New Skimmia Japonica

Hi everyone. 
I’m a beginner plant carer and oftentimes find myself really confused about plant care taking so any advice would be really appreciated. 
So I bought this Skimmia Japonica at an IKEA store about two weeks ago - I never even knew such a plant existed but these gorgeous green leaves and little pinkish buds made me fall for it. So I looked up the plant care info and it said it was a hardy cold-resistant plant. 
Two weeks into in its new home and some top leaves are turning yellow. 

Now, I wonder what I should do with the plant now? 
It definitely doesn’t get any direct sun at all - in fact, it is in a kind of outside patio where direct sun rays never reach to. 
I live in southern Spain which never gets freezing temperatures, the lowest night ones are +6-8 degrees Celsius in the winter. 
Should I repot it? I never know when I’m supposed to repot a newly bought plant... I also noticed that when I water this Skimmia, the water mainly just pours down out of the pot holes (which is something that happens with almost all the plants in their original pots). 

Thank you!


Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,674
    It sounds as if the root ball may have dried out when in Ikea ... (not known for their horticultural prowess I believe) and when you water it the water runs straight through.

    Fill a bowl/bucket with water and immerse the pot in the water ... my guess is that there will be lots of air bubbles popping up to the surface as the water replaces the air in the soil.  When the bubbles stop take the  pot out of the water and put it somewhere to drain freely.  That should perk it up. 

    Then, when watering in future give it a good soaking when the soil an inch below the surface feels dry (stick your finger in up to the first joint to test).  A good soaking now and then is much better than little and often. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • svet01svet01 Posts: 6
    It sounds as if the root ball may have dried out when in Ikea ... (not known for their horticultural prowess I believe) and when you water it the water runs straight through.

    Fill a bowl/bucket with water and immerse the pot in the water ... my guess is that there will be lots of air bubbles popping up to the surface as the water replaces the air in the soil.  When the bubbles stop take the  pot out of the water and put it somewhere to drain freely.  That should perk it up. 

    Then, when watering in future give it a good soaking when the soil an inch below the surface feels dry (stick your finger in up to the first joint to test).  A good soaking now and then is much better than little and often. 
    Thanks. I just did what you suggested but there were no bubbles at all when I immersed the pot in the water... I guess it soaked in some water anyway as the pot became heavier. The top soil remained dry (should it become wetter?) and after a few immersions when I tried watering the plant a little from the top, the water streamed down right away like always.. 
    I wonder if I should repot it because the top yellowing leaves are a sign of something?
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 504
    They do enjoy acidic conditions, you could get some ericaceous compost and repot it. They do have the habit of yellowing for no reason sometimes...but they are wonderful when they flower later in the season. Good luck. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,205
    Yellowing of leaves in such plants usually indicates that they are short of iron or magnesium or both.   This can be fixed with a liquid feed suitable for acid loving or ericaceous plants and you should find that easily enough in your garden store.

    Skimmias are hardy evergreens which do well in full sun orpartial shade in the UK but which I suspect won't like scorching Spanish sun in summer so make sure you move it to teh shade when it's hot.

    If you tip your plant out of the pot and find it is full of fibrous roots right to the edge I would advide potting it on to a pot 3 to 5 cms wider and deeper and using ericaceous compost sold for rhododendrons, ericas, azaleas.   Use your fingers to loosen the roots round the edges of the rootball and undernath so they Use rainwater to keep it moist but not wet.   Before re-potting, leave it to soak for at least 15 minutes in a bucket of water to make sure there are no air bubbles and then let it drain.  Pot at the same level as before and water it again and let it stand in a saucer for an hour or so to make sure it has soaked up as much as it needs.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Lack of watering can be the reason, photo helps to show compost is looking dry. Also make sure when potting up you not find any Vine Weevil or scale insect or Mealy Bug as they can turn leaves yellow also. Vine Weevil will leave bite holes on leaves luckly no sign of that. Also will need once every 10-14 days a liquid feed of ericacous liquid feed. Watering as where you live should be when compost at top is starting to dry out or water early morniing before sun is out and early evening if kept in full sun nearly every day.
    Depending what size pot you put it in and also how big you want it to grow it to in height and diameter. Depends on how much ericaous compost and soil you use.
    Looks likea 1 litre pot, if potting up should be done when you can see the roots through the drainage holes in bottom of pot before though when roots are coming through the drainage holes. That is if you want to pot it up gradually or at least wait till you can see the roots. Once you can see the roots soak for 24 hours before potting up or submerge in bucket till no bubbles and is not floating anymore. If i was to put that in a decorative porcelain pot depending again also on space etc.
    The pot should be roughly 1 foot in diameter to give you room for drainage large stone or broken pottery from cracked damaged pots at bottom a 1 inch of. Then 1 inch of 50% ericaceous compost and 50 % soil. Then 1 inche just the same compost. Then using a hand fork break all roots free and place on the layer of compost. Surrounding it should be 50% soil mixed 50 % ericaceous compost. Same mix i inch on top and then 1 inch layer of large gravel or slate. 
    Reason why i say 50% soil and 50%  ericaceous compost as it reduces how quickly it can dry out.
    Pot size depends on how big or small you want to keep the shrub. I have a Oak Tree in a 2 foot squared pot potted up from a seedling found in the garden. 20 plus years later its now looks like a Bonsai Oak tree so stands about 7ft in total.
    Growing season is only a estimate March-September i go by when plants, shrubs and trees are showing signs of starting to grow or not gone doormant yet. Any plant shrub or tree kept in a decorative pot will use up all the nutrients in the pot it has so a liquid feed of Ericaceous liquid feed will help it grow healthy and give you fruit.
    Pot is best being cyclinder or cube shape not wide at top and narrow at bottom as it will be top heavy with cannopy of the tree and fall over.

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