Black tips on leaves of Kousa Milky Way

Discussion in 'Cornus (dogwoods)' started by Mani, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. Mani

    Mani Active Member

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    Hi

    I saw a discounted Kousa Milky Way in a garden centre today. It was discounted because most of its leaves had black tips. I was told that this was due to the plant needing to be repot.

    I asked if it could be due to underwatering but was told it was unlikely as all plants were watered daily.

    I didn't take a photo but most of its leaves looked like the picture attached but with the red turning to a black tip.

    Any ideas if this might be due to needing a repot or something else?

    Thanks
     

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  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    H @Mani. I had hoped someone more knowledgeable than me might have answered your question but, since that hasn't happened yet, here is what I think . . . that the discoloured leaf tips on the dogwood are caused by growing conditions, not disease. It could be pot bound or it perhaps it hasn't been getting enough water - or both. Also, at this time of year, leaves of deciduous trees like Cornus kousa turn colour and drop off anyway.

    If you are seriously thinking of buying it, ask if you can see the root before you purchase. You will be able to see how badly root bound is it by observing how many roots are circling the inside of the pot and if you think you can deal with it. This would be a good time of year to either repot or put in a permanent spot in the ground. This website explains why it may not be a great idea to keep a dogwood in a container for long. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/dogwood/dogwoods-in-container.htm

    Whether the dogwood were to go in a bigger container or in the ground, you will probably have to untangle some roots first, especially those that may be girdling (choking) the tree. I've been reading lately about the merits of washing tree roots before planting so that you can have a chance to identify and correct potential problems. Not for the faint of heart however. Here is the most recent article I've read by the very knowledgeable Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott.
    Why root washing is important – an illustrated cautionary tale
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  3. Mani

    Mani Active Member

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    @Margot Thank you kindly, Margot!

    I will take a look at those links in more detail. I'll probably keep it in a pot for a couple of years and then plant it out.......just have to weigh up the risk/cost!
     

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