Forsythia Bush Is Droopy And Looks Like It Needs Water

Question From: C. Thornock - Brigham City, Utah, United States
Q: I have a forsythia here in Utah. Every once in a while it would droop and I'd run the hose out to it and with in a few hours it would perk-up. The problem is that this week, it happened again this week. but this time it didn't perk-up; it stayed droopy and looked like it still needed water! All the water and fertilizer since the beginning of the week has does nothing. What am I doing wrong?

A: Clayton, Fertilizing a wilted plant is the worst possible thing you can do to it, especially if you are using a chemical fast release formula. An animal may have tunneled under the shrub exposing the roots and drying them out. Herbicide drift may also be a problem. Water is an issue - the problem, you need to find out. It happened too many times, the stressed plant died. I suggest you have a professional look at the area. What's happening to the plants surrounding this shrub? How often do you water, how much, do you mulch? These are all questions you need to answer. Thanks for visiting Yardener. Best, Nancy.

Q: We really don't have burrowing animals like you would in the east. Herbicide sift is a possibility, but it is extremely remote. More than likely it's a a fungus, which we do have here. Is there a fungicide that you would recommend on a forsythia?

A: The fact that it perked up when you watered leads me to believe it was a water issue. Having weakened over time it may have become infected by the fungus *Sclerotinia sclerotiorum*. But it starts in a couple of branches and then spreads. It's recommended that you remove the infected branches, disinfecting your pruners with rubbing alcohol after each cut. Then treat with a fungicide that contains flutolanil and thiophanate methyl, repeating every ten days. Spectracide 51000 Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide would work. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy