Ask a Question forum: What's happening to this lupine?

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Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
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Brinybay
Jun 18, 2015 10:43 AM CST
I've watered it regularly and left it in a sunny spot. The flowers fell off, but I just figured it was done blooming. This morning it looks like it's dying.


Thumb of 2015-06-18/Brinybay/1734ee

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 18, 2015 2:43 PM CST
Some perennials (Oriental poppies and tall bearded iris come to mind) have a dormant period after they finish blooming in the summer. But I honestly don't know if lupines are some that do.

I wouldn't give up on the plant just yet, even if all the leaves die down. You may be surprised later in the summer by a whole new flush of leaves. Just hide it away where it will get a little water, and wait. (did we talk about learning patience along with gardening a while back?? Big Grin )

These are the kind of plants you need to interplant with another type that blooms later, like maybe daylilies, so that they will hide the dormant guys while they nap.
Elaine

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 18, 2015 3:40 PM CST
Much of the plant looks fine -- maybe just the earlier leaves are dying and being replaced by new ones?
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Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 18, 2015 5:20 PM CST
Not going to give up on it, no. Nothing's going to DIE on my watch! I'll just leave it be and keep watering it. I usually give everybody a drink in the evening, is that the norm?
"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 18, 2015 5:50 PM CST
Most people think it's healthier for the plants to water in the morning, Greg. The reason, and this applies especially in humid climates but is true everywhere, is that leaving the foliage wet over night is an invitation to fungal infection. If you're able to just flood the soil and root zone, it's not so bad.

Another good reason to water in the mornings is to minimize evaporation. Not such a big concern where you are, I know, but for instance in Utah where I help out in my daughter's garden, the air is so dry and the soil is so hot in the evenings, a lot of the water evaporates before it can reach the plants' roots. Early in the mornings, everything has had all night to cool off so the least evaporation happens.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 18, 2015 6:01 PM CST
I agree with Elaine, morning is best. If you can't do that then you have to do what you can. Watering isn't something that is done on a schedule, especially with outdoor plants in pots, because the weather and therefore water needs vary.

What concerns me in the picture is that the collapsed green leaves appear to be the youngest ones. It may be a camera illusion but there doesn't seem to be much space between the top of the media and the top of the pot for watering, and there also looks to be a gap between the media and the side of the pot as if it has shrunken inwards. If true then I wonder if it's been getting enough water. Does the pot feel light for its size if you lift it?

Just curious, is there a reason for growing it in a pot as opposed to in the ground?
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 18, 2015 6:36 PM CST
sooby said:I agree with Elaine, morning is best. If you can't do that then you have to do what you can. Watering isn't something that is done on a schedule, especially with outdoor plants in pots, because the weather and therefore water needs vary.

What concerns me in the picture is that the collapsed green leaves appear to be the youngest ones. It may be a camera illusion but there doesn't seem to be much space between the top of the media and the top of the pot for watering, and there also looks to be a gap between the media and the side of the pot as if it has shrunken inwards. If true then I wonder if it's been getting enough water. Does the pot feel light for its size if you lift it?

Just curious, is there a reason for growing it in a pot as opposed to in the ground?


You're right on both counts, it's filled to the brim with potting soil and has some "shrinkage". So I'm not giving it enough water? I've got some rosemary that I noticed is also "shrinking" from the side of the pot, but it's not too full.

It's only in a pot because I wasn't sure where to put it. We plan to landscape the front yard, which has the sun it needs, but it wanted to finish the side first. The reason for that is we have to pass through the front to get to the side, and right now I'm making several trips with tools and what-not. I'm sure we can reconsider that because we only need the part next to the house to serve as a through-way to the side, the other part we could start digging up a little at a time.
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Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Jun 18, 2015 6:43 PM CST

Plants Admin

Lupines have deep taproots and are not particularly fond of containers. Perhaps put it in the ground or a bigger pot?
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jun 18, 2015 6:47 PM CST
I agree, get it in the ground ASAP
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 18, 2015 7:05 PM CST
Never a bad idea to slip a plant out of the pot and have a look at the root ball if you think it's in trouble. A lot of potting mix is made of mostly peat moss, which if it dries out is really hard to get wet again. So you can water regularly, and the water disappears into the pot, but it's just going around the solid dry brick of the root ball, not soaking in, if it dried up and solidified at some point.

That was a lot of words to say, when you do plant it in the ground, be sure to break up the ball of potting soil and make sure it's well moistened. Sometimes the plant will need to sit in a bucket of water to get re-hydrated.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 18, 2015 7:40 PM CST
robertduval14 said:Lupines have deep taproots and are not particularly fond of containers. Perhaps put it in the ground or a bigger pot?


In the ground it will go, along with some others, the pots were only temporary anyway. Anita and talked about carving out a spot in the corner of the yard that won't be in the line of traffic and there's plenty of sun. They'll have to survive until my next day off, Sunday.



"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 18, 2015 7:56 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Most people think it's healthier for the plants to water in the morning, Greg. The reason, and this applies especially in humid climates but is true everywhere, is that leaving the foliage wet over night is an invitation to fungal infection. If you're able to just flood the soil and root zone, it's not so bad.


That works for me better too because I work swing hours and like being out in the morning air. By the time I get up, everybody has reached work and it's quiet (less traffic noise).

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 2, 2015 10:00 PM CST
Should I give up hope? I planted it in the ground, kept it watered and even gave it a shot of booster fertilizer, but now there's no green left.
Thumb of 2015-08-03/Brinybay/5446b5

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 3, 2015 7:21 AM CST
Looks like sump'n ate it, Greg. If you break the stem off down lower and there's no green inside, it's dead.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 3, 2015 8:36 AM CST
As in the other thread on azaleas, the soil looks rather dry but maybe that's only on the surface. If you dig down a little with a trowel is it more moist? There are some wilted leaves in the background at the top of the picture, are they attached to anything?

BTW if a plant is too dry giving it fertilizer may make the situation worse.

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