The Q&A Archives: Wilting Leaves On Newly Planted Yellow Twig Dogwood

Question: I just planted a yellow twig dogwood (from 2 gal. pot) 2 days ago. I have watered it thoroughly, but by the end of the 2nd day in the ground, the leaves are wilting. It has been quite warm and dry (day time temps in the 80's) and the plant is exposed to full sun. Have I done anything wrong? I followed the planting instructions precisely.

Answer: Plants may go through some transplant shock, but with proper watering I would not expect it to be wilting, even in warm windy spring weather. (In August's hot, it might be a bit different.)

Wilting can be a sign of root disturbance causing the top growth to be more than the roots can supply with moisture. If you had to untangle the roots or lost some roots during the planting process, this could have caused such an imbalance and trimming back the top growth to compensate for the lost roots should correct the problem.

Wilting can actually be a sign of overwatering, but since this plant does not mind a moister soil I would not expect that to be a problem here unless possibly it is in standing water.

If it is perky in the morning but wilted in the afternoon on a hot windy day then you may need to water differently. If it has been well watered the day before but is still wilted the next morning, then there may be some other problem at work.

Check to be sure that your watering has penetrated the potting mix (sometimes it is difficult to rewet it if it has become overly dry) and also that the surrounding soil is moist; sometimes they drain at different rates so you would need to take that into account when you water. Your goal in watering is to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. You need the surrounding soil to be moist so the roots can grow into it easily.

Using a two to three inch layer of organic mulch around the plant but not touching the stems can also help keep the soil cooler and moister. You will need to feel under the mulch and below the soil surface to see if and when you need to water.

If the plant continues to wilt despite adequate watering, I would suggest you contact the supplier soon about the problem. Good luck with your dogwood!

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