Re: Bottle Brushes

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Posted by Newt on July 16, 2002 at 00:04:45:

In Reply to: Bottle Brushes posted by Mary on July 12, 2002 at 21:14:18:

: I have quite a few bottle brushes in a newly landscaped yard. They were planted in November. None of them are doing very well and several will put out growth, that will turn brown and die. Only a few are blooming and they look sick. I have fertilized and put ironite on them. What do I do short of pulling them up? We have a very sandy soil.

Are you talking about the bottlebrush buckeye? If so, here's a site that explains this beautiful shrub.

http://www.nobleplants.com/articles/ajcaesculus.htm

Since they grow well in New England, that leads me to believe they like a more acid soil. I'm wondering why you added ironite. The best thing to do would be to add leaf mold (which is composted leaves) to your sandy soil. The leaf mold is more acidic than compost would be. If you can't get leaf mold, go with compost. I would eliminate the ironite. These shrubs grow in the wild without it. You could also top dress the area with pine straw (pine needles) or pine bark mulch, both of which are acidic.

Also, I don't know what you are using for fertilizer, but I would suggest fish emulsion or sea kelp. I suspect that you are using Miricle Gro and, though it is acidic, it is synthetic and probably has too many residual salts. The sea kelp and fish emulsion are all natural and gentler for the plants. Again, if you add lots of organic matter like the leaf mold or compost, you don't need to fertilize at all. By fertilizing and adding ironite, you are probably stressing the plants.

Hope this helped.
Good luck,
Newt

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