The Q&A Archives: wilting diabolo ninebark

Question: I purchased a ninebark this last spring. Due to having a vegetable garden I was unable to plant where I wanted the shrub to be permanently. I planted it in a container (about 2' dia) until I was able to plant. It was doing just fine until a few days ago and then I noticed some wilting tips on the tip of the branches, even though the soil was damp. I applied more water but the leaves have not returned to normal. Since it is late August, will it hurt the plant to trim back the wilted leaves at this time? Do you think the confinement has caused the leaves to wilt?

Answer: Plants in containers have a disadvantage when they sit in full sun during the summer months - sunshine hitting the container directly can overheat the roots and virtually cook them. Another problem with plants in pots is that the soil dries quickly and air pockets can form in the soil. To counteract each of these problems, either sink the pot into the soil or group other pots around to shade the roots; watering thoroughly by immersing the pot in a larger container of water every 2-3 weeks will help drive out air pockets around the roots.

It shouldn't harm your ninebark to remove the dead foliage.

Best wishes with your ninebark!

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