The Q&A Archives: Purple Sand Cherry

Question: I believe the crabgrass preventor/fertilizer spread with a brodacast spreader caused by sand cherry shrubs to lose their leaves. Will the leaves return? Do I need to fertilize the shrubs?

Answer: Crabgrass preventer is a corn gluten meal based pre emergent. Its only function is to keep weed seeds from sprouting. It will not affect your sand cherry. If you used a broadleaf weed killer containing the chemical 2,4-D, it could affect your sand cherry, but you would first see some curling of the leaves and some distortion of the new leaves as they emerge. A more likely problem with your sand cherry is water stress or a fungal disease. If you can collect some of the leaves and take them to your cooperative extension office, the staff there can diagnose a fungal or bacterial problem and suggest control remedies. Good luck with your sand cherry!

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