Ask a Question forum: Verbena plant wet roots

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Placida, Fl. 33946. Southwest
Apr 24, 2017 8:45 AM CST
I bought a purple verbena plant in the store 1/2 price; it was not blooming much but otherwise looked fairly healthy. I gave it lots of sun & watered when dry.
It turned out beautiful. I decided to create my own plant arrangement in a 22" wide bowl with drain holes & a large saucer. I thought I would take a risk & divide my verbena so I would have some for each side of the bowl. I also divided a geranium & aged some Bucopa & a spike plant in the middle. It looked beautiful for a while. The verbena started to wilt & get some leaves turned brown. I had been watering regularly but noticed that the water in the saucer was not evaporating so I figured it might be root rot from sitting in the water too long. I got rid of water in saucer & raised up the bowl with some wood pieces so that the air could get to it. I stopped watering for a few days but I think it was too late the soil in the bowl wood not get dry. I took all the plant's out & replanted them in separate pots with new dry soil & compost. They all look okay except one pot of verbena is looking very droopy. I am afraid to water them. Should I take the droopy verbena plant & take all the old soil away from its roots? Dry them out on newspapers or do you think it is too late? Thanks much!
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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
Apr 24, 2017 9:20 AM CST
I wouldn't haul it out of the pot and disturb the roots any more. Just maybe give it a haircut - cut off all the spent blooms and maybe cut each stem back an inch or so. Leave it in the shade for a week or so to recover and water very sparingly. If you start to see new growth, then you have new roots developing and it should make it. Otherwise, it may be a goner.

Btw, in my experience with verbena, they keep growing and blooming better if you always cut off the spent flowers right away.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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