Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tribulation on the Thirteenth-A Rocket that Didn't Get Off the Ground

Photo Courtesy of Westwood Gardens Blog
Or a Languishing Ligularia

Pick your own title. Every 13th of the month, Professor Rush @ Garden Musings will have a garden blog get- together dealing with tribulation in the garden. Join him in sharing about boo-boo's in your garden. In that vein I bring you Ligularia stenocephaia 'the Rocket". While gleaning through the perennial section in a upscale nursery in Wichita, I came upon this shade torlerant beast called the Rocket. It was grown by Greenleaf Wholesale Nursery in Oklahoma and looked very sturdy and had many blossoms ready to bloom. I needed a shade tolerant species to fill an area in back of the shade border. Eureka, I thought! Brought it home. Planted it under the Red Oak tree and went on my merry way. : ) :) (This was early summer) Yes that's two smiles that day. I noticed the next morning the Rocket was wilting. No beg deal I thought, new plant, more water. That afternoon: wilt. Hmmm. This ain't good. Next day, same thing.
 You know the story from here. Love the plant hate the sin. Just won't give it up. I believe the technical term is that it has a higher evapo-transpiration rate than the roots ability to keep up with in this planting zone.  Arghhhh. However I wouldn't give up, watered it every morning and night. Flagged it so I wouldn't forget.

Even bought some sister varieties of Ligularia -photos above-to keep it company during the 100 degree days of July and August. Ha...nothing staved off the inevitable-photo below.
 Notice the stake and flag? Marking the plant for watering and a soaker hose to run 1/2 day. As they say on the NFL football TV show: COME ON MAN!!!!!!! Dead, never to be tried again!!!! A thousand gallons later.


16 comments:

  1. It's a shame as I think they are neat flowers, but haven't gotten any here either. Of course this seems to be an unreal year to keep things alive, especially new ones.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  2. Too Bad. Yellows are so delightful and "sunny" in the garden. It is raining in Texas. Yea!!!!!!

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  3. I take a lesson from your experience ... no Ligularia for me! I'm having pretty much the same trouble with Rogersia, but it dies and limps back the following year. This would be okay if it were an ephemeral, but it's not. I believe I will give its prime location to a plant that wants to live there.

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  4. I hate it when that happens! I'm a pretty tough love gardener. If a plant is quite determined to die despite my efforts, I let it. Have you tried eupatorium 'Chocolate' for partial shade? It does really well. So does diervilla. Linaria (toadflax) can also take lt. shade. All three attract wildlife.

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  5. Great Post Greggo! Love the plant hate the sin is right. And thanks for posting on Thirteenth Tribulations!

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  6. Cute post. Lessons learned are expensive, time consuming, and heart breaking. :( It's pretty! I would have picked it up in a heartbeat, too. Sorry it died so quickly. It could have at least lingered on for a while!

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  7. But maybe you drowned it... :)

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  8. Here's what I did for a plant needing similar constantly moist conditions. Gave up trying to grow it in the ground here in TX but wanted one sooo badly that I made a boggy habitat in a pot and put the pot where I wanted the plant. Two years later, it's still okay. Can't do anything about the heat this year, however, so it's not at its best in the afternoons even in shade, but it's hanging in there. Had to compromise by using the pot, but that's okay. I have pots to fill in empty spaces in the garden from time to time anyway.

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  9. All:
    I read in a discussion thread where someone took a pond liner and buried it in the ground, added the ligularia, soil and created a bog garden. And it did great. who knows. I'm not trying with this one again. Probably will stick with L.dentata.

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  10. What a waste..such lovely sunny little rockets too!

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  11. I hate when that happens...when I work so hard to 'save' it but to no avail. I am so sorry your efforts were in vain. We all have those boo boo stories.

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  12. oh too bad. Not sure they like the heat. I know they love shade with moist soil so I try to make sure they get it ...even still sometimes they don't bloom. This a new meme that I will have to try. thx Greggo

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  13. Or just take a black plastic garbage bag and punch holes in it. Line your planting hole with in, put in the dirt and plant. The plastic liner will hold the moisture. No need for a pond liner. I've seen this technique recommended in a few sources.
    Eupatorium chocolate: even in zone 5b-6 it will seed everywhere. Fine if you want to be plucking seedlings out of you lawn. The seedlings are often much greener than the parent.
    Lilgularia Britt Marie Crawford doesn't wilt badly, nor does Desdemona, not sure about othello. Orangey, yellow flowers, though. But the foliage is so much more interesting than "the Rocket"

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  14. You took an hard work together with this plant...

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  15. Wow...you have determination! I try to avoid getting plants that require lots of moisture...have lost a few over the years.

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Thanks for leaving any comments, they are always welcomed. Sorry I had to add word verification as spam was becoming a huge problem. Greggo,