I planted some Little Gems in my backyard 5 days ago and have just noticed that the leaves are turning brown. I've been watering twice a day as it's warm in Perth at the moment. Should I be fertilizing? Watering less? Looking at the soil ph? Someone I know suggested cow manure around the base of the plant, or sulphate of potash or just plant old seasol? Any suggestions would be most welcome.
18 February 2014 06:21 AM
The brown patches on your magnolia "Little Gem" are sunburn. Because the plants are growing in close proximity to the colorbond fence and stone/concrete edging, they capture their reflective heat and burn. Despite your valiant efforts to keep the magnolia watered regularly, the temperatures in Perth have been extremely high and would heat up the fence and dry out the soil quickly. A short term solution would be to place a barrier between the fence and the plant to prevent radiant heat from burning the leaves or to spray the plant with an anti-transpirant like Yates Waterwise DroughtShield. This product which is polymer based, forms a protective film on the foliage which acts like a sunscreen.