Ask a Question forum→Leaves falling off newly planted privet

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Southern Califronia about 8 mi
TOGardener
May 15, 2020 1:22 PM CST
Hi! About two and a half months ago we had a Texas Privet hedge planted. Out of nowhere two of the plants had leaves just drop off. The installer/landscape contractor advised us to water every third day for 45 minutes twice a day to fix the problem. When I went to a local gardening center, they advised me to water the hedge less (allow the plant to dry out) and that the loss of leaves was from too much water. I have two conflicting pieces of advice. Can you please advise why the leaves are falling off and how I can remedy it?? Thanks!!
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Name: Big Bill
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BigBill
May 15, 2020 1:45 PM CST
I think that maybe you might have misunderstood the installer. Did he say 4 to 5 minutes and maybe you thought you heard 45 minutes? It seems logical to me that that is what might have happened. You multiply 45 minutes by the number of plants that were planted and you could be watering the whole day! And that doesn't make much sense does it?

You just need to water them enough so you are confident that you are getting water down to the entire root ball. 4 to 5 minutes sounds right. Let's just say that you planted 10 plants, start at one end and water for half a minute. Go up and down the row hitting each one for 30 seconds. If you do that five or six times, then that should be enough for three or four days I would think.
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[Last edited by BigBill - May 15, 2020 1:47 PM (+)]
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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
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oneeyeluke
May 15, 2020 1:46 PM CST
Thats a Wax leaf ligustrum, and the way to know if your plant is getting enough water is to dig down beside it to the bottom of the hole, and feel the soil. If you can't get down that deep with your hand then dig the whole shrub up. The bottom of the hole is the only place you can get the answer you are looking for. If you dig down and a ft and the ground is dry then you need water. If you dig down a ft and feel wet then you may need to cut the water. Only you can find out for sure and I hope that helps.
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[Last edited by oneeyeluke - May 15, 2020 1:47 PM (+)]
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Missouri (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
May 15, 2020 1:51 PM CST
TOGardener said:Hi! About two and a half months ago we had a Texas Privet hedge planted. Out of nowhere two of the plants had leaves just drop off. The installer/landscape contractor advised us to water every third day for 45 minutes twice a day to fix the problem. When I went to a local gardening center, they advised me to water the hedge less (allow the plant to dry out) and that the loss of leaves was from too much water. I have two conflicting pieces of advice. Can you please advise why the leaves are falling off and how I can remedy it?? Thanks!!
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are you using a garden hose or a drip line? I see a hose in the plant in this photo. If you are indeed using a drip system, 45 mins may be fine. Better to use more exact measuring, how many gallons of water does the plant get every day, every week?
Southern Califronia about 8 mi
TOGardener
May 15, 2020 3:57 PM CST
Thanks for your help. Just to clarify my question... we had a drip line installed that runs the whole hedge (see photo). The landscaper advised to increase the watering to 45 minutes twice a day / every 3rd day (his exact words) . I have not dug up around the root ball but used my moisture meter and it shows "wet". Prior to the leaves falling off the plants showed no sign of disease or stress.

Would too much water or not enough water explain the leaves falling off? I am worried more plants will loose leaves and this was a costly install!
Thanks again for your help!!



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Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
May 15, 2020 9:28 PM CST
It appears the water line in the photo is too far away from the plants. Since they are not large established shrubs the water will need to go pretty directly on them for the roots to get it. Do you think the roots at the back side of the plants are getting moisture?
Have you contacted the landscaper that planted the shrubs? And also most places offer a guarantee fpr 6 ,months or a year, have you asked about that or is it any contract you had?

Lastly, sometimes plants just lose some leaves, sometimes quite a few when they are planted, it is a shock to them, and they usually recover just fine. Losing some leaves is normal. If it gets super hot or dry they may even drop most of the leaves in an effort to conserve energy and go 'heat dormant' and they releaf later. After they establish, they will not do that.

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