Osmanthus burkwoodii

Hi, I planted 6 Osmanthus burkwoodii plants in tall pots last summer as a 'neighbour screen'.  They were growing well and seemed healthy.  Over winter (Swiss Winter) they were brought into the garage where it is light and around 4°C (give or take).  I watered them occassionally and may have left it a week too long in between watering them, though I don't feel it was too drastic!?  But the problem now is that they have dropped most of their leaves and do not know why.  The leaves are all green and you can see new leaves or possibly flower shoots appearing (I believe the latter).  I do not have a clue what could possibly be worong with them all. They look so healthy BUT they're dropping their leaves and they are meant to be evergreens.  I am worried that I am NOT going to have my 'screen' come summer when they go back outside to their usual positions.  Does anyone know what this problem could be and what I should do or is this a normal phase???


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,612

    Hi Possum image, I agree with Verdun - they don't like being mollycoddled indoors - what's the coldest it would get to outside where you are?  Your plants should be pretty hardy and able to withstand a fairly hard frost, although the fact that they're in pots would make them a bit more vulnerable - I think I'd have wrapped the pots with a few layers of bubble wrap and left them outside.  

    Of course, they'd be even better planted in the ground - is that not possible? 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,713

    I planted this last year in one of my raised beds but the info says that they don't like being exposed to cold winds. I wondered how well it would do in my garden because of that, but felt I'd give it a go and would simply replace if it was a problem. Did you bring them in for that reason Possum, or was it just because of very low temperatures?

  • Thanks everyone for your helpful replies.  I live in Switzerland and we do get snow.  I have always heard that plants in pots should be brought inside, not necessarily inside the house but in the garage where it is still quite cold but no snow (of course), the temperature difference being only a few degrees, however, no snow or frost.  They are now quite/very sparse in the 'leaf' area (hardly a 'screen') so wonder if I should cut them back 40 or so cm, if that may help them to grow back more densely (currently over 1m high) or wait until Spring?  We have them in pots as we've got a decking/balcony sitting area so we is no chance whatsoever of planting them in the ground.  We have tried other screen plants but they also didn't work out so resorted to the Osmanthus burkwoodii last year.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,713

    I think if you have to keep them in pots it's important to make sure the pots are big enough to sustain them and you remove some of the old compost each year and replace it with fresh, as shrubs will use up the nutrients very quickly. Also, making sure they have adequate water but aren't waterlogged either, and they have suitable drainage. Plants in pots are always going to need more attention than they would in the open ground. Bringing them inside means they'll lack light too, which won't help.

    Is it possible to post a pic, and is the balcony quite small Possum? If it's not over or under watering, it may be as simple as  needing fewer shrubs in bigger pots so that they have room to grow, especially when you say you've had the same issue with other plants.

  • I have attached 3 photos.... I honestly don't feel as if there is a disease problem, the leaves look healthy.  I always thought that when over watered the leaves turn yellow which occurred once during Summer which I later brought under control.  Now they are just loosing their leaves but only in the middle of the branches the rest of the leaves are a healthy green.  I watered roughly every two weeks over winter, the pots are tall (1 m high and so too are the plants) and top-half filled with soil and the bottom-half with a type of stone, always allowing for a good drainage and sit on wheels above the ground.  The garage is never below 0°C and there is light coming in all day from 2 large windows, however no direct sunlight (it's winter) and airflow is good.  I am wondering whether to cut them back perhaps halfway?  I am really lost here, and have no idea how to progress with them.  I don't want to have to destroy them as I truly believe that they're healthy.  If plants could only talk!!!  Your advice is very, very needed and welcome.  Thanks.







Sign In or Register to comment.