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Ilex Crenata Problem ID??

Hi all,

I got myself an Ilex Crenata beginning of march but have recently had some problems with it. Lately the leaves have begun to turn brown and I’ve had some drop of. When I first got it home I realised that to get the “cloud shape” whoever, had not cut from the branches but actually cut some of the leaves in half (As you can see from one of the photos) so i expected some of the leaves to eventually turn brown so wasn't to worried to start with.

I put the tree into a decorative pot outside, but after a lot of rain that we had i worried that it may be sitting in the wet because it was low in the pot, even though there is a large hole at the bottom of the pot and so i raised the tree up about half an inch to an inch and put stones underneath so hopefully the water will flow away. I was worried that although I’ve left the tree in the soil that it came in that it may have taken on to much water and that is what has caused the brown leaves? The soil it is in seems to drain well and i can easily stick a finger into the soil without much problem so i imagine water will flow through no problem. I allowed the soil to dry out a little with all the sun we've been having this spring and hoped for the best but it seems like the leaves are still turning brown and also there was new growth coming through but the new tiny leaves have all died off now. I allowed it to dry out to a depth of 3 cm before i watered. I also did put a handful of blood bone and fish into the soil which i read online should help it from spring to august. Could this have damaged it?

I hope its not black root rot or something like that but i don't know enough to diagnose. This may be completely normal and i just don't realise it? I’ve got in my head that I’ve either let it stand in water for a day or two without realising, when it was low in the decorative pot early on before i raised it up a little. Although like i said there is a hole in the bottom and the soil seems fairly easy to drain. Or i may have let it dry out to much or i shouldn't have put the fertiliser in like i read online and thats caused issues.

Sorry for the long post but i wanted to get across all the things i have maybe done wrong so someone may know what has happened. Hopefully there is a solution or maybe i should wait and see what happens??

Thanks for any help

Joe



Posts

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,677
    Looking at your photos, I would think the opposite. You need to possibly re-pot it into a larger pot. Despite it looking dainty, the controlled shaping shows, if not pruned back, it will have been a sizable shrub already. You can see this looking at the trunk size. The roots hit the edge of the pot and have nowhere else to go and watering will only help it for a short time before it gets stressed again.

    If possible, re-pot into a larger size pot and fill with a loam-based compost like John Innes No 3 with some added grit to aid drainage, and water it so you see water spilling out of the bottom of pot. Do this at least every 3 days for around a month for it to settle in. Also, keep it out of the sun for a bit, these shrubs generally prefer a semi shaded position once established. 
  • Looking at your photos, I would think the opposite. You need to possibly re-pot it into a larger pot. Despite it looking dainty, the controlled shaping shows, if not pruned back, it will have been a sizable shrub already. You can see this looking at the trunk size. The roots hit the edge of the pot and have nowhere else to go and watering will only help it for a short time before it gets stressed again.

    If possible, re-pot into a larger size pot and fill with a loam-based compost like John Innes No 3 with some added grit to aid drainage, and water it so you see water spilling out of the bottom of pot. Do this at least every 3 days for around a month for it to settle in. Also, keep it out of the sun for a bit, these shrubs generally prefer a semi shaded position once established. 

    I didnt even think of it possibly needing a repotting! Thankyou. This actually makes sense now i look at it from a different perspecive. I have a Japanese Maple in a much larger pot which has done really well this year and the trunk is probably the same size as the Ilex.

    I will be so happy if the pot size holds the soloution. I expected the worst and i really love the tree already.

    Thanks for the quick reply Borderline, much appreciated and thankyou for the extra info on what compost to use. Im much more happier about it now knowing it can be made happier :)

    Cheers
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