The Q&A Archives: Re; Diablo Ninebark

Question: We purchased several plants from our local nursery a couple of months ago (Mid-july '06). The Rhododendrons and Diablos were from your company. We have a beautiful memorial garden for our son in the back yard. We have a large variety of plants that are doing very well - Roses, Rhodies / Weeping Cherry / Japanese grass / Hostas, Hydrangeas, etc.
Both of the Diablos that were purchased have since not survived. We follow the planting procedure closely, according to the instructions
provided, for everything we plant. My wife and I were quite shocked that both Diablos perished so quickly.
What signs should we have been looking for that would cause a specific species to perish where others thrive? What other type of plant may be better suited for this type of garden? The garden is approx. 200 sq. ft. It faces Northwest and is in the sun for most of the day.
Thank you,
Ron King
968 Hanna Road
Manchester, MO 63021

Answer: Your memorial garden sounds absolutely lovely. I am sorry you had trouble with the ninebarks. Generally these are fairly easy to grow and tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. Without knowing symptoms, it is difficult to make a guess as to what might have happened. I would suggest you consult with the retailer where you purchased them to see if they are aware of any particular problems with this plant in your local area, and also to see if there was a warranty on the plants. Your local county extension might also have suggestions. Based on your description of the garden, however, you may find that as the remaining plants mature and fill out you do not need these -- depending on the specific cultivars you are growing, you may find the garden is already quite full!

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