Perennials forum: Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 29, 2012 10:58 AM CST

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I have tried this plant now 5 times and not one has survived. I'm in West TN. Anyone have any tips for keeping it alive when temps get above 80 degrees? Every day another leaf turns black. I really think it shouldn't be sold here.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Apr 29, 2012 11:05 AM CST
I am in Zone 6a and have success with Jack Frost. BUT it doesnt like the heat or the sun
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 29, 2012 11:13 AM CST

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I can't do anything about the heat. It gets hot in the summer. I guess I could dig it up and bring it indoors. However, Perennial Plant of the Year should be tough enough to take 85 degrees!
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Apr 29, 2012 11:47 AM CST
Clint, do you have it planted in the shade? Full shade on the north side of house would probably be the coolest spot. I don't have one because I thought it liked moist soil and I have enough stuff to water. We are just too busy to baby a plant right? If anything around here wants to be babied, it better say it's prayers!! I'll be having a plant funeral for sure. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Susan

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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 29, 2012 11:52 AM CST

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I have tried it full shade. I have tried morning sun only. Nothing works and they turn black over a few weeks. I guess I will just replace it with a fern. They grow there. Lol.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Apr 29, 2012 12:42 PM CST
Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
May 2, 2012 9:11 PM CST
Clint, I've had the same experience. Even in total shade, they croak. I wonder if perhaps they are sensitive to soil temps. I've tried varying the water, using mulch, various light levels, and nothing worked. For about 3 weeks in the spring, while nurseries are selling them, (for $10 apiece!) they look great. First sign of hot weather or even a hot dry wind, and they are toast. Our humidity is fairly low here, and yours is higher, so that's not the key. My best guess is they need cool, slightly dry soil and humid air?

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H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
May 2, 2012 9:19 PM CST
All the brunnera just thrive here in Western Washington. We have acid soil. Would they just be going dormant and come back in the spring since you get so hot. We never get that hot. Just some ideas.
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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
May 2, 2012 9:46 PM CST
Hmmm we're alkaline. Have not read anything about a strong ph preference, but then my soil isn't all that far off neutral. My mother is able to grow them in Kansas City, but they don't winter over for her. The humidity is higher there. I don't know about winter hardiness here because I can't get them through the summer. It isn't dormancy- the leaves turn black, shrivel up, and the root disappears.
We don't have soil nematodes or anything like that.
Actually now that i think about it, they end up on the clearance rack in the stores within 2 weeks of shipment. That would make me think it's the dry air, or hot roots in the pots?
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H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
May 2, 2012 10:29 PM CST

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I think it's the heat that kills them. I can't believe these won Perennial Plant of the Year. They die before June and they don't return the next year. Something's not right in the way they are choosing those awards. Group hug
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
May 2, 2012 10:31 PM CST
I'll poke my nose in. I'm zone 5b...we often have 90+ degrees for 2 or 3 months in the summer so heat shouldn't be the problem. We have alkaline soil and low humidity. I grow it on the north of the house and on the west where it is under pine trees and gets late afternoon sun. It is happy here. This plant is several year old.
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
May 2, 2012 10:44 PM CST

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We do have higher humidity, but it could be a combination of things. There are many conversations online of people talking about problems with these plants though. Some people complain of nemotodes. Others say their plant goes dormant in the summer. Some say their plants just don't return after winter. I have never seen a perennial this difficult to grow here. It grows much the way Delphiniums do. They won't grow here either. I bet they do well in similar zones.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
May 3, 2012 2:39 AM CST
Well they say their good to zone 8 but maybe not. Hummmm. Blinking
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
May 3, 2012 7:25 AM CST
That's good info, Paul. I wonder if they get better drainage under the pine trees? My nursery catalog says they need shade and "moist, well-drained" soil.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
May 3, 2012 7:44 AM CST

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They sure are picky. They also are a host for nemotodes.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
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virginiarose
May 3, 2012 6:06 PM CST
Well maybe that is what is eating them. Green Grin!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
May 3, 2012 6:33 PM CST
virginiarose said:Clint, do you have it planted in the shade? Full shade on the north side of house would probably be the coolest spot. I don't have one because I thought it liked moist soil and I have enough stuff to water. We are just too busy to baby a plant right? If anything around here wants to be babied, it better say it's prayers!! I'll be having a plant funeral for sure. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing


Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Thumbs up

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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
May 3, 2012 6:43 PM CST
I have mine under a Magnolia Tree, which gets morning sun only. I think I have two 'mother' plants. They are in the same area. It has even reseeded itself, cuz I have at least one (that I can remember right now) baby plant of it. Mine is a 'few to several' years old'. Thumbs up

The first link seems to be the happiest that I have. These are pics of two or three plants......











Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
May 3, 2012 6:59 PM CST

Moderator

Maybe I can baby one and keep it out of Jack Frost Heaven.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
May 3, 2012 10:21 PM CST
nodding Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


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