Underwatering, overwatering can cause leaves to wilt

Q: I’m curious if there is any reason other than drought or overwatering that would cause my donut peach growing in a container to wilt within 24 hours? I pruned the dead branches off and touched very little of the live wood.

A: Donut peach — sometimes called bagel peach, Saturn peach, pan tao peach and a bunch of other names — is a good choice for our climate and soils. It is a novelty but delivers very sweet fruit great for eating fresh. Birds love the fruit, too, a problem that I have mentioned in the past as well as how to avoid it.

Thanks for the pictures. I understand it is still in the container, and you will plant it in the ground soon.

For leaf wilting to occur, something is stopping the water from reaching the leaves. This could be a soil problem, root damage, stem damage or direct damage to the leaves. Obviously, a lack of water or watering too often that the roots suffocate can cause wilting.

A common problem this time of year is applying fertilizer or strong compost too close to the trunk. This can cause the leaves to wilt because of the high nutrient content (salts) in fertilizers and many rich composts. If applied next to the trunk or against it, it can cause plant wilting followed by death.

Apply fertilizers and compost no closer than 12 inches from the trunk. If the container is smaller than this, then use a very small amount and apply it more often.

Check for borer damage on the trunk. I had trees coming from the nursery, both container and bare root, with borers already in the trunk. If your tree had borers in it the same season you bought it, the borer came with the tree when it was bought. No extra charge!

Spray the trunk with water from a spray bottle several times until the stem is soaked. If the borer is active, you will see globs of brown or dark red sap coming from the stem. Sometimes I can squeeze the stem with my first two fingers, and I can feel sponginess where the borer is feeding just under the bark. Dig it out with a sanitized sharp knife and let it heal.

It is possible that spray drift from weedkillers could do it, but I may be grasping for straws with that one.

Q: Can you use lava rock as a ground cover around any shrubs? I am thinking particularly of Japanese boxwood.

A: Lava rock was used extensively in Las Vegas landscapes as a surface covering before desert landscaping became popular. Desert landscaping uses specialty rock mulch of different colors and sizes, and its use has pushed lava rock out of this niche.

Lava rock has some interesting qualities, different from the rock we have available to us today. It can be a good alternative to rock mulch.

Lava rock, or any rock mulch for that matter, would not be a good choice around Japanese boxwood. Japanese boxwood grows better in soils amended with compost and the soil covered in organic wood mulch, not rock mulch or lava rock.

Using rock mulch or not depends on the plants. I am frequently asked which plants can tolerate rock mulch and which ones cannot. That’s difficult to explain unless you know where the plant originated.

Plants that originate from desert climates can generally handle rock mulch better than those that did not. Sometimes that information is difficult to find.

Boxwoods come from nondesert environments. They don’t come from the “deserts of Japan.” They come from wetter and cooler climates than ours, so avoid placing them in west and south exposures. Amend the soil at the time of planting with compost and cover the soil with something that decays, such as wood chip mulch, which adds organics back to the soil.

Lava rock falls into the category of a rock mulch. It does break down over time adding minerals to the soil, but it adds no organics. The same problem occurs as with other rock mulches.

Over a few years, the compost added during planting is gone, replaced by the minerals without organics. These soils may be rich in minerals but lack the physical properties needed for good drainage, root growth and the chemistry required for nondesert plants to thrive.

Q: I am considering planting three boxed African sumacs along a 40-foot block wall behind a 1½-foot retaining wall. Is this feasible? How far away should they be from the block wall? Is there a better option for shade that isn’t poisonous to dogs and that has no invasive root issues?

A: If this tree is to be planted by landscapers in a package deal from the nursery, be aware that very small holes are dug, and little is added to amend the soil; a hole large enough for the tree roots to fit into and not much else. That may work in the organic soils of Kansas, but not in the Mojave Desert with soils that contain less than 1/10 of 1 percent organics. Definitely not sustainable.

This can lead to disaster in a few years. The planting hole should be dug three times the width of the container or box. This is probably a 24-inch boxed tree so a hole 72 inches in diameter would be the smallest width recommended.

In most cases, the soil taken from the hole — minus rocks larger than a golf ball — can be mixed with it at approximately 50 percent by volume. In other words, a 1-1 ratio of good compost and soil. If you use good compost, you will not need a fertilizer the first season.

The tree is carefully leaned over on its side, and the bottom of the box is removed and lowered into the hole. The sides of the box are then removed and taken from the hole.

As the tree is backfilled around its roots with the soil and compost mix, water from a hose should be making a slurry around the root ball to remove air pockets. You will see bubbles coming from the slurry as air is pushed out.

After the tree has been planted and watered, construct a 4-inch-deep level basin around the planting hole, so that it holds water. Hand water these trees with a hose, filling the basin entirely, three or four times over the next two weeks in addition to normal irrigations. Yes, it is needed in our climate and soils.

Once the tree has been watered and established (no more air bubbles coming from the soil, and the tree is held firmly upright), turn it over to the irrigation system full-time. Water a 24-inch boxed tree twice a week with 15 to 20 gallons of water applied at each irrigation; 15-gallon tree, 8-10 gallons; 5-gallon tree, 3-5 gallons. Stake the tree if needed.

Eighty percent of all landscape plants are poisonous. If your dogs eat enough of any of your plants, they can get sick.

Plant them no closer than 6 to 8 feet from any wall, patio or sidewalk. This tree can grow to 40 feet and consume a fair amount of water. These trees, because of their canopy shape, are not intended for planting along walls taller than 6 feet.

Wet the soil from your irrigation system away from the wall, so roots will grow less toward the wall. Consult sites such as the plant list found at the Las Vegas Valley Water District and consult with your local nursery about availability of plants that you like.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.

Extreme weather closes Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon
High winds and flooding closed the Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area Thursday. Minor flooding across Highway 159 caused drivers to slow, but didn't close the road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Lady Rebels School Day Game
Children from local elementary schools gather for the Lady Rebel School Day Game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
All-Pro curling team eyes 2022 Winter Olympics
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop the bleed
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to stop bleeding
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like