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Yellowing leaves on Clematis and Azalea

Hi all,

Hoping for some advice on a clematis (Samaritan Jo) I recently planted, and an evergreen azalea japonica I planted last year.

The leaves on the clematis have started turning a little yellow with dark green veins. All of the growth is new this year so I imagine this is an iron deficiency? The soil is quite acidic, around 4.6-5pH. Ive also just planted another clematis next to this one which is fine at the moment but I imagine it might start having the same problems. Some of the leaves are also tinged slightly reddish/brown. Any idea what this could be? I’m wondering if this is natural on new leaves of this species. Overall the plant is growing very well and new buds are appearing and getting larger. It’s planted in a sunny spot and the roots are shaded by some stones at the moment until I can get something planted in front. Whatever it is suffering from doesn’t seem to be affecting it’s vigour yet. 



The azalea japonica (not sure which species) was planted last year around September and has been doing well. However early this spring I noticed some of the leaves had discoloured and are yellow/red tinged in places but not all over the plant. I wondered if this could be some sort of frost damage? The plant itself is fully in bud and looking fantastic. I top dressed with some more ericaceous earlier in the spring. Could this be an iron deficiency too? Soil pH is around 6. Im thinking of moving it to a more suitable location this year. 



Im pretty new to all of this gardening stuff so would really appreciate any advice 😁 Thanks!

Gill

Posts

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,526
    There seems to be some confusion around the PH of your soil. You say is 4.6-5 but then go on to say its around 6. Although there doesn’t seem much difference when written as numbers, a ph of 4 is ten times more acidic than a ph of 5 and a ph of 6 is 100 times more acidic, and this makes a huge difference to plant growth and the ability of plants to take up nutrients, depending on their preferences. The Azaleas should do well in very acidic (lower number) soil, but I think the clematis may struggle in that, but I’m a newbie clematis grower (I have alkaline soil)...

    Home testing kits can be unreliable, and maybe thats why you are getting different readings? Do your neighbours grow lots of acid-loving plants like Azaleas and Camellias? How is the health of plants generally in your garden and those of your neighbours? I’m wondering if ground contamination in your area might be an issue?

    Sorry, more questions than answers!
  • viatorviator Posts: 17
    Hi @Nollie. Thanks for your reply. The two plants are planted in very different parts of the garden and therefore the soil has a different pH. Some parts of the garden are more acidic than others. The clematis is planted in soil approx 4.6-5 pH and the azalea is planted in soil around 6 pH. Im aware that lower numbers are more acidic than higher numbers. I am currently landscaping my garden and the area with higher aciditiy wasn't available as a planting area when i put the azalea in which is why it is where is it and not in a more acidic environment.

    I have no idea about the neighbours plants as there are trees either side and i am unable to see over the fences very well. Plants grow very well around here and all of my other plants are doing very well so i doubt its a ground contamination issue.

    Im hoping its just some sort of nutrient deficiency that i can easily account for. Ive been reading this: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=772 but still cant quite figure out what could be the problem :/

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,526
    Oh, I see, sorry that wasn't much help then! 
  • viatorviator Posts: 17
    Everything is helpful so thank you for your comments :) Sometimes ideas can be brought up that i wouldn't have normally thought of so its good to cover all bases!
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Try feeding them with a sequestered iron liquid feed or chellated iron feed.  The acid conditions make it difficult for some plants to take in iron and/or magnesium, both of which are needed to produce chlorophyll, and these provide it in a form more easiy taken up in acid conditions.  The aster damage does look like frost, but they are also susceptible to to a fungal leaf spot, particulary when undernourished.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • viatorviator Posts: 17
    Hi @BobTheGardener. Thanks for your help. Do you think it is definitely an iron deficiency then? Can you recommend a specific feed? Does it need to be just iron related or could i feed the clematis a general feed like https://www.amazon.co.uk/Miracle-Gro-Azalea-Camellia-Rhododendron-Liquid/dp/B0041WCM22/ which includes iron? Thanks again!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Iron or magnesium, symptoms are similar.  The miracle-grow should be fine for both.  You could also try a foliar spray of epsom salts (1 tablespoon per gallon) on the clematis every 2 weeks, in case it is magnesium deficiency.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,526
    And I’ve just learned something from Bob! I didn’t know that if you have very acid conditions it can make nutrient uptake just as difficult as if you have very alkaline soil like mine  :/
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Both ends of the pH spectrum make it difficult for plants which prefer a more neutral pH to take in some nutrients, Nollie.  Talking of ericaceous conditions, must remember to water my blueberries with the last from the water butts - mini drought conditions here and they don't tolerate drying out!
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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