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Red robin leaves brown and falling

Hi. I've had three red robin plants in pots for 2 years now. This winter was exceptionally cold and they were exposed to the wind. Do you think this might be why they look like this, or could it be something else? Thanks in advance for any advice!

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,632
    They do look wind scorched and maybe frosted too but the pots also look very dry which means they'll have got desiccated with the wind drying their leaves from the outside and no moisture to replace it from inside..
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ZizyZizy Posts: 4
    edited March 2018
    I watered them yesterday but I didn't want to water log them in case that was also a problem! How often should I be watering them?
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,641
    This shrub needs to be in a larger sized pot. Even if you are watering, the roots cannot expand so in the long run, the shrub will struggle. Also, due to the lack of pruning previously, the branches have become heavy. The leaves are more exposed and far more likely to be damaged by harsh winds and snow. 
  • ZizyZizy Posts: 4
    Ok, I can buy bigger pots certainly. I'm very black thumbed unfortunately! Should I cut off the tops to allow them to recover? 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,632
    Re-pot as soon as poss using good John Innes no 3 type compost maybe mixed with up to 20%multi purpose to help with moisture retention but not leave them water-logged.  Stand on pot feet in winter so you can water without them standing in excess and drowning the roots.  I hot weather I water my pots every day.  In spring, once a week unless we've had strong winds and new foliage needs extra moisture.  You will have to use the finger test on yours - poke your finger in to the first knuckle.  If it feels dry, water.

    In summer, stand the pots in shallow dishes to help them keep a bit extra water for when the plants are in heavy transpiration mode.  You will need to add slow release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone every spring and occasionally water with liquid feed as planting composts only have food for about 90 days.

    Given that more frosts are expected in some areas, I would wait to prune so you can see where new shoots form and then prune back to healthy pairs on each stem.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,641
    I do recommend you prune down to half of those branches. Hopefully, this will stimulate new shoots and also create a more dense shape so your leaves are more compact growing and less exposed. Try to look for a container that is more deeper as well as wide. Use loam based compost and add grit to it so there is good drainage.

  • ZizyZizy Posts: 4
    Thanks guys, I'll be off to the shops tomorrow then!
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