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Magnolia Sieboldii trouble. HELP -Have a look please

Hello image- I've just joined Gardeners World & thought I'd ask all you experts for some help with my Magnolia Sieboldii shrub.

I originally planted it 3 years ago in the ground but it didn't seem to like that so I lifted it & planted it in a large pot in general purpose compost to begin with. It didn't seem to improve much so I re-potted it into ericaceous compost & fed it. It seemed to pick up & lovely cream flower buds began to form. This year one or two began to open but the edges soon turned brown & they fell off. The leaves are now gradually curling up & turning brown & some look like filigrée lace. I've looked for pests but can't see any. The photo of this in the suppliers' brochure is beautiful but mine has yet to deliver. I've attached a photo & look forward to your comments & advice.  Kind Regards




  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    It looks very much like caterpillar damage, Bazrob.  The leaf middle-left looks as though there may be black droppings from them.  It's possible they have already moved-on or turned into a chrysalis.  Lots of caterpillars only feed at night to avoid birds, so might be worth taking a torch out after dark. 

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BazrobBazrob Posts: 4

    Thanks Bob - I'll get the torch out & deerstalkerimage to see if there are any caterpillars. Would they also be responsible for the problems with the flower buds dropping off?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    The bud problem is probably something else - perhaps the shock of being moved, or the weather - a late frost can do that.  Once it settles in it should be fine.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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