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Cordyline yellow leaves

Hi all,

We have 2x cordyline plants in pots. One of them was a bit sad when we bought it about a month ago but the other was looking good. They've both gone downhill, the lesser one particularly. I'm guessing it's after all the bloomin rain that we've had - overwatering? I've taken both out of the pots, rinsed off the roots, drilled additional holes in the pots, re-potted using the same compost but with loads of extra grit and raised the pots off the ground with corks to help drainage.

Have I diagnose the issue correctly? And will the solutions help? Is there anything else I can do? They were pricey and we really like them so desperate to sort them out. Even the lesser one is putting out new leaves so I hoping that's promising?

Here's the lesser one:



and here's the other:



Grateful for any advice!

Thanks,

Rich
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Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119
    If they're in the right soil mix, excess rain doesn't matter  :)
    Certainly, adding loads of grit into the mix is beneficial, and now that you've amended that, you should definitely see an improvement. 
    Yellow leaves at the bottom are perfectly normal - it's how they grow. As they get bigger, they drop the oldest leaves, and make new ones further up.  Just remove those dying/dead ones.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Hi @Fairygirl, thanks for the reply. My worry was that whilst in the soil they had become waterlogged and that that had damaged the roots, do they look ok? I know the leaves yellow and drop but a) the weaker plant is much thinner than the other and b) there are a large proportion of yellow leaves - far more than there were. I read about root rot and was worried that might be the case?

    Thanks,

    Rich
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    edited August 2021
    I agree with fairy girl.  Old leaves start to die and go yellow, then brown, then dead..  A dry period, rather  than excess water, might accelerate things.  The top looks fine, the roots look fine.  Just trim off the offending leaves.  When the stumps of old dead leaves age a bit, they will pull off easily to clean up the appearance of the trunk.

    The bigger will grow faster so you may never have a symmetrical pair.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119
    As you've only had them a short while, it's unlikely they've been damaged to any extent @richjamesturner  :)
    I can't really tell from the photos though - but the roots look fine. The plants will also just be establishing, and sometimes you get a bit of transplant shock, especially if they've been grown in a protected environment. In cooler conditions, even at this time of year, that can make a little bit of difference. 
    It's possible the slightly finer one is just not as mature, and/or it might not be in as good a site as the other one, but plants don't always grow at the same rate, even when they've been started, and grown on, in the same conditions. You could always swap them around if the site's a bit sunnier on the left side [in your photos] and see if it makes any difference, but I doubt it would be much of a difference. You've certainly done the right thing getting them off the ground and improving the mix  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks @Fairygirl, that's really reassuring. I'll keep an eye on them but fingers crossed with a bit of tlc they'll sort themselves out.

    Thanks again.
  • @bédé Thanks very much for your advice too! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119
    I'm assuming you live somewhere that suits them too. They tend to look pretty bad round here unless people know how to keep them happy - which they mostly don't!   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • We're in south east England - rather easier on them than Scotland I suspect!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    I lost a Cordaline from frost in Surrey.  Even in Torbay some got badly frosted by The-beast-from-the-East,
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