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Strawberry tree scorched?

Hi all, about 3 months ago I bought a lovely strawberry tree in a small 8inch pot and potted it out in a larger pot. It had been doing fine until this very hot weather but as it’s from dry climates I left it in full sun in south facing garden, watered regularly.
When I left to go on holiday for 2 weeks I got a friend to keep an eye and water every 2-3 days but when I returned the leaves were dried out, brown and crispy! It’s been three weeks and I can’t see any new leaves-will it recover or has it had it? Any recommendations? 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    edited August 2018
    It might be best to post a photo. It helps others to decide whether it is beyond saving or not. There is no harm in sinking the whole pot under water for a few hours and move the whole pot to a shaded position afterwards for a few week or so, and then slowly re-introduce it into semi shade. Leaf formation is slow for this plant, so I would not give up on it yet. Give it another 6 weeks.

    You can feel of a branch has died. It's easier to test on branches less than a centimetre thickness. If it feels hollow or brittle when you try to bend slightly, they are dried and dead.
  • Thanks for the advice, I moved the tree into the (mostly) shade when we came back from hols (3wks ago) and have kept it moist-the branches seem ok though the smaller ones snap if I bend them. 
    It it looks pretty terrible compared to when I bought it. 

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    I would say that it's not scorched but definitely not watered enough. Pot gown shrubs need care and attention in the drier and hot months. Sink the whole pot into water and leave until you hear no more air bubbles. Keep in the shade and now be patient. Even if it recovers, I reckon the regrowth will be very slow and possibly uneven. 

    I note you mention repotting your shrub. Make sure you use ericaceous compost where possible, or half mixed with John Innes 2-3 with added grit mixed in. For the future, they prefer rain water if possible, so think about too.
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