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Sarcococca Winter Gem

sprengerjansprengerjan Isle of WightPosts: 22
edited September 2021 in Problem solving
Last year, I planted two of these in the same border, but at different ends. The border is NE facing, so is in shade from mid-day or earlier. 
One is looking perfectly healthy, but the other has been in decline for weeks, despite my watering regularly. Today I took it out.
Anybody have any suggestions as to why this one croaked? It was at the Eastern end of the border so might have got more sun. But I'd thought these plants were quite forgiving.

(The picture shows the dead one after removal next to its healthier cousin)

Posts

  • A terminal case, would suggest lack of water immediately after planting.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,122
    Also - sometimes plants just fail.
    However, it's also right next to the path which is always a bit drier. If you don't have soil that's moisture retentive enough, it will possibly have dried out too much early on, as @Lizzie27 describes. That can then be impossible to rehydrate. 

    Many of these plants are grown using a method we all call 'teabags'. It's hopeless for many plants as, despite your best efforts, roots can often just not make their way through the mesh into the surrounding soil/compost. You often don't realise until you pull the roots apart.  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • sprengerjansprengerjan Isle of WightPosts: 22
    Fairygirl said:
    Also - sometimes plants just fail.
    However, it's also right next to the path which is always a bit drier. If you don't have soil that's moisture retentive enough, it will possibly have dried out too much early on, as @Lizzie27 describes. That can then be impossible to rehydrate. 

    Many of these plants are grown using a method we all call 'teabags'. It's hopeless for many plants as, despite your best efforts, roots can often just not make their way through the mesh into the surrounding soil/compost. You often don't realise until you pull the roots apart.  :/
    It wasn't right next to the path - the dead one in the photo is not in the soil, I just placed it by the living one to show the comparison. But I take both your points that the soil, which is a mix of stony soil and clay, may have become too dry at some point. I'll be more vigilant now. 
  • These take easily from cuttings so you could try that with your healthy one if you want to replace the one you lost. 
    It's been a funny thing here weather wise and lots of plants seem caught out by it. I have an established sarcococca that get a lot of sun and it's been fine but other plants near by, which have been planted later have suffered with thirst. We've had a very dim summer but even on dull days the plants are losing a lot of water because it's been so windy. If your happier winter gem was more sheltered it could explain why it's faired better but don't be surprised by just how quickly the wind can dry plants that don't have a wide roaming root system.
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