The Q&A Archives: Euryops Pectinatus

Question: I planted a beautiful golden daisy shrub last spring. It was pruned like a tree, standing about 5 feet tall with a topiary of beautiful flowers. It is starting to "die back" - the leaves are turning brown and it has stopped blooming. I'm not sure what to do to protect it this winter since it has this long trunk above the root system. When this plant "dies back" completely what will it look like? I'm a new gardener and am not entirely sure what this term means. I know this is a tender perennial, but we generally have mild winters here so I would like to try and keep it alive. I just have trouble determining what is the natural cycle of the plant (i.e. "dieback?") versus signs taht it might be in distress.

Answer: Euryops is a member of the aster family and is native to South Africa. It is often trained as a tree, with a long, bare trunk and a puff of foliage at the top. It blooms over a long season, especially if the spent flowers are kept off. As a warm region plant, it is compromised by cool weather and can be damaged by frost. If you can keep the plant indoors during the coolest months of the year, returning it outdoors in the spring, you'll be able to enjoy your Eryops for many years. Doing so will keep the tops green, and may even provide some wintertime flowers.

General care includes full sunshine and very little water, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. If your weather remains above freezing, you can keep the plant outdoors all year long.

The foliage shouldn't die back at this time of year, unless the plant has been overwatered or is not receiving the direct sunlight it craves. Since it is a perennial, however, it should develop new stems and foliage when the weather warms in the spring. You can cut back the dead foliage and store the plant in a protected place, such as in a garage, during the winter months, returning it outdoors as soon as the weather warms.

Hope this answers your questions!

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