Winter Daphne Dying!

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

My Daphne has done extremely well..in a pot for 4 years. I noticed yesterday it was drooping so this morning I went to check on it and the leaves are turning black and I think its dying!!! It happened so suddenly. I LOVE this plant HELP! I lost one last year also...the same thing happened. Is it a disease?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It could be fungal, I'd check on your watering, I don't think they especially like wet feet (and drooping can be a sign of too much water as well as too little). But honestly Daphnes are rather prone to sudden death like this, it's common enough that some people invented the word "daphnecide", so it could be that there was something just the teensiest bit off from the conditions it would like and it decided to die. Or if it's been in the same pot in the same potting mix for 4 years, it could be that it needs to be repotted, the potting mix compacts and loses its structure over time and collapses the air pockets and that can increase the chances of something like root rot.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

It happened so fast in the one last year I thought someone put something in the pot. Now the same is happening to this one... it must have just decided to die! It even had new growth on it! I will repot it and see if that saves it but I think I'm out of luck. How often should they be repotted?

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

There's a lethal virus disease of Daphnes, spread by aphids. I'd not be surprised if that's what's done yours in.

Resin

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Repotting depends on a lot of things--if a plant is growing quickly it'll often get rootbound within a year or two and then you need to repot because of that. If it's not growing quickly and you're growing in standard potting mix, it tends to collapse and lose its structure over time, so in a perfect world you'd probably replace it about annually, but a lot of people will go longer than that. If you've got something that's not going to be growing a lot and want to keep it in a pot for a long time without having to replace the potting mix, check out tapla's stickies in the container gardening forum, he's got some good recipes for mixes that will last longer without losing their structure. Resin's probably right about the virus though.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the info. I never saw anything on it and it is in a huge pot. It even had new leaf sprouts then BANG it was dying. Well...don't know that I'll try daphne again. But man...I loved the scent....and in winter to boot!

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Was it a relatively small plant in a huge pot? That can cause problems too--when you have a huge volume of soil and a small little rootball, the soil can hold a ton of water but the plant can't take up all that water very quickly, so it winds up having wet feet for much longer than is ideal. You can sometimes get away with this if you're careful on the watering, but it makes it much easier to accidentally overwater.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

No it wasnt a really s mall plant and it definately didn't get too much water. I know they don't like wet feet. The only thing I can think might have happened is I watered it regularly (but let it dry out between)and fertilized it well during the summer then let off the both during our wet time and August. Its on a covered porch (and yes in the shade) so maybe it dried out too much after the watering and nutrition it got during the summer. ????

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

closer

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