Q.My pieris has dropped all its leaves within last ten days! apart for one tiny shoot which looks well and is producing flower!
Pls help – My pieris has dropped all its leaves within last ten days! though it has one tiny shoot which looks well and is producing flower! Leaves all over ground – initially thought it must be a caterpillar to see so many leaves gone – no caterpillars to be seen – dry summer – sw facing against small brick wall – plant approx 3’6″ tall and almost same girth – use only rain water – recent HEAVY rain – fed with ericaceous feed just once this summer fed twice last summer – normally have not fed over past 21 yrs but given top up ericaceous soil top up or pine needle mulch – pls advise asap
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Here are some interesting facts about this plant:
it is in the ericaceous family, with several diseases (leaf spot, Phytophthora stem infestations) and pests (lacebug, scale, mite, and nematode) that may lead to the decline, dieback, and death of the plant, especially when it is under additional abiotic stresses (alkaline soil pH, wet soils, full sun, etc.) that predispose it to biotic attack.(https://hvp.osu.edu/pocketgardener/source/description/pi_onica.html)
Let's hope it's not that serious, but it's true that excess water can cause leaves to drop: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/plant-dropping-leaves.htm and also makes the plant vulnerable to pests and disease. You should inspect your plant very carefully for signs of infestation.