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Why are my Choisya's leaves turning white?

I'm a new gardener looking for some help please! I recently planted a Choisya ternata in a new border, but its leaves are turning white and it doesn't look healthy (see picture below). Any suggestions please?

My soil is a fairly heavy clay, but I dug it up quite throughly and added lots of top soil, humus and compost before planting. It was planted about 10 days ago, in an east-facing border. It currently gets about 4 or so hours of direct sun from morning to early afternoon. My soil is neutral to slightly alkaline, but from what I've read it's supposed to work in all soils.

From searching other threads some possibilities I'm wondering about are too much sun scorching the leaves (doesn't seem likely?), soil too wet or maybe too cold (it's still March but I live on the south coast and its pretty mild weather here).

I'd really appreciate any help – I chose this plant because I loved the scent and it is supposed to be easy to grow, I'm very keen to solve this problem quickly!


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,228
    My first thought was scorch which is a common problem with this plant. The leaves underneath look better where they have less sun. Think I would give it a chance for now and see how it goes. 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,151
    When you bought it, had it been outdoors in the open at the garden centre, or under cover? I ask because the GCs round here sometimes keep their "in season" plants under cover in a pretty display to tempt the customers, and if it had been in warm conditions and then put outside it could have taken a bit of a hit from frost/cold nights, even though it's a hardy shrub. Or sun scorch for the same reason. Either of those it will grow out of - the new growth that it makes from now on will be fine. I have one in much lighter sandy soil (you are right they're not fussy), in a north-east-facing corner where it gets the early morning sun, supposed to be the worst for causing damage on cold but sunny mornings as we've had recently, and it's fine.
  • Thanks, that sounds reassuring and I hope it does grow out of it. I think it was under cover at the GC so it could be that.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,228
    If only GC's gave their customers advice on hardening off plants not only bedding but other plants as well. Think this has been discussed probably many times before.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,151
    Yes, they don't warn you that a plant that's been growing under cover, even if it's a hardy type, will have got a bit soft and should be acclimatised gradually. It makes people think they've done something wrong or have rubbish soil or whatever, and it can be very disheartening. In this case I'm pretty sure it will survive though.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,433
    I would agree - many plants are a bit cosseted and it can be a problem if they then go out at this time of year and soft growth gets a bit of a nip, especially if it's frosty, then it gets some sun -the combination of both has more effect. 
    It's much worse when it's perennials - shrubs will shrug it off more readily.

    It'll be fine, as already said  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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