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Sad camellia

Sad camellia

My white camellia flowered but now appears to be dying on one side of the shrub. There is new growth one side and the other shows curling and brown leaves. Zudy, Sligo, Co Sligo Posted: 14/05/2017

The wilting is either physical damage to one or more stems, or root rot disease. 

If it is a broken branch, it will grow out. If it is a root rot, it is likely to eventually die. 

  Magnolia buds being eaten

Magnolia buds being eaten

Magnolia buds being eaten? Daria, Westport, Co Mayo Posted: 10/01/2017

Unclear in the photo you sne, the most likely explanation is the damage was done by snails in the autumn and not noticed until more recently. The damage is unusual and slight, too little to affect the flower show.


Black spots in sycamore leaves

I make leaf mould every year. The leaves are mainly sycamore and have black spots. When planting a new Acer earlier this year I applied some of the leaf mold. Will this have an adverse effect on the Acer? Can I continue to make leaf mould with leaves that have the black spots? Inish, Fanad, Co Donegal Posted: 03/11/2016

That is called tar spot...affects only sycamore. Good hot compost breakdown will kill spores.

Japanese acers have their own leaf spots, not as common fortunately. 


Ailing Crab Apple Tree

My Red Sentinel Crab Apple tree has a problem with its leaves since June, it has very few fruits and they are small and scabby. Its blossom was fine in the spring. I checked its ties and it's not strangled. The apple tree next to it is fine with a wonderful crop of apples. I did not summer prune it as I was afraid of doing more damage. Any ideas? Maire Liz, Carbury, Co Kildare Posted: 10/10/2016

It sounds like it has apple scab disease when comes with damp conditions.

It is not possible or effective to spray.

Try applying some high-potash fertiliser, such as sulphate of potash, or tree and shrubs fertiliser, in spring to harden the tissue against fungal disease. 

Not all apple varieties get apple scab. 

  dieback on white Abutilon

dieback on white Abutilon

Are they sensitive to fertiliser ? I cant remember very well, but chances are l included slow release fertiliser in the hole. I ve grown a few white abutilons from seed. Planted them out in June when quite large plants growing in about a 12 litre pot. Watered well. Ground prepared well. Even though they re in different locations, both of them have withered leaves, any ideas ? Bloemtje, Waterford, Co Waterford Posted: 27/09/2016

This is probably die-back caused by fungal disease, such as grey mould, the plants being predisposed by being soft and too well fed, and located in damp stagnant air.


Plant friendly wall & fence cleaning

I have a courtyard garden with shrubs and perennials planted up against its painted fences and masonry walls. The hard surfaces are discoloured by algal and some moss growth.Will you recommend a proprietary cleaner that I might spray onto these surfaces? It must not be too deleterious to plants as it is inevitable that there will be some overspray due to the positioning of the planting. dmc101, Kircubbin, Co Down Posted: 26/09/2016

Most algicides can affect plants. Read the product details. Perhaps apply by roller. Apply when the majority of plants are leafless.


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