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Skimmia dying please help


My one year old skimmia plants (X2) that have been nice and healthy are turning yellow and droopy - look like they are dying... please tell me what to do. I live in London, UK.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,190
    What are they growing in, and what care have they had?
    They need shade and moisture to do well, and also decent drainage. They aren't terribly suited to pot culture though, without good care and vigilance.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • They are growing in normal potting compost (which I haven't changed) and the base of the pot is gravel and grass (since it's deep). They get rain water and are growing in shade with some morning sun. They were doing really well over the last year so don't know what happened...

    I would like to grow in the pot by the entrance. Any idea what I'm doing wrong or need to change?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,190
    They need to be in a soil based material if they're staying in pots. That's available in GCs  as John Innes compost. There are several types, so just choose the appropriate one. You can add a little ericaceous compost each year, by removing an inch or so from the top, and adding new. 
    They need watered regularly and thoroughly when in pots- just relying on rain isn't enough, especially if it's dry for more than a couple of days. If you mean you collect rainwater, that's fine, but you need to keep them well watered. If they're in the rain shadow of the house walls, that's also a problem for any potted plant, because rain doesn't get in properly. 
    They also need drainage - so you need to make sure the holes aren't blocked. I'm not sure why you've put grass in the bottom, unless you mean turf? The pots should also be raised off the ground to allow any excess water to drain through.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,069
    I suspect they're starving and have also been thirsty so, if you can't get them in the ground, you need to follow @Fairygirl's advice and re-pot in decent soil based compost such as an ericaceous form of John Innes no 3.  Make sure there is drainage at the base so they don't sit in water and fill the entire pot with compost and no fillers so the roots can grow and seek nutrients and moisture.  Leave an inch or so clear at the top of the pot for watering. 

    Planting composts only have food for max 90 days so you'll need to sprinkle on a handful of slow release fertiliser every spring.  Choose one for flowering ericaceous plants to promote flowers and healthy foliage.  Don't let them dry out in hot or dry periods.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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