Sick looking Skimmia

dawn8bMay 3, 2007

I planted 3 skimmias a month ago, two males, one female. One of the males was drooping before it was planted. I think the late snowfall we had at the beginning of April did that. Now both males aren't looking healthy. The droopy one is drooping even more and the other has yellowing leaves that are starting to drop. The female looks great.

Any advice? Should I feed them?

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Spider mites? I was asking about Skimmia at Wells Medina this weekend and someone there said they didn't carry it, that it was a dog. They said people were always bringing in sick leaves and it was always spider mites...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 7:02PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Doesn't like sun. Droopy leaves, however, sounds like root rot or dryness at the root. Same result, the top isn't getting enough water. Frost injury (roots are more tender than tops) also has same result.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:11PM
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Skimmia is a great plant but it is far too frequently planted in improper conditions, hence the problems with spider mites. In shade, in sufficiently organic and moisture retentive soils, spider mites are seldom, if ever, a problem. But 9/10's of the skimmias I encounter are planted in too much sun or in poor soils in dry shade and the stress this causes inevitably results in the mite problems.

One month is way too soon for mites to show up. I like bboy's possibilities.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, I've been growing the largeleaf hermaphrodite cultivar that grows much bigger than the 'dwarf' ones prevalent in nurseries and also a white-fruited cultivar for years in my shady back yard. Mites? What mites?

To be fair I have also seen some Hellish mite infestations on other skimmias. I think the bleached-looking condition of the leaves seen in sunny spots (as opposed to the stippled pattern and webbing produced by mites) is supposed to be a magnesium deficiency (as is the occasional bleaching of Japanese holly here). Don't know if this is confused with sun injury, if it is sometimes one and sometimes the other, of if both are often occurring at the same time. Haven't looked into it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 11:57PM
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I have them in partial shade, just getting a few hours of morning sun. They've been getting lots of rain and they're planted in a mixture of compost, peat moss, manure and dirt.

I do think the droopy skimmia has some frost damage. The ends of some leaves are dried & brown.

The one with yellow leaves isn't droopy. I looked at a yellow leaf and it felt rubbery. Could be mottled, I'll have a better look tomorrow.

Is there anything I can be doing for them?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 12:10AM
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