Leaves are turning brown

Port Townsend, WA(Zone 8b)

I have 3 beautiful plants known as "Jack Frost." I have them all in the same garden and all have wood mulch. One of them, the leaves are turning brown, even leaves that are not touching the mulch. Any ideas?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Do you know what type of plant they are? I checked Plant Files, and there are cultivars of Brunnera, privet, rose, Heuchera, daylily, hosta, cucumber, redwood, and hibiscus with that name, these all have different requirements so without knowing which one you have it's going to be a lot harder to figure out what's wrong. Also, can you tell us a little more about the conditions (sun/shade, how often do you water, fertilize, did you just plant them or have they been there for a while, etc). A picture would really help too if you can get one--there are a ton of things that can make leaves turn brown so a picture and as much info as possible will really help figure out what's wrong.

Port Townsend, WA(Zone 8b)

Yes, sorry. They are Brunnera. I have enclosed a picture. Like I say, 2 out of 3 in the same conditions are doing well so I'm not sure what is going on with this one. They are all planted in a shade/part shade garden. They were planted April 8, so less than a month ago. I gave them all about a tablespoon of Miracle Grow away from the roots. The soil is a compost/soil mix. I live in Washington so I don't water them much because of the rain but have watered them if we go a week or so without rain. This one is closer to a wood fence than the others so it is in a bit of a shadier location but just feet away from the others. Thanks for your help.

This message was edited May 1, 2007 11:13 AM

Thumbnail by LetsGo
West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Is that one tablespoon of the 'all purpose' miracle gro? That's supposed to be mixed with a gallon of water, and people commonly mix it weaker than the instructions say to, because of the risk of over-feeding and burning the plants. I can't say with any certainty what your plant's problem is, but leaf tips browning can be a sign of too much fertilizer.

Port Townsend, WA(Zone 8b)

It's the all-purpose shake and feed which says don't mix with water. It's the slow-release 3 month fertilizer. Maybe I shouldn't have put any in the soil at all. Should I dig it up and switch out the soil?

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

if you did overfertilize just flush with water.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It's generally better not to fertilize right away when you plant something, let it get established a little bit first. No need to dig it up though, honestly your plant doesn't look in that bad shape, as long as you're not seeing the problem progress to more and more leaves I wouldn't worry about it.

Port Townsend, WA(Zone 8b)

You know, I think I've made every fertilizer mistake in the book. I've used the wrong kind, now I've overfertilized. Maybe I should just put the fertilizer down! Put it down and step away from the plant!

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

it's probably just that the roots need to settle and catch up with the leaves, but at any rate I'd just water it some more.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It doesn't look like underwatering--and since many more plants die from overwatering than from underwatering I wouldn't water it more than you have been unless the weather's gotten hotter or something.

Conway, SC

LetsGo, Your plant doesn't look so bad. That is a common mistake that we have all made--overfertilizing. When you purchase most plants, they usually have a time-released fertilizer in them. I have found it is always safer to use a water based fertilizer (Miracle Gro)
Also, I have had problems with plants when using cedar mulch. You might consider pulling the mulch away from the base of your plants.
Did you mix the fertilizer in the soil or did you shake it on top of the mulch and then watered it in?

Port Townsend, WA(Zone 8b)

I mixed it in and thought I kept it away from the roots, but its certainly possible I didn't.

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