Weeping Bottlebrush Tree in pot

jollyjpMay 17, 2014

I recently purchased a weeping bottlebrush in about a 7 gallon pot. It was meant as a gift to my daughter for her new yard. I didn't water it for a couple of days & went to water it, & it had wilted badly- only a few leaves are still green. All other leaves have turned brown & curled up. I'm pretty sure the tree will live, but do I do any pruning to help it put out new growth? I thought these were pretty drought-proof. Never had problems with ones I have in the ground. Any suggestions would so very welcome. Thanks, Shirley J

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Shirley,

I'm so sorry that happened - it is funny how that will sneak up on you. I purchased two salvia in early March and parked them in the back yard until I could get around to planting them. Had a couple of hot days that week... full sun...black nursery pots... yikes! Thankfully, they have revived.

I would recommend placing the whole pot inside a large bucket or plastic tote tub. Fill the bucket/tote with water and give the rootball a good soak. Lots of times we don't realize, but when we water a really dry plant, the water finds a path to the bottom and runs out...always along that path... and much of the rootball remains dry. You need ALL of the roots to get some good moisture. Let the water run into the pot from the bottom so that the plant pot slowly fills up from the bottom. Then let it soak, but for no more than 10-20 minutes. Then lift it out and let all the water drain out freely. I bet you will then see a quick recovery. I've used this many times and it is a wonderful method for a really, really dried-out plant.

Good luck with your new little guy and let us know what happens!

EDIT: Ooops - forgot to answer your question! I would not prune until you see the recovery and which branches are truly dead and which ones get new leaves. You don't want to mistakenly cut off a branch that will contribute (photosynthesis) to the improved health of the plant. Hold off for 2-3 weeks until you get a better picture of the plant's future.

Carol in Jacksonville

This post was edited by love_the_yard on Sat, May 17, 14 at 11:27

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:23AM
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jollyjp

Thank you so much, Carol! I will do just as you suggested soak the rootball, no pruning. Thank you, again.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:35AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Shirley, If this is a difficult-to-water plant, and/or you think the water is just running past most of the roots and out of the bottom, you can use this method for every watering. It is a good method and will not hurt a thing as long as you do not leave it soaking for long periods of time. 15-20 minutes is a perfect soaking time.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:48PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

One more thought for anyone still reading... I use this method for new plants before putting them in the ground and root-bound plants before I repot them. I put the pot in a bucket, slowly fill the bucket with water using the space between the bucket and the pot so that the water seeps into the pot from the bottom, and then let it sit there and soak while I dig my hole or get the new pot ready. Gives the plant a good start.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:16PM
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