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Save the dwarf conifer.

laney_1208laney_1208 Posts: 1
Evening all
I am after a little help if possible 
I am very new to gardening and have previously been a 'plant it, leave it, and hope for the best' kind of girl. Unfortunately my best was never good enough and everything always ended up dying.
Anyway....I've recently discovered I may actually have green fingers after all with my veg which is doing amazing, however I have 3 dwarf conifers (I think anyway) which I have in a border. The ground isn't great in terms of it's quite clay-y, and doesn't drain well on the lawn. 
The conifers I have noticed are getting very light in colour, like almost yellow and brown in some places, and they are extremely prickly to touch. Have I done it again and killed them or can I revive them?
Any help appreciated...sorry for the ramble. 😁


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 4,222
    @laney-1208 It's difficult to see without an actual photo but conifers that are yellow and brown are probably on their way out sorry to say. You must not feel too dishearted, we gardeners are always learning.

    Gardening starts with the soil before anything else, you say you have clay. In winter it can be too wet, in summer too dry plants becomes stressed and suffer. So improving your soil is the most important thing you can do.  Hoping for the best is not really an option new plants need water and care until they establish.

    I am so pleased you are enjoying your veg growing. This is new to me too, just planted far too many lettuce seeds in one pot, as I say always learning. Welcome.

    A good gardener's eye sees more to be improved. Robin Lane Fox
  • GravelEaterGravelEater Posts: 117
    As the above comment says an image would be useful.
    Unless the colour change is a trait (eg. some pines change yellow over Winter, Thuja get bronzy bits in Winter, many other have different shades or even spectacular new foliage) I'd probably say it was on it's way out.

    Depending on what it is, it may be somewhat salvageable.  Thuja and Taxus can have the dead stuff cut out and will sprout new foliage from the trunk and other spots.  Most conifers don't grow from 'old wood' though, so even if it was saved it might still be not worth it in the end.

    Most plants don't really want water logged or too dry soil.  Conifers are normally associated with the 'moist but free draining' soil types.  I agree again with the above poster, the plant needs to be established to become more tolerant of drought or more water - that said, there will likely be problems down the road if any conifer sits in water for an extended period, established or not.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,034
    Need a photo.  :)
    Conifers are mainly shallow rooted, so they need a good, consistent water supply, but they don't like being waterlogged. They can cope with drier conditions once established, and can often be problematic for other planting nearby as they soak up a lot of the available moisture, but if they have prolonged periods of drought, that can see them off, and it's not always obvious until it's too late. 

    The soil needs to be suitable for them from the start, and the conditions, and then the aftercare is important until they're growing well. It doesn't sound promising from the description though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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