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What's wrong with my Fatsia?

HumbleBeeHumbleBee Posts: 91
Hi All
The leaves on the top half of my fatsia have gone all curly and twisted and the stems are drooping. At the base of the plant there are lots of new leaves that look fresh and OK. It's in soil which I think is relatively good - definitely not water-logged. I've added a photo at the end of the whole thing (sorry about the flash, it was getting dark!) Does anyone know why this is and what I should do about it? Thank you :#





Posts

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,084
    It's normal for the time of year. Mine is bigger and older than yours (it was mature when we moved here in 1988) and it has survived much colder winters than the one just gone, and it always looks a bit rough in spring. I don't know why they do that - maybe something to do with cold nights then getting the sun on them (mine's at the east-facing side of the house). The older damaged leaves will probably start to brown. You can cut them off but I'll be leaving mine probably a few more weeks. I normally take out some of the old branches every spring as well to let new young growth take over but yours might not be big enough for that yet.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    You can cut off anything that's manky, or totally brown, and it'll produce more fresh foliage. They often look rough after winter, but some drooping stems isn't a problem. They often do that in cooler temps.

    It's flowering though [rather unusual for the time of year!] so you might want to wait a little while to enjoy that.  :)
    You can also cut it right back to those  base stems if you want, and it'll come away again. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,084
    I suspect they're what's left of the flowers from last year - mine has them as well and they've been there all winter. They'll be going when I do the annual chop.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,009
    Your Fatsia has flowered, so that's a good sign!  Is your plant getting too much sun perhaps?  They prefer a shady site which is surprising because they look quite tropical.  I'd try enriching the soil around the plant with some compost, soil conditioner or manure, just to give it a boost.  You could also move that paving slab aside as it will be preventing water going to the roots.  I had a Fatsia that looked very like yours with drooping, discoloured leaves.  I moved it so that it only got limited sun and it responded by almost doubling in size.  Nothing serious to worry about but small changes can lead to big results!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    I did wonder @JennyJ . They looked very fresh though, but it's probably because of the flash in that photo.
    They don't often flower well here at all - too cold and wet by the time they get to that stage, so they often just rot.  I did see a few plants last year with flowers, probably because of the odd weather we had. I'd chopped mine to move it, so it was never going to have any. Sod's Law!
    The site doesn't look very hospitable - definitely worth giving it a boost with some compost or any organic matter. 

    Great plants for full shade. Sun bleaches them too much  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • HumbleBeeHumbleBee Posts: 91
    Yes @Fairygirl and @JennyJ the flowers were from last year but I'm glad it sounds like I don't need to panic that it's dying or got some horrible disease now so that is good to know :) And @Plantminded yes it is in a very sunny spot - so far that's been OK as it was shaded by a hedge during the mornings, but the hedge was removed a year ago so it has been more exposed recently. I'll try enriching the soil for starters and leave it for now until things have warmed up a bit more, then give it a trim and see what happens. Thank you so much everyone for your feedback :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    Along with too much sun, they can also get a bit wind damaged too - so if the hedge was protecting it from the prevailing wind, that could be an additional factor.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • HumbleBeeHumbleBee Posts: 91
    Yes it sounds like it probably has been too exposed - I'm about to plant a new hedge where the old one was, so hopefully it will start to get a bit more protection again which should help :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    It'll be fine, and the hedge will help with some shade as well as wind protection. If they have enough water, some shade, and reasonable soil and drainage, they're quite easy and resilient  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,084
    For comparison, here's mine just now. It'll look better when it's had its annual tidy up in a few weeks.

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