have to buy a rain gauge because we're currently experiencing sporadic light rain and its very difficult to estimate how much water the plants are actually getting.

Thanks again everyone for all your help! I love how BYP has taught me so much over the last year!

:tks :tks

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:37 am 
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Gallant Game
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put your mulch on after a deep water. Sounds like the soil moisture is about right, but with shallow mulch might be heating up. Good luck and I hope you get to save your plants.

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