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What is happening to my Skimmia?

Hello all,

I have recently noticed some leaf damage to my Skimmia Rubella and was wondering if it being eaten by a new insect, has caught a virus/fungus of some kind, or has just been affected by the changeable weather...

I have attached a photo of the damage - as you can see the damage is slightly different on different leaves. Some are yellowing (which from experience isn't that unusual for Skimmias), some have transparent patches (like tracing paper), and a couple have completely shrivelled up and turned red on the underside.

It is mainly the top / outer leaves that have been affected.

Just some background - the Skimmia has been in a large pot for about 4 years, and is in almost full shade (sees no direct sun). It has been very happy so far - and is fed with ericacious feed every couple of months. Is is also sited next to a Skimmia Magic Marlot which has no signs of damage at all.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.








  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,267

    Maybe leaf miners.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Rinus KRinus K Posts: 67



    Is your skimmia placed nearby a chestnut??? If so the plant can even die. Chestnut and skimmia is a bad combination I'am told.

    An other common problem with skimmia is spider mite.aphids.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,267

    The Skimmia is in a pot Rinus. Does that make a difference?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DicemancDicemanc Posts: 40

    Thanks for the advice.

    I've had a good look around the plant and can't see an obvious culprit. I don't like using bug sprays on my plants - but it sounds like it might be best to give the plant a good dousing and hope this helps.

    No trees within 15 metres or so, but plenty slightly further away. Not sure if any are chestnut - will have to get my tree spotting book out!

    Thanks again.


  • richleeksrichleeks Posts: 2

    Hi Dicemanc,

    I am having the same problem with my Skimmia - my leaves are exactly like the large one in the middle - transparent..

    The plant leaves are eaten all over and I cant find a culprit..

    I just wondered whether you managed to resolve your issue and if so, what was it and what did you do?

    Would appreciate any help.


  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619

    Probably fruit tree red spider mites.  There are sprays available but it would be a great shame to destroy them for the sake of a couple of holes in a leaf.

  • richleeksrichleeks Posts: 2

    Hi Bob,

    there are absolutely no signs of any mite or any other 'bug' on or around the leaf or plant - its baffling..

    and unfortunately it isn't just a couple of holes in a leaf - I would say that 75% of the leaves on the plant are affected - most in a real bad surprised its still standing..

    there seems to be no issues on the surrounding plants either...

  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619

    Have you tried hosing it, see if you can remove them that way?  It's difficult to treat something you can't confirm is there really, but as water is harmless you might find it's a quick win.

    I'm not sure how easy this would be but perhaps introducing a predator could help, rather than a chemical solution?

  • Guessing no answer as to what this was/solution was found? Are you in Manchester Dicemanc? (guessing from name..) as I am and wondered whether it was more of a local problem about you richleeks? Mines in a dire state, most leaves affected, only noticed the other day as it's in a hidden corner. This thread is the only reference to it I can find online.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150

    I have had the same issue with translucent leaves on my small skimmia bush.  I noticed some leaves were stuck together, there was white "fluff" between and a little caterpillar. 

    Is that the culprit? I don't know for sure.  I squished them all and removed the worst of the leaves, which weren't that many.  Not sure if that would work for you Bob if it's almost the whole shrub.

    I'm no shrub expert, just bumbling along in my garden, also in Manchester?.

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