May 10, 2023 at 6:34 pm ReplyAnonymousPrivate messageGreenhorn
May 13, 2023 at 3:06 am Replyratatat-tattyPrivate messageExpert gardener
- Please can anyone advise on what to do about the leaf curl on my dwarf lilac?
Hi One thing that jumps to the eye for me is that the pot can’t drain well: it’s sitting in the saucer directly. As you can see there’s water still in the pot. It’s good that you’re watering but it’s super important to make sure any extra water can drain out so that the bottom of the pot where roots are isn’t soggy.
I’d even say the curly leaves show that the roots are having problems. They’re not able to send up enough water even if there’s plenty of it below. I think it might be the beginning of root rot. What I’d do first is:
- put something between pot and saucer to elevate the pot. It can be gravel or a couple pieces of wood or a few flat rocks. What matters is that even if the saucer is full, the pot still doesn’t touch it.
- Let the soil in the pot dry out a bit before watering again. I use my finger to check if it’s still moist inside. At this point you need to make sure air reaches through the entire clump at least once for roots to breath.
- After that, only water when the soil looks a bit dry.
I really think that this is the case that the roots are drowning. They also need air, too, so that’s why proper drainage is important.May 13, 2023 at 10:14 am Replykazzie100Private messageGreenhorn
Thanks for the advice! I will give that a go. Is it worth repotting or will that cause more damage?May 13, 2023 at 10:30 am Replyratatat-tattyPrivate messageExpert gardener
Sure thing! Well, the whole plant looks fairly new so the potting mix must be fresh. Even if there is a little rot that started on the roots, the fungus responsible is already everywhere, often even in brand-new soil mix – so repotting will cause more harm than good at this point. The fungus is usually only really active when soil is soggy wet, otherwise it’s just sitting there harmless.
For now, hold off watering until you’re quite sure that soil has dried out inside the clump. And then just before it gets bone-dry, start watering again and this time make sure water can always drip out from the bottom entirely.
Since the plant is a bit fragile, i’d also avoid giving it too much sun and heat: this would tire it out. Maybetry setting the pot a bit higher up so that the cement doesn’t reflect heat directly on the pot? Just a foot or two higher depending on what you can prop it up with. I’m supposing it won’t freeze anymore in your area and that it’ll tend to be more on the hot side if it’s in full side.
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