The Q&A Archives: Breath of heaven diying

Question: I planted 14 of these shrubs in my back yard around my patio. They where doing well for a couple of months, then one by one they are dying. They get regular water. Any thoughts?


Answer: Coleonema (Breath of Heaven) is a medium to large sized billowy shrub to 6-10 feet tall and as wide with aromatic soft needle-like leaves and small star-like pink flowers spring through the fall. The flowers are held at the ends of slender branches that move with the wind. This plant grows best in full sun to part shade with regular watering although it can be surprisingly drought resistant once established. Avoid heavy soils unless on a slope and do not over water. It is hardy to about 20 degrees F. If your plants have been happy and suddenly look sick, I'd suspect overwatering or poorly draining soils. You might check to see just how wet the soil remains and for how long after your regular method of watering. Wait 3-4 days after watering and dig down 3-4 inches. If the soil is still quite moist, it isn't draining quickly enough. If it is barely damp, it's draining okay and you can wait another 3-4 days before watering again. If it is very dry, you're not watering deeply enough to suit the roots. If this is the case, build a watering basin beneath each plant; when its time to water, fill the basin, allow it to drain, then fill it a second time. Watering in this way concentrates the moisture directly over the root mass and allow it to trickle down and completely wet the root mass.

Hope this information helps!

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