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watering containers

The weather has been dry for a while now and it seems likely to continue. Should I water some of my container plants? I am thinking here of the Camelia, Rhododendron, Hydrangea and Wisteria. None of them seem to be dry. I have miniature roses in the greenhouse but they don't seem to be too dry either. henlen, , Co Kildare Posted: 18/01/2017

It is important to keep shrubs in containers watered during winter, even when there is rain because rain is not adequate, as the evergreen shrub foliage often prevents rain reaching the compost.

The surface of the compost can dry a little between waterings but the compost should not dry out. 


Beech hedge problem

I have a beech hedge which I planted bareroot 3-4 yrs ago and it has never properly established. Each year in spring time the buds/leaves burst and flourish out and it seems like it is doing well, but then by around mid June, it seems to stop growing. Some plants die, some turn yellow, some wither away and it generally looks unhealthy. I do water it if we have any dry spells but doesn't seem to make any difference. I have lost about 20% of the plants each year and have been replacing them each winter but I need to find out what the problem is. How can I find out what the problem is? ShaneCrane1, Cootehill, Co Cavan Posted: 12/07/2016

The most common problem with beech is the soil too wet and heavy. Plant roots can be affected in winter and die back, the top yellowing then due to a reduced root system. Try hornbeam as replacements as it is more tolerant of heavy ground.

  Buxus Problems?

Buxus Problems?

I think it may be too late to save, one of my Buxus balls has turned yellow and basically looks dead?? I've given it miracle-gro and for some reason it hasn't come on I would like to know why you think this might be? In the picture you can see a second ball that has growth this season?? ColleranTM, Quin, Co Clare Posted: 05/06/2016

One probably dried out at some stage or else was waterlogged and roots rotted, creating similar symptoms.

Feeding a struggling plant makes it worse.

It is unlikely to recover. 

  Pittosporum 'Silver Queen' - plant withering

Pittosporum 'Silver Queen' - plant withering

I got 2 Pittosporum evergreen shrubs last year. They are in pots outside the front door and are very much exposed to the elements. I haven't been watering them as they get a fair bit of rain. One of the plants in particular has started to wither - see pictures attached. Just wondering if you would recommend anything to save the plant ? Grafeldies, Ladysbridge, Co Cork Posted: 09/02/2016

That is exposure. These were young plants and soft from the nursery, and may have gone dry at the root too.

Place them out of the wind and water just enough to keep them moist, drying slightly on the compst surface between waterings. 

  Problem with japanese maple

Problem with japanese maple

Purchased this tree, japanese maple - dissectum Garnet, two/three months ago and repotted it some weeks later into a larger deeper pot (see photos) in John Innes 3 and also put gravel in the base for drainage. As you will see from the attached photo, it is situated in a sheltered location which gets plenty of morning sun which, I understood to be the ideal for this species! Unfortunately, the foliage is showing signs of withering. What could be the reason? sylvester, , Posted: 13/08/2015

Withering is always to do with the supply of water to the leaves.

Inadequate watering, root damage, root rot disease can all cause withering. Also over feeding with plant food. 


Camellia -leaves and buds turned brown

My 5 year old camellia (potted) started budding for the first time this year. However the leaves and buds have turned brown. nualahal, , Co Kerry Posted: 25/05/2015

This sounds like it either went dry in the pot, or it got a touch of frost.


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