The Q&A Archives: Foilage On My Schipka Cherry Laurel

Question: Hello,

I have some SCHIPKA CHERRY LAUREL that I planted last spring and some more in the early fall. They had done wonderfully up until recently. I have noticed that a handful of plants are getting yellowing and dried leaves. Is this a natural occurance in the winter or is there a problem with my plants? I live in NJ and we really have not had a very hard winter at all. All the plants are well mulched and when I finger test the mulch it is still moist.

Any suggestions or advice would be apreciated.

Answer: These plants are normally evergreen with good color all season provided they are well watered and protected from the wind. If they begin to dry out, as is possible especially with newly planted (ie within the last three years) shrubs, you could try putting up a windbreak and possibly using an antitranspirant spray per label instructions.

The dry weather and warm temperatures this year mean that we need to be paying special attention to watering even during the winter -- any time the ground is not frozen, you should check periodically to make sure the soil is still moist but not sopping wet. You watering should be thorough enough to moisten the soil down deep, a slow soaking, and you should dig down a bit to make sure you are applying enough water to achieve that. It is better to water deeply less often that to apply a daily light sprinkling.

You might also double check that the soil drainage is adequate, if they are in very heavy wet soil (or in a shallow layer of topsoil over clay) with water accumulating around the roots, this can also cause them to brown and eventually die due to root rot.

I hoep this helps you trouble shoot.

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