Help! My plant dies...
Unfortunately, it can happen that plants do not thrive to satisfaction or die on their own. It is not uncommon for the reason for this to be unclear, and it is not always the supplier who is to blame. It is of course impossible on this page to treat all diseases and plagues that occur, but based on our many years of experience we can give advice on a few general problems and point out their probable causes. Perhaps this is a little help to get you in the direction of the cause of the evil. We have to say one thing in advance: We are definitely not plant doctors! If a problem arises in our tree nursery, the cause of which cannot be clearly determined immediately, then we also seek professional help!
First a few common causes and solutions.
By far the most common reason for most problems is the location of the plant. Many plants are picky about this, and some have very specific needs. In this case, the solution is usually simple: the plant needs to be transplanted or something needs to be done about the nature and / or composition of the soil. The hallmark of this problem is that it often occurs slowly and the plant does not die immediately. Fortunately, most of them can still be saved. The other characteristics of this problem can, however, be very diverse. And the supplier is never ’to blame’ for this type of problem, because the plant was OK at the time of delivery and the problem arose afterwards. There is only one sure way to avoid this problem: before buying the plant you would like to have, find out if this plant is right for the location you have intended for it. Of course, this cannot always be said with certainty at a distance, but a guideline can always be given.
Typical cases for this type of problem are e.g. rhododendrons and azaleas in heavy clay soil (these slowly die as they starve). Or Japanese maples that have been planted solitary in the lawn, which can burn the leaves.
2. THE WEATHER
Special weather conditions can also cause problems for which no one is to blame. The heavy rains of 1998 can serve as an example: back then, not only the potatoes were rotten! A lot was also received in the tree nursery and the model gardens that year. Not to be forgotten are night frosts at the end of April and in May, even then more than just the fruit tree blossom freezes. Severe winters (for ice skating!) Are nice, but they often kill many plants.
As a preventive measure, there are a number of possible measures to reduce the effects of such extreme weather conditions. The most important:
– Provide good drainage.
– Follow the weather forecast in spring and protect the plants that are just sprouting when night frost is announced, e.g. with cardboard boxes or blankets. These will not be blown away, because if it blows, it does not freeze! Note that with night frosts like this, small plants have the hardest time directly on the ground, because that is where it freezes most of course.
– In winter, cover those plants that are known to have problems in severe winters and bring non-hardy plants indoors in good time.
– Do not forget to water in longer dry periods! This sounds trivial, but it happens more often than you think. Especially plants that have been planted more or less recently do not yet have a fully developed root system and can only get their water from a small and superficial part of your garden. But too much water is not good either, plants will also be drowned by too eager watering!
3. THE NUTRITIONAL SITUATION OF THE SOIL
Especially when plants have been in one place for a long time, it can happen that the soil is leached out. You can recognize this by the fact that the leaves first become lighter and then yellow, as well as by poor growth and general weakness. Fertilizing usually helped with these symptoms temporarily, but the soil must be thoroughly improved in the long term. However, fertilizing does not always help with this type of problem because it is also possible that while all the nutrients are in sufficient supply, the plant cannot absorb them for some reason. This is the case when the soil condition is not right for the plant. Incidentally, yellowed leaves do not turn green again, but the fact is that the plant, when it is better again, drops it and sprouts fresh.
Here are a number of specific problems that apply to certain groups of plants:
– The Japanese Acer (maple) gets more and more dead branches from above. This indicates a soil mold, the verticill