The Q&A Archives: winterburn?

Question: 2 of my 6 Iris plants have some brown spots spreading along the leaves. Also, my razzleberry bush looks somewhat brown on the edges. Could this be winterburn? Should I cut off the brown edges and trim the bush?

Answer: Loropetalum chinense is not reliably winter hardy in your area, although it may survive in a very sheltered and warm microclimate. It is probably showing winter damage, especially in view of the oscillating spring temperatures. You could trim it back now.

Or, if you have it in a container, it may be showing moisture stress and/or a reaction to dry indoor air or possibly reacting to a build up of salts in the potting mix. Keep the soil slightly moist at all times. If you have had it for some time, you may need to leach the soil. Do this by watering heavily and letting it drain several times in quick succession. Always empty the saucer beneath the container after watering.

Your iris may be showing a disease problem. I would remove the infected foliage and dispose of it in the trash. If the problem continues, you may want to consult with your local county extension to get a more specific diagnosis and based on knowing that you can decide how to treat them. With iris, it is important to remove any discolored foliage as soon as you notice it, and to clean up the foliage thoroughly each fall. This helps reduce the carryover of problems from one year to the next.

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