Ask a Question forum: Dying delosperma

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jun 13, 2014 7:45 PM CST
Three varieties of my delosperma are dying off. They get a black fuzzy section and rot. It is kind of like damping off also on some of the stems. The plant doctor at the foo foo nursery told me it is just too wet and humid. We have had some rain. But all of these have excellent drainage. And there have been times we've had lots more rain and it has not been a problem. One variety is yellow with short stubby 'leaves'. I've had it the longest and I have it in 5 different places. Two areas are totally unaffected. Two areas are in very bad shape (one so much that I completely removed it). The last area is just starting to "rot".

It has also affected my Firespinner! I thought to a lesser degree. But this morning I noticed a second section of it going bad.

And finally this moring I see my brand new orange one is now affected. It has only been planted out two weeks ago!

These were taken about ten days ago
Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/a351ca Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/1c2f67

Taken this morning
Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/7daa1e Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/2d0d4c
Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/bec8bc Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/15a112

I decided to take sections of healthy areas on Firespinner and the orange one (plenty of unaffected yellow out there), pot them up and put them under our glass table on the patio so I can contol the moisture. Hopefully this will work and I will have a back up if I totally lose the plants in the ground.

I also removed all dead or dying parts. I used rubber gloves and changed them in between varieties. I sprinkled the ground with cinnamon ( my go to for fungul issues), put chicken grit under the remaining plants, and then sprinkled with cinnamon again! Hopefully it will work! And hopefully my five other varieties will not become infected!

Finished product
Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/142e21 Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/1f2836
Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/b8a9e0 Thumb of 2014-06-14/jvdubb/e0bdb3

Does anyone have any other ideas? @clintbrown I hear you are the expert on delosperma.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jun 14, 2014 6:55 AM CST
Yes, too much moisture. It's likely that you're having a bad problem now, relative to wetter times, because the spores for that particular disease speceis is so plentiful, due to it's proliferation in your garden, rather than blowing in from somewhere else. Without knowing which disease it is, it's hard to know if cinnamon will help. Not a lot you can do about it in your climate, but the fact that the delosperma are growing with other non-suculent perennials or cactus that are doing well tells me that the soil and overall conditions for any delosperma will be problematic in the long run. They definitely don't want rich or moisture retentive soil, and would otherwise bloom more prolifically. Perhaps grow them in a permanent pot or trough.
Thumb of 2014-06-14/Leftwood/e8baa9

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jun 14, 2014 7:11 AM CST
Thank you @Leftwood , Rick. Boo hoo, not good news for me Sad

A permanent container would be awesome but I'm afraid low on the list of possibilities right now.

I'll just do what I can and keep my fingers crossed.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jun 14, 2014 7:04 PM CST
I think adding lots more small gravel/rocks and maybe even a larger grain of sand would help. I see you have a lot of organic material in the soil where they are growing, that may contribute to whatever the spores are.
Will be interesting to see how they do when adding the sand and gravel.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Jun 15, 2014 9:36 AM CST
I have had better luck with them since I started using Cactus soil with some added sand.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 15, 2014 11:20 AM CST
If your cuttings stay healthy, you could look for a new spot for them where the sprinklers don't water very well.

Build a little raised area using cactus soil plus sand, and plant them so that they get as little rain as possible, under a south-facing overhang, for example? Sunny and dry.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jun 15, 2014 1:01 PM CST
I agree
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
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jvdubb
Jun 15, 2014 5:20 PM CST
I have two new ones I still have not planted out. I will try cactus soil and sand and maybe grit.

Thank you all for your input!

So far the rot has abated. We'll see what happens this week. Supposed to rain.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jun 15, 2014 8:14 PM CST
Jennifer, you might want to look at this:
https://www.nargs.org/reference/soil-rock-gardens-and-trough...

In the third paragraph I talk about an experience I had with Delosperma nubigenum.
[Last edited by Leftwood - Jun 16, 2014 8:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Jun 15, 2014 8:22 PM CST
Thanks Rick!

That explains why my yellow delopsperma did not bloom until this, the third year.

I know that some plants require a lean soil. I always make sure my penstemons get lean soil. But for some reason I never thought about it for Delosperma. I just always made sure they had VERY well draining soil and situation. Now I know better and I should have better luck with them
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jun 16, 2014 3:02 PM CST
Have you noticed if any of your neighbors are having the same issue? In the area I live in, we developed some type of fungus in the soil that wiped out acres upon acres of Delosporum over a 2 year period - and these were areas that had been planted many (10+) years back. Your photos look very similar - especially that "patching" effect.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Jun 17, 2014 11:30 AM CST
Only one other neighbor grows Delosperma. She only has a little bit. She does not have a problem.

So far there has been no more die off. BUT it has been dry. We have a chance of rain every day this week. So we'll see what happens. I took pictures of every Delosperma that I have so I have a record to compare future growth to.

I debated digging up the problematic plants and replacing the soil around them. So far I have decided against this. I figured it will only stir up the fungus in the soil.

My sections that I removed and potted up do not look very good. But hopefully they are just pouting and will perk up soon. And hopefully I will not even lose the original plants.

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