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Brown, crispy leaves

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Question from Laura Waller


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Help! We replanted a lot of our garden earlier this year. Most of the plants are doing really well, but our Actinidia seems to be really suffering. The leaves are really brown and crispy and I can't seem to bring it back.
It is planted against an East facing brick wall with some Verbena and Allium.
Can anyone help me?

  • Views: 2162
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Mon. 26th July 2010 20:59

Re: Brown, crispy leaves

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Laura,
What have you done so far? Since it is brown and crispy, my first thought it needs more water. If you have been watering it (but not overwatering), then is it firmly in the ground. Too loose means there could be air pockets around the roots. Not enough root/soil contace means water can rot roots and/or the roots can't absorb water and nutrients. Finally, since it is against an east-facing wall, is it getting enough sun? It prefers a south-facing wall with full sun.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Tue. 27th July 2010 19:13

Re: Brown, crispy leaves

Reply from Valerie Munro

Hi Laura

Brown crispy leaves to me spells stress, whether a lack of water or other problem.

Is your plant growing against a brick wall? We are in the middle of one of the driest and hottest summers for many years, and garden plants are having to struggle. The brick wall causes yet another problem - it will heat up with the sun and then like a night storage heater will then radiate this heat out through the soil - and any that is close to the wall will dry out first.

Even if you are now getting water to the roots, these crispy leaves will not respond - the plant has probably already decided to abort them and they will drop off. You could cut your plant back now, and encourage it to produce new growth.

Each year you should be cutting it back to 15-23 cm (6-9 in) of the framework that you decide, and now is a good time to do this. You should definitely not hard prune this plant during the winter months as it may bleed excessively.

I would also suggest that once you have re-hydrated the soil well that you give it a tonic - to one litre of water, add in 6 teaspoons of granulated sugar, and water this around the root area. Be prepared to be amazed at the result!

You should also give this plant a regular supply of nutrients, and in view of the colouring I would suggest a fertiliser that is high in potassium. Any good garden centre will be able to offer you a good range suitable for flowering plants, please read and follow the label instructions carefully.

Good luck, and do keep in touch with what happens as a result of your ministrations

Auntie Planty

  • Posted: Fri. 30th July 2010 10:00