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Pittosporum favourite shrub new growth all dying/dead

Hi there gardeners, 

in autumn I planted a pittosporum tenuifolium wrinkled blue in my north facing front garden. The soil is clay, and the garden was pretty wild for a couple of years before I moved in. The shrub, which was about 2'6 high when planted, was immaculate. We planted in a big hole with compost, and covered the ground with weed blanket and bark chipping, avoiding getting too close to the trunk as advised by the garden centre staff. 

It sat there, very happy and healthy looking for months, no trouble. However, when it started warming up I noticed one or two leaves getting some dark brown crispy edges. However, the shrub started to show lovely new growth, each twig sprouting new shoots and leaves which looked great. (This shrub has an appearance that brings me so much joy, I can't explain why) I've taken up watering sparingly as the soil is clay, I've looked up a lot, and they say waterlogged soil is bad. 

Today, I looked at the plant and every single new shoot has gone brown and died. I'm actually upset! I can't really decipher what's up, despite lots of research. 

The rest of the shrub still looks fit and well. Just the new growth that has died. Any input would be much appreciated. 

Thanks for listening 


  • Sorry, I tried to post a photo but my iPad is acting up. Here is a couple, you can see on the second that some leaves are a little speckled too.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    These shrubs are not fully hardy when they are young and can be sensitive to fluctuations in temperatures. The last month has seen pretty warm early spring weather, then, followed by sudden cold nights. This can bring on premature growth, and it looks like new leaves have been knocked back by frost. I wouldn't worry too much as looking at your shrub, the rest looks pretty well to me. New growth will happen in time.

    Keep up with the watering when it is warm like now, and ease off if it cools down a bit. Should be fine.
  • That is excellent news, thank you. Hubby thinks I'm being overly emotional over a plant but it is really pretty! 

    Thanks for the swift response :)
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