Drought of 1999 - Knowledgebase Question

West Chester, PA
Question by nancy_kenney
July 17, 1999
I am very concerned with the lack of water we are having this year. My grass is completely brown; and my ground cover (Pachysandra) is starting to die. I have a rhododendron shrub, which is showing severe signs of stress. I have already lost my dianthus, and some of my daylilies. Unfortunately I can not water often because I have a well, which is running very, very low. I believe we are soon going to mandatory restrictions. Can you please offer some insight as to else I can be doing to help save my plants (perhaps some nutrients)? I am also seeing some of my younger trees showing signs of stress.




Image
Answer from NGA
July 17, 1999

0

I will also make an effort to water plants that are severely wilted or are wilting early in the day before others that seem to be lackluster but maintaining some level of turgidity. Remember that wilting is worst in the late afternoon, too.

Probably the last thing you should do is fertilize; plants will actually die back to try to balance their tops with their roots/water capacity, so forcing new top growth is harmful during a dry season. You may see trees and shrubs defoliate or shed branches, but do not assume they are totally dead at that point. Sometimes even just one good watering can make the difference. Water them if you can and wait and see -- they may rejuvenate just fine next spring.

I will also make an effort to water plants that are severely wilted or are wilting early in the day before others that seem to be lackluster but maintaining some level of turgidity. Remember that wilting is worst in the late afternoon, too.

Probably the last thing you should do is fertilize; plants will actually die back to try to balance their tops with their roots/water capacity, so forcing new top growth is harmful during a dry season. You may see trees and shrubs defoliate or shed branches, but do not assume they are totally dead at that point. Sometimes even just one good watering can make the difference. Water them if you can and wait and see -- they may rejuvenate just fine next spring.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by bootandall and is called "Aster"