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KhenleyovaKhenleyova Czech Republic Posts: 13
Hello. My name is Katerina and I am living in the Czech Republic. On our terrace i am having 16 Laurocerasus. I have lost 2 already and another 2 don't look well. It always start the same. Leaves are getting stress (like luck of water) but i am having irrigation system, after that the leaves are getting brown and at the end the bush dies. Any idea what could it be? I am feeding it, the soil is wet enough. Plenty of sun. Could it be that the roots could be overheated? I would hugely appreciate any help, views, idea. Many thanks !


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    edited August 2019
    I'm afraid your shrubs will never do well in those small containers. They also need the depth. They will always struggle. Your terrace may also be too windy for them. Soil needs to be loam based (John Innes No 3) and because they are in deep containers, drainage also needs to be good near the base. Not sure with how your watering system works, but they will need a lot of water, especially in the summer months. If it's a slow drip system, that will not work.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149
    Did you suffer the unusually high temperatures that hit Europe a couple of weeks ago? If that was the case, your shrubs could have been damaged by the heat. They are exposed and possisbly didn't get enough water at that time, and yes, the roots could have been overheated. On a balcony they have nowhere to hide.
  • KhenleyovaKhenleyova Czech Republic Posts: 13
    Good morning. Thank you very much for your response. Yes, we had the unusually hot temperatures (35-38C). The irrigation water system provides 4l per plant per day. The watering is set up for every day at 7pm for 40min which provides 4l per plant. The containers are well drained, i put stone on the bottom. However, the container is not full of earth. Only 50% of the container is filled with earth. The rest (lower part) is shallow. I needed that height + the height of plant to create a green wall. If the plants wont get better i could take them to our Mill house but would you have any suggestions for a different plant which I could plant and create a nice green wall?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Hi @Khenleyova - Yes, a combination of excess heat and wind is never good for them. I think they've done quite well considering!
    It looks like you have more than one in each container too, which isn't enough room for these big shrubs, and coupled with only a small supply of soil, they were never going to be sustained.

    Not to worry. I think it'll be difficult to get anything other than ivy to thrive, but you can get some nice variegated ones, which would be a bit brighter, and once established, they cope with virtually anything. You would need a support in the planters first, for them to grow on. I don't know if trellis would make the whole thing too heavy, but it would be the best support. You can clip it into the size and shape you want.  :)
    Others may suggest some different shrubs to try, but I'm not convinced many would do well in the situation you have.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • KhenleyovaKhenleyova Czech Republic Posts: 13
    Hello Fairy-girl, many thanks. I appreciate any help, suggestions. Unfortunately, I am not as keen on ivy. Yes, i have 2 bushes in one container. I am feeding them, cutting the tops as I have reached the height which I wished. I have them 3 years, they are flowering twice a year. The bushes were fully covered with flowers. I was very happy and pleased. But now, i am facing this situation which is very upsetting. ☹️
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    I think the lack of soil is a bit part of the problem. As those shrubs develop a bigger root system, there's less room for soil to sustain them.  :/
    You may have to accept that they won't always look perfect either. As I said, I don't think they've done too badly so far, despite some difficult conditions. The ones you've lost may have been a bit more exposed to those conditions too.
    Is there any way you can have more soil in the containers, or do they have a false bottom [ or something similar] to prevent that? The weight could be an issue too I expect.
    Any potted plant needs some of the soil replaced every year too, if they're staying in the container long term. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • KhenleyovaKhenleyova Czech Republic Posts: 13
    I am adding soil twice a year. It is combination of rich earth and humus. Some of the bushes are really amazing. Rich green colour, covered with healthy leaves. But maybe you are right that two bushes in one container could be the issue. Now, when they are getting stronger, they just simply need more space, soil etc. I just love the look of it. These bushes create exactly the green wall i hoped for. I will send a photo of the second part of the terrace. Maybe someone could advice for potential replacement to reach the effect i am looking for. 
  • KhenleyovaKhenleyova Czech Republic Posts: 13

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    I think you're doing ok with them, to be honest. It might simply be what I said about the ones you lost being more exposed or similar. A mulch after a good watering will also help retain the moisture, especially in dry, windy conditions. I think bark would be a good option if you can get it. It gradually breaks down, adding to the general soil content, and you can apply regularly as and when needed.

    You could try replacing your dead ones with just one in the container, and see if that works better.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • KhenleyovaKhenleyova Czech Republic Posts: 13
    I replaced the dead one but with 2 again 😁 to create the green screen/wall. I will add the mulch, i have plenty of it. Many thanks for your time a views. I really hugely appreciate it. 
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