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Me and my partner are absolutely useless at growing plants... have we killed this Helianthus?

mrleelee1mrleelee1 Posts: 23
Me and my partner have just recently got into gardening.. the problem is we're not very good and it doesn't matter how much we research the plants, within a week of having them they always look the same... dead.

We bought a Helianthus Sunbelieveable a couple of weeks ago and to be honest it didn't look great when it arrive, no leaves were brown or anything but it looked a little poorly. We planted using compost and gave it a good watering. We've watered it about about 5 times since having it but it now looks almost dead.

I'm just wondering if we can do anything to save it? I have contacted the place I bought it from and they are willing to refund me if I send it back, but I would obvouisly like to keep it if it's savable.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully one day we'll actually be half good at gardening!



  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    From the photos it doesn't look too bad. Probably still trying to settle in. Without seeing the soil, it is difficult to know if you have heavy soil or free draining soil. Watering is key at this time of year. I would water every day if it is this warm, easing off if temperatures drop, but no harm in removing faded blooms and leaves. It may improve very soon with new growth.

  • HazybHazyb Posts: 336
    Mine is in a pot.  

    Yours doesn’t look too bad. Maybe a bit on the dry side.  Dead head any flowers that go over and give it plenty of water. 

    Consider putting it in a pot if it doesn’t improve. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,133
    Did you prep the ground first before planting?
    They do like free draining, lighter soil, so if the soil's heavy/clayey, it won't do it any favours. 
    All you can do is make sure it's not short of water, but if that water isn't draining away, it won't appreciate sitting in permanently soggy conditions.
    If it's only been in the ground a couple of weeks, you could  probably lift it and pot it up without any problem though, unless you have a better position you could move it to :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 35,771
    It might be a good idea to clear those pebbles away fron the plant. If they were unwashed and straight out of a bag they may be leaching substances that are upsetting the pH of the soil.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    You said it didn't look great when you bought it but does it look any worse now?  It's unlikely to recover that quickly and if it's not dead I'd say that's a good sign!  Dead head it (as mentioned above) and you should hopefully see some new growth coming through over the next few weeks.
  • Agreed with @Ladybird4 and so much gravel must become heat retentive in such warm weather, causing further signs of fatigue. Never understood the thinking behind using gravel in that way...better off with mulch which feeds the plants, preserves moisture and suppresses weeds. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • mrleelee1mrleelee1 Posts: 23
    Thanks for all your replies, you've been really helpful. The soil does feel very dry even though we've been watering it lots. I've doubled the watering and last night cut away the dead flowers. I used some tomato feed which was suggested on a different forum and it seems to have perked up a bit thankfully. I think I will go the mulch route as we never really planned to put anything in there, so just put the stones, but if mulch works better it will be worth changing it.

    Thanks again for all your replies, I will keep you all posted!
  • Good luck...let us know how you get on. Should bounce back in no time. Keep planting things it's the only way to learn. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,133
    Gravel is perfectly fine as a mulch. It will keep moisture in if you have dry soil, and don't get a lot of rainfall, but keep it away from the main crown of the plant. 
    I'm sure it'll bounce back once it gets a bit more established. If it looked a bit duff when you got it, then it's always going to take a little longer to get going. Cut off anything dead or rough looking, and remove dying flowerheads which will help too.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for all your replies, I really found them helpful and very interesting. I decided to move it into a planter and put it in our back garden so I could keep a closer eye on it. I am very happy to say it looks a lot better now! I'm thinking maybe it wasn't getting enough sun out the front (Direct sun from about 8am until midday). It looks a lot healthier now! Thanks for all your help :smile:

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