The Q&A Archives: What am I doing wrong?

Question: I had 3 Myrtus Communis Compactas. Two have died and the other is on it's way. The ends of the leaves started curling and then, branch by branch the shrubs started dying. Too much water? Help.


Answer: Curling, dying foliage and branches can indicate over- or under-watering or an over-application of fertilizer. Once the root systems are established, dwarf myrtle is drought tolerant. The plants need to be watered regularly only for the first year after installation in the landscape. If you're watering more often than once a week, or if your soil is compact and drains poorly, the roots may be suffering from a lack of oxygen in the soil. I'd prune the remaining myrtle back to remove the dead plant parts and to encourage the development of healthy new growth. When you water, apply the water slowly so it has a chance to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Water thoroughly again when the top 2" of soil is dry. If drainage is a problem, you may have to dig the bed, amend it with organic matter to lighten and aerate the soil, then plant healthy new shrubs. Best wishes with your landscape!

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