The Q&A Archives: Elaeagnus Looks Stressed

Question: Carrollton, TX with Elaeagnus. The leaves are turning brown, looks fatigued, are falling off and thinning out. I believe the soil is too deep at the base. It may also be caused from a lack of water; however, I water regularly. The soil is sandy-lome and black clay. Plan to remove some dirt around the plant base and fertilized the shrubs so it regains full look. What fertilizer is best to use?

Answer: Stressed plants won't be able to use fertilizer as efficiently as healthy plants so go easy on the feeding. I would use a half strength dilution of liquid fertilizer such as Miracle Gro or Peter's just give the plant a boost without overwhelming it with the message to grow. Forced growth might very well sap the remaining energy from the plant which is not what you want under the circumstances. Try finishing up with your plan to remove some soil and water deeply once each week. If that brings about positive changes, feed them with diluted houseplant fertilizer and see what happens. Best wishes with your plants!

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