The Q&A Archives: Contorted filberts-appearance

Question: I have 2 new Contorted Filbert trees purchased @ HD while still dormant. I transplanted them to larger containers and they have leafed out beautifully. They never really flowered, and some branch ends were broken during the process. They are in full sun and I water them regularly. I do not have a saucer under the containers as I do not want them to be over-watered and get root rot. I can cannot find any pictures of these trees so I have no idea what the leaves are supposed to look like. Mine emerge dark green, shiny and rather stiff, but as they get larger, they begin to look limp and dull and become a slightly lighter shade of green. I check the soil for moisture before I water and if wet 3 inches down I hold of for another day. As per your suggestion in an earlier letter, they are planted in a 50/50 mixture of garden soil and potting soil with a layer of small stones @ tne bottom for drainage. There are also drain holes in the bottom of the pot.
Please help, I love these trees already.
Thank you,
Mary B

Answer: I think the leaves are behaving normally. They tend to be a lighter green after they've unfurled. I found a photo on the web:

When you pull up the page you'll see a larger photo of the entire shrub and a smaller photo of the leaves. Click on the smaller photo and a new window will come up with a larger version of the photo. If your plant looks like this, it's perfectly fine. If the foliage is a lighter green than in the photo you might try feeding it. Use a water soluble fertilizer such as Miracle Gro and dilute it to half-strength. Use this in place of one watering once a month and you should see a difference in the foliar color.

It sounds as though you've done everything right in terms of planting, watering and sun exposure. It's possible your plant didn't produce catkins last winter because it was too immature. I'll bet it will produce some this year.

Best wishes with your contorted filbert!

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