Fatsia japonica bacterial leaf rust ? #337211 - Ask Extension


Fatsia japonica bacterial leaf rust ? #337211

Asked June 28, 2016, 7:05 AM EDT

I have a fatsia in a huge pot and its beautiful and looks really healthy with shiny leaves. However, we have just moved house and its in a sunny sheltered spot. Unfortunately it seems like it has some sort of a disease and im wondering if its bacterial leaf rust. The young leaves are dying, going yellow and dropping off, the tiny new leaves are dying and drying up. Some of the bigger leaves parts of them are drying up and dying but the rest of the leaf is still healthy looking. Can you confirm what you think it may be and how i treat it. Thanks.

Adams County Outside United States

Expert Response

Dear gardener,

Houseplants often resent being moved. A change in soil moisture or light can both result in yellowing or drying leaves. Is the plant receiving more or less light than before the move? If the answer is yes, it may be just a matter of allowing it to adjust. This may involve dropping leaves and regrowing new ones.

Check the moisture level in the pot. A day after watering, dig down several inches to see how moist the soil is at that level. It should feel moist, but not wet. 

Another possibility is the drainage. We now recommend that drainage be outside the pot. That is, do not put stones or other material in the bottom of the pot; use only soil. Make sure there are adequate drain holes to a dish underneath, and elevate the pot over the dish (using stones or "pot feet" so that it does not sit in the excess water.

Moving is stressful for plants as well as people, so give it a little time to adjust. If you continue to have concerns, please try to send us a few digital photos of the whole plant and a closeup of the leaf damage.
Lynne Marie Sullivan Replied June 28, 2016, 11:52 AM EDT

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