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    What's Wrong With My Japanese Box Wood Shrub ?

    Asked May 20, 2009, 07:57 PM 2 Answers
    Hello... First, I have to come out of closet : I am NOT a gardener.

    About 2 months, we have planted about 60 Japanese Boxwood shrubs to fill-in spaces between hardscape columns. . About 4-5 weeks ago we had few very hot days. Then, I noticed about 1/3 of the newly planted shrubs were losing its deep green color. This continues up to today - and today they look like in the posted photos: mostly colorless, but not completely dry. There are few green leaves or 1/2 green and 1/2 brown. Leaves hold on branches and are not falling off. They don't feel like dry, dead, plant. We use Miracle Grow liquid fertilizer as per instruction. Also, we used "Ironate", a mixture high in iron, as per recommendation of Home Depot expert. For the last 2 weeks, we covered them with shade cloth to block direct sun. We water judiciously, once a day, and early in the morning. It gets very hot here with strong, direct sun most of the day.

    My question is: are these shrubs behind saving or did they just get burnt and need some time to recover? How do I determine they are damaged beyond control and I have to replace them ? What do I use to revive them ? Any advice and/or comment will be highly appreciated. Thank you. Milo

    First Photo: overall look
    Second Photo: detail of leaves

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    2 Answers
    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
    Ultra Member
     
    #2

    May 20, 2009, 08:38 PM


    Home Depot expert
    Haven't met a Home depo/lowes expert yet in any thing that grows they sell.

    I'm a part time grower of shrubs and tress etc. The biggest thing I find in planting problems is the "shock" of the plant from Nursery/shade to sun.

    Box woods area a very slow growing plant. Hence the cost in size difference. They recover slowly from shock.

    Miracle Grow liquid fertilizers can burn shrub roots. A time release fertilizer is always better.

    I think they are going through a "shock" period.

    Too much sun at once after they were uncovered.
    Too much fertilizer mixes here/root schock
    Too much water also..

    In all plantings of shrubs its "First year sleep / Second year creep / Third year leap."

    How was the root system when you planted them?

    Back off on the watering. Soak every two to three days. Depending on the soil drainage there.They are drowning, that's why they leaves have no color and are soft not to mention all the chemicals in the planting soil. Water keeps that to active

    Re shade the poor ones... Put it back in nursery mode. Let them acclimate to new soil then uncover slowly

    One of the nursery modes for many shrubs/boxwoods is they set the pots on black plastic and then for 1 hour a day then get water the whole hour "Big rain" The sun heats up pot for root growth and water quenches the thirst.
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    Milo Dolezal's Avatar
    Milo Dolezal Posts: 6,808, Reputation: 471
    Plumbing Expert
     
    #3

    May 20, 2009, 08:49 PM

    21 Boat: thanks for your advice. We bought 5gln buckets. When we removed them the roots were visible twisting lightly around the root ball and were partially exposed / visible.

    What kind of time release fertilizer would you recommend ?
    Do you think my shrub will recover ?
    Helpful

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