Hello, I bought 21 small boxwood bushes back in March and planted them as part of a landscape. They were growing throughout the summer ( slowly of course ) but were a dark green color. I noticed they all have shades of brown color in the bushes. I planted the Miracle Gro fertilizer spikes for each of them 2 weeks ago. Could this have caused the brown color, are they dying ? or is it normal with the weather changing ? I live in Southern New Jersey and the fall season has been very rainy but the temperatures have been near 65 degrees all fall. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it. Everyone on this message board is very helpful. Thank you, murph
Aside from insect damage there are many causes of evergreens turning brown. Sometimes its just natural, needles being replaced by new growth.
Drought, too much watering, too little watering, too much fertilizer, not enough fertilizer, are just some of the causes.
Another cause of brown needles is salt drift. That can occur during winter when nearby roads are salted to melt snow and ice. That wouldn't be the cause of your plants--but its something to think about.
Its now well into October. You decided to feed the plants which causes it to grow. Plants in northern zones usually should not be fed late in the season--say after September 15--to allow the plant to go into natural dormancy which allows the plant to harden off and not face winter's dry winds which ***** the moisture out of the needles.
The under/over watering and fertilizing you would know best when it was done.
Often new plants, when given a different soil, different growing conditions, will put up a fuss, maybe drop needles or, as in your case, turn some needles brown.
You didn't say just how bad the browning is. If its low in amount then I'd say you have nothing to be concerned about. If its major, then surely something is wrong and you have to determine what is causing it.
Do give the small plants winter protection. Be sure to give them ample water to last through winter and do protect them from drying winds. Whether you can properly burlap them is in question. If not, then definitely consider burying them under a mound of leaves or by deflecting winds away from them.
Murph, call or visit your county extension office.
I won't use miracle grow anything! It is like putting your plants on steroids. And this might not have been a good time of year to fertilize those.
Here's a link to care...
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Thank you for the information ! Also thanks for the Yardener website, really informotive. Murph
If you can eliminate insect pests (spider mites are common) as the cause of leaves turinmg brown then it must be growing conditions.
Are those Boxwoods really getting enough water? A very common problem with newly planted plants is the the roots do not spread out well and cannot get the moisture and nutrients needed to grow the plants well. Then there is also overwatering which is as bad as underwatering.
Fertilizing newly planted plants is no longer recommend, that is very old school thought not suggested now for over 30 years.
What kind of soil were these planted in?
How well does that soil drain?
Is that soil water logged?
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
Too much fertilizer at the wrong time is my guess.
Boxwood will have a tinge on the leaves because of winter burn but not this time of year.
Why would you fertilize in the fall?
What Loonie said about how extensive the browning is? Could very well be a sign of over-fertilizing.
We have a pyramid boxwood and were told by landscaper that it would get some winter tinge because of location where winter winds would hit it. The other four round boxwood wouldn't because they are more protected.
Well, pyramid does fine; protected get the tinge. Not a problem.This message has been edited. Last edited by: M-ma,
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