Sunday, April 26, 2015

Possible Chlorosis in Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry® Sweetspire

After putting in my brand new Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry® Sweetspire that I got through the mail, the plants look to be doing well, putting on a tiny bit of new growth, a couple lower leaves drying up - but the overall look is that the leaves are turning color. Kinda blotchy, more reddish, not that bright lime green like when they arrived. The stems are also redder than I thought they should be. So what's up with that?

Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry
Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry - leaf discoloration but not sure why - April 26, 2015

Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry
Itea virginica 'Sprich' Little Henry - fresh out of the mailbox, lime green slightly wilted leaves - April 10, 2015

Possibility #1: Chlorosis?
I'm not even sure what chlorosis is, but I gather that it is "a condition in which leaves produce insufficient chlorophyll" (Wikipedia) because of some type of environmental strain. I read that Itea virginica like more acidic soil, and I've never tested my soil or tested the pH in my new backyard bed. I guess it could be chlorosis?

itea virginica leaf discolor
Leaf discolor detail

Possibility #2: Sun Burn?
Little Henry is a full sun to part/moderate shade shrub, so maybe after being in the mail going to direct south facing sun is just giving it a little sun burn until it can adjust to the new light conditions?

Possibility #3: Watering?
Not sure if this would be over or under watering, but watering is probably my most common way of messing things up so far. I read that these can tolerate pretty moist soils, and I have resisted the urge to go water them since we have been getting showers on a consistent weekly basis - but maybe they don't like to dry out at all when they're first planted?

Possibility #4: Nothing is wrong that's just how they look in Indiana full sun
It's new to me! Who knows, maybe they just bronze up a bit in the full sun and that's okay? Now that I look at the two photos back to back it looks like it is certainly plumping up and putting on some new leaves.

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