Wilted Plants, Dead Plants – It’s Avoidable

GardenWise – Container Plants that Don’t Defy Odds

We love a quick Q&A, especially when the question involves some- thing a gardener sees with their eye that actually doesn’t match with what’s really happening.  Here’s the question:  

Q. I have a dracaena spike plant that is in a porch-railing container outside. I am amazed that it’s still alive and looking great. I read an article that said it will stay evergreen in zones 9-10, but I live in zone 5, and we have had some very cold weather.  I have the plant facing west and I haven’t watered it since late fall. Do you know why it’s still alive?

 

It’s so important to remember that the best way to avoid wilted plants and dead plants duirng winter is to bring ’em in, which we wrote about earlier.  We’re afraid that the  Dracaena is frozen and just appears to be alive. Once warm weather returns, it will start to deteriorate.  Many folks have had this happen with dracaenas and many other  plants left outside during winter.  They looked good, and as you observed, appeared to be alive. But in spring the plants wilted and turned to mush once they thawed.  

Now is a good time to think about how you want to fill that container, and do yourself a favor . . . add a note on your November 2011 calendar reminding you to bring in your containers!

 

September Gardening List Day THREE

 

This weekend it’s all about September Gardening.  There are so many things to do this month that we’ve decided to make it a three day event.  Today, it’s all about water and your garden spaces. 

WATER 

· Maintain the water level in your water garden. Keep fountains and water features properly maintained.  As we approach winter, be sure your water features and are in good working order before you drain them and turn them off as the colder weather approaches.   

· Replenish mulches around trees and shrubs, and water every two to four days, three times a week if possible. 

· Late summer. Mature trees can lose hundreds of gallons of water daily through transpiration; unless this lost moisture is replaced, the trees will lose fruit and leaves.  Be sure to water the trunk of your trees and the upper canopies as well.  Water generously this month, especially after the hot summer we had this year.  Mow around the trees to remove vegetation that can use the trees’ moisture.  Mowing also creates a smooth surface for harvesting.     

·A dry month.   September can be very dry, so keep a close eye on the moisture in your container plants. It doesn’t take but one severe wilting of the plants to ruin the quality of the container display.