Ask a Question forum: Are my rose campion plants dead?

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Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
Garden Ideas: Master Level
Apr 27, 2015 2:48 PM CST
This my seem like an odd question, but how do you tell if a rose campion plant is dead? Last summer I had green leafy plants from seeds sown in the spring. This year I should have flowers, but I really don't know about that. The plants are not mushy, not shriveled, and are still kind of leafy. Yet, a lot of the leaves are very yellowed, especially in the center. Will the plants produce new leaves? We had a very hard winter with a lot of snow cover. Could the plants be suffering from root rot? Thanks for any info.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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Apr 27, 2015 3:58 PM CST
Jane, can you take a photo and upload it here so that folks can actually get a view of what's going on with the plant? I'm not real familiar with Rose Campion (Silene coronaria) From what I've read it is a short-lived Perennial or Biennial plant but they readily reseed. Have you perhaps had a lot of rain lately which could be causing the roots to retain too much moisture? They like moist soil but not soggy so the issue could be water related. Hopefully someone who grows that pretty plant will pop in with advice.

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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May 1, 2015 9:23 PM CST
Hi Jane,

Yellowed leaves and centers in Rose Campion are usually signs of too much wet, yes; however, I have had plants recover from it. Much of that depends on how low the crown is in the soil though, so if it does seem too low you might scrape or pull away a bit of soil from as near the crown as you deem safe and on outward, gradually descending as you go, to form a cone-shaped depression around the rootball. This will allow spring rains to flow outward and away from the crown. Try not to loosen any soil around the plant, just scrape it back. Loose soil will just gather more water. If there's mulch around it, clear it away.

Good luck!
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