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Kniphofia - crown rot? - a goner?

Hi - I have a kniphofia that I suspect may have developed crown rot over the course of last winter. I have a paved roof garden so it is growing in a pot. It lost a great proportion of its foliage, unlike my other kniphofia. The leaves developed a purple-brown mottling toward the base and came away from the plant easily - which does sound very like some sort of rot! I took it out of the pot and it still had okay roots, if maybe not so many as you'd expect.  As the weather improved it seemed to be recovering. it regained its foliage but when the flowers came they were severely stunted and drooped quickly. It is a Kniphofia Orange Vanilla Popsicle, so one of the 'daintier' varieties. 

What I really want to know is if it best to give up on it or - provided we don't have another hellish winter - might it recover some more next year? 

Thanks in advance!

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  • Sorry - this is in the wrong category but can't see how to change it.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 40,586
    Have you got a photo @cl.lockwood?
    It may have got too wet - it does sound like it. Kniphofias need sun and good drainage to do well. They aren't great in pots long term though. 

    What was the root ball like? Some plants nowadays are propagated by seed or cutting in these little net bags - we call them teabags on the forum. It often prevents roots expanding and growing out properly, and filling the kind of space they should. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks for the reply! I don't remember there being one of those. I'm trying to remember the roots in more detail. I don't remember being concerned. I have a couple of others in pots that are doing well but I suspect I need to write that one off!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 40,586
    The other thing that could be a possibility is that it was pot bound when you've planted it. The roots are tight, and going round and round, and if they're left like that, they keep going round and round, instead of spreading. If you take it out the pot, you would see that if it hasn't grown outwards.
    Or - is it in far too big a pot for the size of the root ball? That can mean the plant is sitting in wet compost/soil for too long. That might be more likely.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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