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When is a dead plant not dead ?

TootsietimTootsietim Posts: 178

This last winter's very cold weather (unusually so for Norfolk in recent years ) 'killed' a number of borderline hardy plants in my garden, or so I thought.

Melianthus major was cut right back by frost and resolutely refused to reshoot until early May.

Salvia 'amistad' (?) appeared to be dead, but has now started to reshoot literally within the last two weeks.

Penstemon 'King George V' put up it's first new shoot this week.

I suspect that there is a profound lesson to learn here....something about patience and the tenacity of life perhaps.


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,869
    The most important virtue that all gardeners need to cultivate is patience.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • I thought the weather had killed off my dwarf banana, outside no protection, but it has thrown up a shoot, I also thought I had lost my ginger lilies but no, late they may be, but they are all growing. The same applied to a small angels fishing rod, dierama, a pale lemon one which does not seem as robust as the more common pink but it has leaves and also one flower spike. My lemon trees survived outside, in pots with no protection, they need time to recover from the freezing conditions but are fine. Some potatoes I missed last year, Jersey Royal,  spent the winter in their bags outside and are thriving, I had a furtle around the roots last week and could feel a large potato plus some small ones so have left them until the tops go over, unplanned home grown new spud, yum.

    I think many more plants will be lost to drought at the moment than the wet and freezing experienced earlier in the year.

    I am sure many gardeners have thrown out plants which they thought had deceased and gone to the great plant cemetery in the sky.

    If only they had enough patience to wait, to give their plants a chance to recover.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,200
    A couple of weeks ago I was debating whether or not I should replace the Star Jasmine which was now a twig but decided there were probably enough climbers in that area.

    Had earmarked a day to remove the dead one and then I noticed several 2" long shoots sprouting from 'the twig'. It's now growing by the inch everyday. Probably in the worst possible spot for a Star Jasmine in my garden - compacted heavy soil, now in quite dark shade (since other plants have grown up). Yet still it survives!

    Plants just want to grow.😀
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,462
    Well, they can detect chemical signals from other plants, why not from us?
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