Deutzia bush turning yellow - Knowledgebase Question

Greenville, So
Question by ds22364
June 30, 2010
I planted a deutzia bush in full sun in my yard in Upstate SC back in the spring. It had been doing fine, but now the leaves have started to look yellowish. It has been very hot here for a couple of weeks; is the bush just not getting enough water? Should I fertilize it? What else could be wrong? Thanks!

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Yellow leaves can be caused by many things including lack of nitrogen, insufficient light, water-logged soil (plant roots need oxygen to thrive), dry soil, or iron deficiency. If the older bottom leaves are yellow, but new growth is green, it's usually a lack of nitrogen. If new leaves are yellow, with green veins, it's usually a lack of iron. Soil should be kept moderately moist (but not wet). Finally, transplant shock can contribute to yellowing. If new growth shows up as green, that might be the problem. Try to isolate each of these possibilities one at a time to determine the problem. Make sure water is soaking through the entire root zone's depth. A soil probe (any long piece of pointed metal) will help you determine how far water has soaked. It moves easily through wet soil but stops when it hits hard soil. Water when the top couple inches of soil is dry. Always water deeply but as infrequently as possible. Add a layer of organic mulch over the root zone to help maintain soil moisture and reduce soil temperatures. I wouldn't recommend fertilizing in the heat of summer. It's stressful on plants and overapplying can "burn" roots. If all else fails, and you choose to fertilize, apply at a diluted rate. I hope this info helps!

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