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May 9, 2020 9:41 AM CST
Thread OP
Phoenix (Zone 9b)
I recently built a home in Phoenix after living here for a few years and planted Indian Laurel Figs to grow an eventual hedge in my back yard. Generally speaking, I've been told and seen Indian Laurel do well here in our clay soil. I planted them in January so this will be my first summer. I was watering them once a week for about 5 minutes per plant and then upped it to twice a week as weather warmed.

I fertilized them when I planted and then again before our heat started climbing three weeks ago. About that same time (2nd fertilizing/heat rising) or a little after black/brown spots started appearing on the edges, tips and interiors of leaves.

I was concerned I may be over watering at twice a week, but a local suggested that in fact I may not be deep watering enough. They suggested I deep water the plants twice a week for at least 30 minutes, if not an hour, due to our heat. So I bought a soaker hose and let it run on them for an hour on Wed and then 30 minutes on Thurs. I realize two days in a row might have been excessive so I'm waiting until Monday to water again and then they will be on an every 3-4 day soak cycle until Oct when temps cool.

I could not find any examples of what over watering might look like on an Indian Laurel. I also looked at whether or not the spots may be blotch, but I don't see any of the little circles depicted in those reference photos.

I have also sprayed Neem on the leaves about once a month since planting.

1) Does this look like a lack of water to experienced gardeners?
2) If deep watering is in fact what they needed how long does it normally take to see the first signs of turnaround and for the spots/black ends and dead leaves to cycle off?
3) Is it possible this is from over fertilization (is was liquid fertilizer diluted in water)? I'm doubtful, but lack the knowledge to say for sure.
4) Does anything in the photos resemble blotch?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you might have.

~ new to this PHXGuy

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Avatar for oneeyeluke
May 9, 2020 1:54 PM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
Lack of water will most always show on the bottom first and then work up to the top dropping the oldest leaves first. Lack of water will show signs like said above in 10 days and you don't have that problem. The other possibility is too wet of soil or lack of oxygen in the root zone. The third possibility is you burned the plants with too much liquid fertilizer by dropping the pH in the root zone when you drenched them.

Since you have 3 possibilities you will need to dig one up very gently and investigate the hole and the rootball, and see if its sopping wet or bone dry or neither. Be sure to look at the plant when you dig it up and look at the base of the plant and see, if you planted it too deep in the soil? Most problems occur from a shrub or tree planted too deep in the ground. Most nurseries plant them too deep for management reasons and home owners bring them home and plant them too deep. Now all that being said, it looks like to me you have planted too deep and the excess water you are giving them can't escape. Plant them high like a ant mound for the best drainage.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Avatar for Aveline
Jul 29, 2021 7:15 PM CST

Hi! I was wondering if you ever figured out what was going on? I am having basically the same problem except I only have one that's growing as a tree - so I'm a little nervous to dig it up! After doing some googling I'm getting nervous looking at all the diseases that could possibly happen so I thought I would just check to see if the watering change (one way or the other) worked for you
Avatar for porkpal
Jul 29, 2021 7:52 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
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I wonder whether they could be sun burned. That is a very hot location next to the concrete wall.
Avatar for CPPgardener
Aug 1, 2021 4:28 PM CST
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
That's exactly what I was thinking.
Aveline, can you post some pictures of the foliage and the whole plant? One showing the base would be very helpful.
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