James282
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

several perennial questions!

Hello all, I am a first time home-owner and since I have always been a nature-lover, I have tried to dive right into planting perrenials. I have had problems with several different types of plants and was hoping that some of you could share your vast experiences with me! Here are the problems I am having, responses on any would be greatly appreciated!

1) I planted origami columbines in front of my home where they get a good amount of sunlight. I was told they were full-sun to part sun plants so I didn't think there would be any issues. The first set of blooms were fantastic(but they were already blooming at the nursery when I got them). Unfortunately, the leaves on the bottom of the plants are turning brown/black and the second round of blooms I am having are much smaller, more brittle, and far fewer. Any advice??

2) I planted coreopsis in my back yard, but I noticed that both of my plants have what I can only describe as "broken necks," the stems have given way and instead of standing tall they now are bent in half and looking kind of sad.

3) I planted two hydrangea bushes in locations with identical soil and sun. I planted them both when they were about 5 inches tall. One has flourished and is now 14-15 inches tall, while the other has continually had brown or black leaves, and looks like it's on its last legs. I have cut away all the brown in an effort to save it, but it doesn't look good. I water them nearly every day unless it rains...is there something obvious I am missing here?

4) The blanket flowers I planted are much the same story. One is looking pretty good, the other dropped its pedals almost immediately and looks very bare. I was thinking about dead-heading them but wanted to make sure this was wise first.


Thanks so much for your help!

James

James282
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Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

after looking on the USDA website, the "origami" columbines are actually "fan columbines," if that helps anyone help me!

James

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Jess
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:50 pm
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Hi James :D

Glad you clarified the columbines as I now know they are the same as we grow here.
They have finished for this year. You normally get one lot of flowers that finish around June and then you wait until next year. You are very lucky to get a second flush.

Are the Coreopsis stems broken or just limp and hanging? If limp I am guessing shallow overwatering as you mentioned watering every day which is excessive but depending on how much can mean the roots come up to get the surface water rather than going down deeply which is better for the plants. The coreopsis could be rotting at the base of the trunk and still be dry at the roots. The second hydrangea is probably the same. Try watering deeply once a week and see if they pick up. Stick your fingers in the soil around your plants to see how deeply the water has penetrated after you water. You may be surprised at how dry the soil is.
I would deadhead the blanket flower and check the watering on that too.

There is one other thing that could possibly be causing them to wilt. Did you purchase them from an indoor or outdoor area? If indoor the difference in temperature could have knocked them back.
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

James282
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Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Wow Jess, thank you so much for the thorough reply!


It sounds like I have cared a little too much for my new plants :) Shallow overwatering is almost certainly what must be going on... Today I gave them all a very thorough deep watering and I am going to wait a week and see how they do.

I purchased all of my plants from an outdoor area.

It looks like I just have to remember the whole patience thing when it comes to gardening...I want to be out there fixing and doing every day when all my plants probably need is some time to relax! I think I got a little nervous since it was 95 degrees+ here for several days and overdid the watering...I will take your advice and let you know how it turns out!

Thanks!

James

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Jess
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You are very welcome. :D

You sound so enthusiastic I am sure you will create a thriving garden.

It is very hard indeed to be patient when you start a new garden. I still go out every day to see what is new and 'walk the plot'.
Just remember this little saying when it comes to plants...
The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap.
Keep that in mind when you buy a plant that says it will be 6ft in three years. It really will be!
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

James282
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Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Hey Jess, thanks so much for the help! My wife and I loved the saying that you passed along. We had never heard it before and it really is appropriate. You would never have a baby and expect it to look and act like a teenager in the first few months - and I suppose plants are the same way! I will let you know how things turn out. Thanks again!

James

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