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Conifers going rusty??

Conifers going rusty??

The ones numberd 1+2 were perfectly ok - or looked perfectly ok - when I repotted them about a fortnight before this photo was taken [July]. They suddenly turned totally rusty. The others didn't survive the over-wintering.

I get a lot of this in all types of conifer. What am | doing wrong? is it a virus, some pest, or just environemnt? too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry ...

Any advice, please? I do love mini conifers, but there's not much point me keep buying them if they do this.

ps a few haven't - yet. I'm keeping an eye on them just in case

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The best time to move Conifers is late October to early March looks like not enough water to me.

5 Aug, 2017


Thanks Thrupennybit. After I repotted the two at the back I watered them in, as I always do, and for the next few days we had rain aplenty. Maybe it's a case of "feast or famine"

5 Aug, 2017


They are thirsty plants and wind will dry them out there is a Cypress aphid which affects Leylandii turning them brown.

5 Aug, 2017


Just joining in to say sorry and sending you lots of sympathy. Just wondering if the three small ones at the front are in pots a bit n the small side? They will dry our very quickly in very small pots.

When you repot them are you sure the roots don't get damaged?

5 Aug, 2017


Oh dear...:-(

6 Aug, 2017


@ Thrupennybit - they got a bit neglected early this year; I had all my smaller plants tucked out of the wind as best I could, and I forgot about them. I couldn't roof the space, so they got all the rain that was going.
I hadn't known about the Cypress aphid, thanks for that, I'll check it out. But this happens to all kinds of conifers. I did try moving the affected ones away from the rest, in case it was catching - also, to vary the conditions they were kept in, to see if that helped.

@ Steragram - thanks for the sympathy! it's usually the smaller plants that do this, though a couple of meduim-ish plants have also gone the same way. The smaller plants would be less resiliant, which is why I tried to shelter them as much as I could.

The smaller ones in the front didn't get repotted this year: by the time I started they were already rusty all over.

When I repot i take out hte old soil and tease the roots with my fingertips to spread them out and to shake off as much old soil as I can, so that they can have as much fresh as possible.

Maybe I should just buy bigger conifers in the firt place! most of these were small six-packs at a garden centre. But not the two at the back, they wree bought individually.

6 Aug, 2017


I can see your reasoning in shaking the soil off but next time try doing the opposite and disturb the roots as little as possible and see if it makes any difference. Put a little compost in the new pot, insert the plant just as it is and fill in the space around it with fresh compost. April is a good time to repot evergreens. Best not to do it in the middle of the growing season unless its an emergency.

Only touch the roots if they are tightly crushed in the pot and going round and round, in which case you can loosen them Very Gently to give them a start. A table fork is useful for loosening them - you only have to do it a bit, you don't have to spread them out. Sadly none of the rusty ones will recover now - once they go brown like that its the end. They don't need sheltering from the rain - its only very strong winds that they don't like. As they are not cheap I'd get the hang of keeping the small ones before venturing on another big one. Its so very frustrating to lose plants we really like.

6 Aug, 2017


Oh, thanks, Steragram! one reason I buy smaller plants [apart from the fun of watching them grow] is that it's not so big an investment, though it's still money spent.

There's still a couple of smaller ones that I've not got round to yet: I'll do as you suggest, put the whole plug in a new pot and fill the edges.

I've also got a couple of larger conifers that haven't been repotted yet: I was thinking of just refreshing the topsoil, taking out some old, replacing it with new, not touching the plant at all. Though one of them is in a taller pot which is rather narrow; I should have put a couple of bricks in the bottom for ballast, then I wouldn't have to keep s tanding it up. I've got that behind a shed, as much out of hte wind as I can get it.

7 Aug, 2017

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