The Q&A Archives: Dehydrated Perennials

Question: Are Rudbeckia Goldsturm, Echinacea, and Asclepias viable if dehydrated?

Answer: The answer to your question depends on how long they have been dry and how dry they really are, as well as at what temperature they have been held. If they are in pots, try submerging the pots in water until they are saturated, then allowing them to drain freely, then keep the soil evenly moist yet not sopping wet, place them in a sheltered location outdoors but above freezing temperatures and see if the plants recover. Alternatively, water them by soaking as above, then plant them in the garden and keep the soil moist but not sopping wet and see if they sprout. If they are bare root, soak the roots in tepid water for several hours to try to rehydrate them, then plant them in prepared soil, water them well, apply several inches of mulch and allow them several weeks to show signs of life. In the meantime, keep the soil moist but not sopping wet. (Natural rain may be sufficient.) Note that asclepias normally emerges in very late spring, so you may need to allow longer for that one.

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