The Q&A Archives: Helichrysum Plants Shriveled Up Last Year

Question: One helichrysum was in a window box, receiving both sun and shade. The other was in a container where afternoon sun is prevalent. Both plants shriveled, turned very dark and died. Each plant was purchased at different times from different nurseries. I would like to use helichrysum again this year but want to know the proper way to care for them before I start.

Answer: Helichrysum takes full sun, so that shouldn't be a problem. First, make sure the plants aren't rootbound when you buy them. Gently loosen the root system, if it is wrapped around itself, before planting. Otherwise, the roots keep growing around and around, rather than out into the soil where they can take up nutrients and water. Next, make sure that when you water, the entire root system is being moistened, and that the water isn't just pouring down the side of the container for example. Containers can dry out quickly in the sun and may need to be watered daily. Put a layer of mulch on top of the soil to help retain moisture. You didn't mention if there were other plants in the containers and if they did well or not. Container plants quickly use up nutrients in the soil, so they need to be fertilized regularly. Water thoroughly before and after applying fertilizer to help prevent fertilizer burn, which can "dry up" plants. I hope this info helps.

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