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By Mags28

Lancashire, United Kingdom Gb

I have two Skimmia bushes in large pots, one rubella var. and the other reevesiana, this one has a lot of leaves that have been eaten, although there are no insects on the underside of the leaves. I have put FBB in the compost, I am not sure what type of compost is best It has had some berries this winter, but the rubella's flowers are very white now, having been pinky/red earlier this year.I would appreciate some advice to help create healthier plants.



I think you could re pot them, every few years i do this as they do develop a very fibrous root system, and i plant them in ericacious compost mixed with some leaf mould and rooted pine needle compost which i make, keep them watered and try to avoid having them in direct sunlight, regarding pruning, yes they respond well, i tend to shorten a few shoots back here and there every year without losing the natural shape, this method i adopt if dealing with skimmias in the ground but sometimes you can be a little more ruthless.

9 May, 2013


Can I muscle in here Mags,and ask Julien a question - hope you don't mind. I have two skimmias next to each other, a male and a female, that have been growing very well in the ground for a number of years. This year the female's leave started yellowing. I fed with iron and when this didn't make much difference I fed again with ericaceous feed, still with little effect. Today I noticed that the leaves on a branch of the male that's now in contact with the female have also started to yellow. I've had it since it was a baby in a four inch pot in about 1990. I'm baffled. Have you any suggestions? I did ask this question a few weeks ago but the problem persists.

11 May, 2013


Could the plant be stressed due to lack of water or too much over watering, have you been over feeding the plant, these are normally very robust plants so could you have some kind of pest on the plant or below ground, is it a fungal problem below ground check and try and see if one of these could be the problem, if it were me i would lift the plant if it were not to improve and place in another area with fresh soil and humus, put some ericacious compost in and see how it goes, soak before lifting.

12 May, 2013


Thank you to both for your comments, the compost is fresh, and today I have cut off the eaten leaves, added some ericacious? feed and will wait and see if there is any improvment in both plants I have sprayed reevesiana
with Bug Off, which I have used before for a Vibernum
Opulus which had developed a worm type bug which came out in darkness, and left the leaves with a lace pattern. Problem was solved last year, watch this space.

12 May, 2013


Thank you Julien. A daunting thought digging it up where it is but perhaps I can do a sort of exploratory hole and see if there's anything obvious. I haven't watered it at all - this is West Wales!! But it can't be waterlogged as there's an 18 inch high retaining wall on one side as the bed is higher than the path at that point. Yes I have fed it iron and when that didn't have any results I gave it ericaceous feed. It can't be the position as it has flourished where it is for seven years. So its time to get out the spade.

12 May, 2013

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