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Barberry (Crimson Pygmy) #253783 - Ask Extension


Barberry (Crimson Pygmy) #253783

Asked June 13, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

I purchased five barberry shrubs from a local garden supply and when I directed my gardener to plant them two days later, I found that the leaves were dying from the top of the leaf and traveling down to the branches. Some are falling off already. This is only happening on four of the bushes. Bush No. 5 looks O.K. so far.

They get watered daily either via a hose or the daily rains we have this year. A water meter probe shows that all have damp soil all the way to the bottom and the pots drain nicely. Looking for ideas on what to do!

Ouray County Colorado

Expert Response

The symptoms you describe sound like transplant shock but I am lacking all the information I need to answer you definitively.

Some improper planting techniques that can contribute to transplant shock or death are:
  •  planting too deeply or too shallowly;
  •  removing too many roots or not loosening the roots in the root ball before planting;
  • adding too much soil amendment to the planting hole can create a soil interface and make the root ball remain too wet or too dry regardless of moisture applied to the surrounding soil
  • overwatering or underwatering
  • watering with high pH or salt content
  • adding fertilizer when planting
  • cutting back the top when planting top balance root pruning
  • choosing the wrong plant for the site
Here is an informational handout describing the best way to plant shrubs and trees

Feel free to contact your local Colorado State University Extension Office in Norwood if you have more questions at 970-327-4393

Yvette Henson Replied June 24, 2015, 12:44 PM EDT

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