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Sick Mountain Laurel

Posted by chescobob z6b SEPA (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 22, 05 at 13:06

I have 3 Mountain Laurel 'Keepsake'. One of them is developing browning on its leaves. Any ideas what this is? I will try to take a photo later. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

It could be a number of things. Likes ph below 6.0. Is it getting enough water? Is it in enough shade?


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

Hi Bob, I'm also in Chester Co. Is the laurel in a.m. sun only? P.M. sun would fry it.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

Its getting P.M. sun. It does get water and the ground is acidic. It is in the low 6 PH range. I used leaf soil as an amendment treat in planting the 3 of them. The 1 in full sun does not have this and neither does the 3rd plant located just to the right of the one in the photo.

Mountain Laurel hate me. I lost 1 of 76 different plants that I planted last year but I know all three of these are going to die.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

This is called leaf spot and it is supposedly not serious. It is caused by a fungus. I use Bayers on my roses and I will check to see if it will work on these.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

At least, the description is consistent with the spots. I am going to take the sick leaves off and spray with Bayer Advanced Disease Control for Roses, Flowers & Shrubs Concentrate. That has been excellent for my roses. I began spraying the roses when they initially leafed-out and I have not had any black spot on them.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

Hope that's the solution for you. Laurels have a rep. for being hard to grow, lost one myself -


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

I think I am going to move the ML that is in mostly sun. I cannot believe I got suckered into buying ML again. . . but they looked so nice as they were being unloaded at the nursery. I lost 2 when I lived in MD.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

Perhaps to try to mimic their native state, which is to be an understory shrub. So they like to be protected from winds, especially winter winds, and receive filtered sunlight. Also mulch with OAK leaves and/or pine needles to assist in creating the acidic soil these plants love.

I have four that I planted on a northern facing slope, which during midday are sheltered by hemlock branches from getting direct light. They will get some direct setting sun at a very low angle, but other than that it is all filtered light. In three years, they have all survived. However, one bloomed for the first time this year, one did not bloom this year, and the two bloomed again as they have each year.

During the first few years, I had leaves that looked like yours and also leaves with black spots, but right now all the leaves look fine. I think it takes a while for them to get over the shock of transplant and to acclimate to their new conditions. Also, mine do get some winter wind, so usually be early spring, there are discolored leaves on the plants that fall off and all turn healthy green again by summer.

Don't give up, just study your yard to find a protected spot for them. They don't grow fast, so they should remain as an understory and not outgrow the tree they have been placed under. Good luck!!


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

KAH:

I did just that. Yesterday, I moved the third ML into a nook that is surrounded by the house, deck, and deck steps. It is alligned with the other 2 ML now and they all should get some sunlight and protection from wind. The one I added yesterday will get the least sunlight. All 3 were also planted with some leaf-soil to mimic their natural state. I added 3 azaleas to keep them happy.

I'm hoping that all 3 make it.

Plus, now I have the full sun site where the ML was for something that really wants full sun.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

I have three Mountain Laurels on my Ct. property and they were here when we purchased the house over 30 years ago. I have cut them back several times (last time being 5 years ago) I noticed this morning that some of the leaves are turning yellow and quite a few have black spots on them. They all have flower heads budding but the leaves look terrible. Any suggestions. TIA


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

calabella - although they are evergreen, they don't keep their leaves forever. The average leaf probably hangs on for about 2 - 3 years on average and then will eventually yellow, with spotting in that manner, and drop to be replaced by new leaves. If there was one year along the way with optimum conditions and lots of new growth, that growth will eventually all age and reach an end of life, dropping leaves in a larger quantity then norrmally seen because there was so much of it to begin with of the same age. Sometimes stress (too dry or too wet) can accelerate that process but it is a normal process.

If your shrubs have been around that long, they know the climate quite well and have adapted, so I think you are just seeing a normal leaf drop. What might cause alarm bells would be if the leaves suddenly drooped and stayed that way for a prolonged time (when above freezing).


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

Since this thread is back I will report that my 3 Mountain Laurel 'Keepsake' made it through the Winter and are very frisky and ready to bloom. They are now in shade with some afternoon sun. They seem to like that.

I believe the spots are called "leaf spot" and are a fungus. I sprayed with Bayers and it seemed to work.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

five years i have tried and five years they die. I buy them in bloom in the spring. I have planted them on the north side and west side, makes no difference. I protect them in the winter with chicken wire and burlap and they come through just fine. BUT now the tips of the old leaves and new growth are turning black. This happens every time, eventually the entire leaf turns black and brittle and dies, eventually the entire plant dies.

Nothing on the inter net shows the problem. It's not leaf spot as their entire tip turns black.

I thought it was fert burn and haven't fertilized this time.

I know they grow in MI as i've seen healthy ones


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

Moutain Lauel needs good drainage and a PH between 5.0 to 5.5. The good drainage is absolutely critical!!!! Plant them on a slight slope or mound for best results. Add sand and peat moss to the hole if you have clay soil.


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

I love this plant. But the sad fact is they are fussy. They are hardy and grow fine under the right conditions, but only the right conditions. They want light but shade. They hate afternoon sun. They need good drainage, organic soil with a low pH. If they don't get that, they will languish, plain and simple. And you can't get anything past them, like making up for cruddy soil structure with fertilizers like Miracid. Ask me how I know, lol!


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RE: Sick Mountain Laurel

I'm back

I have babied one for 3 years, covered with burlap in the winter. pH is fine, north side of house, planted high, shaded by Rhodies. Beautiful blooms this year and last year. Plenty of new growth and then it starts.

Leaves turn brown at the tips then entirely brown, brittle, fall off and eventually branch die. One branch at a time. Just like all the other years. Daconil has no effect

The only difference this year it's been 95-100 for a couple of weeks and no rain. BUT i've been soaking with a hose

Three years ago i sent an entire dead bush to Mi State and they came back with a variety of diseases.

Doesn't make sense as 10 miles north of me they are growing in a yard with NO T L C.

I give up


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