The Q&A Archives: when are sizzling pink flowers dead?

Question: Our landscaper planted sizzling pink flowers in our yard in Tucson. One of three froze and never made it. The other two are green but have not changed in the last 7 months in color or have flowered. Is there anything we can do to save the plant?

Answer: If the foliage is still green, it sounds like the two remaining plants are alive. Lack of the expected foliage color may be the result a variety of things, such as sun exposure not being exactly to the plant's liking. Although these plants are described as taking full sun, in the low desert they tend to do better with protection from hot afternoon sun. However, a shadier location may negatively affect the foliage color. It's a bit of a catch-22. Our winter has been quite cold. These plants can bloom sporadically, but tend to bloom most in the spring. Another factor is our alkaline soil. They prefer a more organically rich, somewhat acidic soil. When temperatures start to warm up in early spring, you might try using a product such as Miracid. (Don't fertilize now, which will promote tender new growth that is susceptible to frost damage.) Apply an organic mulch such as compost around the base of the plant to maintain soil moisture, and as it decomposes, it will add some nutrients to the soil. I hope this info helps.

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