Ask a Question forum: Newly planted Starburst Clerodendrum not doing well.

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Apr 7, 2015 11:04 AM CST
Planted last weekend, added potting soil, watered a few times, but it is very wilted & looks like crap. It's in full sun which shouldn't be the issue.

Any suggestions? It had 3 nice flowers on it when I brought it home.

Thanks in advance,
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Apr 7, 2015 12:39 PM CST
I think just transplant shock; Clerodendrons tend to do that. I would just nurse it along.
It is pretty impossible to kill these, in my experience.

Apr 7, 2015 12:45 PM CST
OK great thanks for the info. A big relief!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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Apr 7, 2015 2:13 PM CST
I agree, Shooting Star (Clerodendrum quadriloculare) is almost impossible to kill and like Cashmere Bouquet (Clerodendrum bungei) they produce many suckers and have invasive tendencies.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Apr 7, 2015 5:46 PM CST
But given how warm and sunny it's been lately, I'd consider giving it a little shade for a few days until it perks up. A piece of shade cloth or frost cloth, or even a few palm fronds stuck into the ground around the plant will help it out. The flowers on mine are just about done for the year now so you shouldn't expect those on your plant to stay too much longer anyway.

Just because a plant says 'full sun' on the label, doesn't mean a baby plant with a small root system can go directly out into the blazing sun without a transition period. Once it perks up and starts to show some new growth, you could gradually ease it out into the sun, but it's probably spent a good deal of its life (if not all) in a greenhouse, where it would have controlled temperature, no wind, high humidity, plenty of water and probably the shade of nearby plants to keep its roots cool.

Another mistake a lot of people make is planting so called "drought tolerant" plants out into their garden, then assuming they never will need supplemental water again. Any plant newly transplanted needs water every day for the first week or two, depending upon how hot the weather is. Then as it gets its new roots out into the native soil, you can gradually withdraw the supplemental water, but especially in spring and fall when it can be very hot and not rain for weeks, you will always need to keep an eye out for all your plants to have drought stress. I have lots of "drought tolerant" plants in my yard, but no plant ever goes more than a week without a drink, if it doesn't rain.

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Apr 7, 2015 9:47 PM CST
I agree with everything dyzzypyxxy wrote. Give the plant some shade and some tender loving care for several days. The plant worked hard to produce flowers and now it is a bit shocked and needs to work to produce new roots.

plantladylin is correct about it producing suckers; about a year from now you will be giving away babies like crazy. Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Apr 8, 2015 7:01 AM CST
I have no experience with clerodendrons, but just wondering, was it planted bare-root or purchased established in a pot? If in a pot, was the pot well-watered before planting? Planting a plant from a pot without watering it first can result in wilting if the potting medium was very dry - just watering after planting often doesn't remedy that situation. I'm just wondering what the added potting soil was for, backfill of a bare-root plant?

Apr 8, 2015 7:15 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy; I took your advice & created a shade-shield w/ some palm fronds.

Sooby; It was an 'established' plant in a pot when I acquired it. I had it for a week or so before planting, & watered it every other day. Though the flowers are gone & the leaves are wilted, the trunk & branches are still viable. Thanks again everyone for the tips, I really appreciate it!


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