The Q&A Archives: brunnera

Question: Purchased brunnera Jack Frost in May and planted in large pot on full shaded porch. Watered regularly, fertilized every other week. Plant looked great until mid-June. Leaves & stems breaking at ground level, almost seemed to rot away. Tried more sun exposure, less watering-no use. Do they like more acidic soil? Did I overwater? Would like to try it again but need to know more about this plant. Would Hadspen Cream or Looking Glass be hardier?

Answer: What you describe sounds like crown rot, brought on by overly moist (poorly draining) soil. Brunnera like moisture but requires fast-draining soils. In your growing region, they prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. If you try again, use a good grade potting soil and make sure there's adequate drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Water throughly, then allow the top half-inch of soil to dry before watering again. The key is to have the potting soil damp but not soggy wet. Stick your finger down into the soil; if it is still moist 2" beneath the soil surface, you won't need to water for a day or two. If it's dry, it's time to water again. Hope this information helps you grow healthy Brunnera!

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