My newly planted Van Cherry is drooping after a week in the ground

This is my newly planted Van Cherry, a week after planting. It droops during the daytime, and revives at night. Actually, it drooped in the pot that I bought it in when I watered it for the night before I planted it. I planted a Montmoncery cherry in exactly the same way and similar place, and it is looking fine. (see second photo)


Should I continue to hope for my Van, or try to get a replacement? I am wondering if it has root rot. I have never had a tree look so droopy after a full week in the ground. Thanks for any suggestions and ideas. Peggy

Don’t give it any fertilizer. Make sure it gets some water in the morning or evening, or just on the ground during the day. It might need to grow more roots to keep up with the leaves. It should be fine. Most everything wilts in the heat of the day. The rootstock might not like being wet if you water all the time. I like to water in the morning because it gives it time to dry up for the night. A wet area will attract pesty insects and moths during the night if everything else is dry.

You should check the trunk behind your tape and make sure it’s not oozing sap. Bores can cause this to happen too. If you find holes poke a wire in to kill the bore.

That is a good idea about checking for the borers. I will do that. Actually, I have not watered it at all since I planted it, as the ground it is planted in has some clay in it, and the ground will stay moist for at least a week. I will hold off on any fertilizer. I too am hoping that it is just needing to root. Thanks Peggy

If you haven’t watered in a week it’s just dry. Try watering every 2-3 days or whenever it wilts. When you plant this late in the yr you almost have to treat it like it’s still in a pot until it can put out roots into the surrounding soil. The surrounding soil may stay moist for a week but that little rootball won’t and that’s all it’s pulling water from right now.

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Well, the odd thing is, Fruit Nut is that it perks up at night, and remember that it wilted in the pot when I DID water it.

Perking up at night indicates heat being the problem. If it was overwatered in the container it might exhibit the symptoms described due to the roots just not keeping up.

I have clay loam over clay and my ground stays wet a long time. I did have a tree planted this year that did droop (a lot) during the day. I did dig it up and get it out of the ground but only because we were having heavy rains. It didn’t have the root structure it needed. After 3-4 weeks in a pot it looked good enough to replant and the root structure had increased significantly. There was no more drooping and it has gone through more heavy rains now with no problem.

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Thanks Kathryn, I am thinking that that is the trouble with this plant too. I noticed at the nursery that other Van Cherrys were a bit droopy. It is starting to perk up a bit and think that it is starting to get rooted. We are in the desert, so too much rain is not our problem…

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I read an article once about people using shade screens in the desert to protect there plants. The screens were black and looked like panty hose type material x landscape fabric. The same article had pictures of the family growing other things that were sun sensitive as understory plants below date palms. The date palms were gorgeous.

Thanks clarkinks. I do use shade screen on my lettuce, and it works. My little tree is ever so slowly taking root apparently, because the droopiness is less and less.

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Use some shade screen. I’m having the same issue with a minnie royal in inland San Diego county — too much sun intensity combined with too little air humidity and too little root development to balance the effects of transpiration.