The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

A Bit of Luck after a Loss....

59 comments


The loss was the unexpected demise of my Prostanthera cuneata. I planted this pretty little evergreen shrub when the back garden had a complete make-over, so it’s been there, flowering happily, for three years.

I was more than a bit fed up yesterday to find it as dead as a dodo – with no obvious reason -

So this afternoon, off I went to the Nursery where I got it from, and bought a new one. I looked round…as you do…and fell for this beautiful Correa pulchella – well, I know it’s not very hardy, but the other Correa I have came through the winter, so fingers crossed for this one!

I had had a quick browse through their catalogue before I went, and knew that they stocked one of the plants on my wish-list – a variegated Fragaria. Yes, there they were – a bit buried by a rampant Felicia next to them!

Then the lucky bit kicked in. I found a plant that had runners – and when I brought it home, imagine my pleasure in counting no less than SIX plantlets!

Fragaria x ananassa ‘Variegata’

So I got some pots of compost, and planted the one that had roots, leaving it attached to the parent plant.

The others have no roots – yet!

However, I’ve pinned them down into the compost.

I used a piece of thin wire, and bent it over to keep the plantlets in contact with the compost.

Well – if they all root, I shall have seven plants for the price of one!

And what about the dead Prostanthera? Well, when I dug it out to plant the new one, I found out why it had popped off.

Yes, the plant roots are still pot-shaped! My fault, of course – I should have teased out the roots!

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Why were they laughing at me??

Next post: A Recipe for 'Black Gold'



Comments

 

We all do it sometime dont we Spritzhenry? I lost a Viburnum davidii and found the roots were completly circular. Just think of 7 plants for 1 instead.

1 Oct, 2009

 

Prostantherea...is that the mint bush? mine has not been growing very much...perhaps I should have a look at its roots......Your fragaria sounds nice......ahem....are you looking for good homes for the extra plants????

1 Oct, 2009

 

Shame about your Prostanthera, Spritz, it looked lovely. Your little variegated plant looks lovely - just imagine being mother of sextuplets?

1 Oct, 2009

 

There you go Spritz- things happen for a reason,if you hadn't lost one plant you wouldn't have gained 7 (lucky for some) new ones lol. I don't like to tease roots out too much I usually snap a few off !!

1 Oct, 2009

 

Great to find your new plant already has babies. I am training that variegated fragaria along the front of a border as an edging - is that your plan?

1 Oct, 2009

 

I know it will grow in part-shade, Andrew, so yes - it's bound for the shady border!

1 Oct, 2009

 

Do you know the colour of the flowers ?

1 Oct, 2009

 

Yes - white! Only because I looked it up when I put it on my wish-list. I haven't ever seen the flowers 'for real'. I thought it would 'shine' out of a shady area, with the white markings and white flowers.

1 Oct, 2009

 

Lovely little carpet :)

1 Oct, 2009

 

didnt think to plant runners like this barbara, i just snip them off the plant, not this plant, and pop in a saucer of water and rooted in no time, so dont know if that would work for your, if you find you have to many , im willing to adopt :o)) lol

1 Oct, 2009

 

I did this with Fragaria 'Pink Panda' for Toto a while back, Sandra. I have to admit I haven't tried in water!

It sounds as if I need to make a list of people who'd like a baby one!

1 Oct, 2009

 

well if it works barbara thats all that matters, i just took a chance in water cause i didnt know what to do lol

1 Oct, 2009

 

I lost my Prostanthera cuneata aswell - drat ! It's a lovely little shrub. I still have my rotundifolia though. Were you able to get another one ?

2 Oct, 2009

 

pretty little plant Spritz, and what a lucky find for you :))

2 Oct, 2009

 

Well done for photographing those roots still pot-shaped...showing something that didn't go quite right....

Thanks for the reminder that roots might not be growing in quite the direction we might have hoped...

Good to see all those new plant runners looking healthy :o)

Any results of rooting in water, I would be pleased to have a photo for my Cuttings in Rainwater blog... Thanks.

2 Oct, 2009

 

What a bargain you got there....silver linings and all that!
I've seen them on TV being quite robust about teasing out roots rather than just tickling them round the edges. Is this the best way? Presumably it doesn't matter if some break off?

2 Oct, 2009

 

Sorry, Tt - not this time! Knowing that Fragaria root easily in compost, that's what I did.

I'd be interested in knowing what other people do about plants that turn out to be root-bound - I think I'll post a question!

Lily - what did they actually DO to the roots??

2 Oct, 2009

 

Hywel - what happened to your P. cuneata? When I went to buy my new one, I knew they stocked the P. rotundifolia, as well, so I checked in my RHS book and also asked the Nurseryman...both confirmed that yours is more tender! You've done well to keep it.

2 Oct, 2009

 

Barbara, They dug their fingers into the underneath and pulled the rootball out all the way round, rather roughly I thought but I can't remember who it was, think it must have been on GW. I usually just gently tease with a daisy grubber but I too would be interested in what others do. Sometimes things don't seem to recover from being rootbound (like yours) so maybe the 'robust' method is best?

2 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Lily. I will post a question - see what other people do. If being rough is the answer, then rough I shall have to be! I don't want to lose the new Prostanthera as well!

2 Oct, 2009

 

I've seen both extremes recommended on TV, from not disturbing the roots at all, to the really robust method which Lily describes.

2 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Tt. The first method wasn't the right one for my poor plant, was it?

I've just posted my question - let's see what other members do!

2 Oct, 2009

 

My P. rotundifolia was out in all the snow we had last winter and I always leave it out , although I do put it by a wall for some shelter. I've always thought of it as being quite tough.. lol

My P. cuneata was in one of my plastic plant-growing houses and it was by a sheltered wall of my garage. It was also covered with several sheets of newspaper and some fleece. It survived until about May although it looked very weak, and then suddenly shrivveled up and died. :o(( I don't know why .

2 Oct, 2009

 

That's what makes gardening such 'fun' Hywel. Always expect the unexpected! :o))
I'll keep a very interested eye on your question B.

2 Oct, 2009

 

My P. cuneata's death was sudden, too. However, I think the state of the rootball explains that. I'm amazed that your P. rotundifolia has proved to be so hardy, Hywel!
It only gets one star in my RHS book, as against two for the other one! I checked them both on the net, as well!

You've got the magic touch, obviously! LOL.

2 Oct, 2009

 

Sorry about your plant, but a great day at GC hope all your runners take.

2 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Carol - so do I!!

2 Oct, 2009

 

I've had the rotundifolia for many years so I must be doing something right :o)
It's about 4 feet tall aswell !

I cant find a reason for the cuneata dying. It had been repotted the year before and it wasn't really potbound. I just thought I'd give it fresh compost. - can't understand it .

Good luck with your new one :o)

2 Oct, 2009

 

Thank you, Hywel. :-) Having seen yours, I was very tempted to get the mauve one, but I resisted it!

2 Oct, 2009

 

Pitty . It's a lovely shade. You'd have liked it.

2 Oct, 2009

 

I know - but it seemed too tender, and I've already got several shrubs to fleece up if it's frosty!

I'll just have to look at yours!

2 Oct, 2009

 

OK then. I'll put more photos next year :o)

2 Oct, 2009

 

Yes please! What I'd also like to know is what temps. yours survives...I am still thinking about one! Thanks, Hywel!

2 Oct, 2009

 

I can't remember how low the temp went here last winter but it was much lower than usual. Must have been down to about - 8 or - 9 on several nights. I had the P.rotundifolia outside my conservatory door. It was covered in snow for days. I have a photo of it. If you go to my photo page and click on the tag for Prostanthera you can see it through the window covered in snow.

I think it must have had some protection from the wall but it was outside in all the snow and I do believe the soil froze in the pot aswell. I sometimes put it in the garage but even then it gets very cold.

If you do have one make sure it gets plenty of protection just incase.

2 Oct, 2009

 

Hmmm...very surprising, really, as it's not hardy! You must have a special one!

2 Oct, 2009

 

No, it's just the ordinary one. It fits the description exactly and it also sais so on the labell

2 Oct, 2009

 

I was joking - sorry! I remember the photo - it's very pretty, Hywel! ;-))

2 Oct, 2009

 

Sorry... lol - should be in a better mood :o)

2 Oct, 2009

 

It's OK - I didn't take offence! No probs - are you all right?

2 Oct, 2009

 

I'm all right I think.. lol.. just feeling very tired. I'm going to bed now. Good night Spritz. :o)

2 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks for the blog Spritz like your choice of the Correa pulchella. Trust you to look for and get a bargain. Well done.
As for the Pink Panda that you so kindly sent me. It is in flower at the moment but no runners yet.

3 Oct, 2009

 

It will, it will! My other bright pink one -
Fragaria 'Lipstick' has walked all round one bed!

3 Oct, 2009

 

Oh! I'm convinced that it will and am looking forward to it. Is it hardy enough to stay outside in the winter or should I protect it from frost in the greenhouse?

3 Oct, 2009

 

Completely hardy, Toto - no worries there. :-))

3 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks Spritz. That's good news because I'll use the space for something else.

3 Oct, 2009

 

barbara, i have just been weeding etc and one of my azalia`s i got this year is the same as your plant above and its roots are dying, pot shaped, the plant is still alive is there anything i can do to save it, ive popped it back in the ground till i get addvice, hoping you can help :o))

3 Oct, 2009

 

Yes - I followed Bulbaholic's advice on a question I posted on pot-bound plants.

1. Dig it up and soak the roots in a bucket of water.
2. Get a sharp thing like a daisy-grubber and tear at the rootball to tease it out - don't worry if a few pieces fall off!
3. Swish it round in the bucket of water.
4. Repeat 2/3
5. Wash the roots under the tap or hose.
6. Replant in a big hole with plenty of good compost (ericaceous for an Azalea)
7. Water it in.

I did my plant - the roots were pretty loose after all that, but it has much more chance of growing, now.

Good luck! :-)) Be ROUGH!!!

3 Oct, 2009

 

cheers for that barbara, i will get that done while its still light, its so cold here today and that wind, grrrrr, lol :o)

3 Oct, 2009

 

I have seen this rootbound problem many times during my gardening career. I have to say I'm pretty rough with the rootballs,even using a knife on potbound plants.

4 Oct, 2009

 

That's the 'new buzzword' on GOY, Robert! ROUGH!! (only on plant rootballs, though - LOL)

4 Oct, 2009

 

Teasing out the roots may be good on smaller plants, but I take a knife or secateurs and cut up 4 sides of root bound plants, and sometimes snip off the bottom roots if need be. Cutting rather than ripping seems to promote more new root growth. Drenching with a transplant fertilizer after putting in the ground also helps new rootlets take off. Good luck: so pretty.

4 Oct, 2009

 

I've never heard of 'transplant fertiliser', Orgratis - I wonder if it's obtainable over here in the UK?

5 Oct, 2009

 

I don't want to show my ignorance, but I do want to learn. So can you tell me what is a daisy grubber. Sorry about your plant but after a while when you have got your other new plants rooted you will have had the better deal.
Bye for now Franf

6 Oct, 2009

 

Root stimulator, Spritz? Probably has more phosphorus, enzymes, hormones etc to reduce transplant shock & get roots going. Have no idea what's available in UK but there's probably something similar. As I recall, use diluted w/ water.

7 Oct, 2009

 

Thanks, Orgratis. I might post a question to see if it's available over here. OR ask at the Garden Centre next time I go!!

Frank - it's a hand tool with a forked end which is slightly bent, so that you can poke it under a daisy plant (or other weeds) in the lawn and 'hoick' them out in one movement!

7 Oct, 2009

 

Thank's for that explanation Spritz. Ive just noticed how long ago you answered the Q. I'm still trying to find my way around on here or I would have answered earlier. Frank

12 Oct, 2009

 

That's OK, Frank! Nice to hear from you! You've found the way here...tip! Keep an eye on your 'news' link on your home page.

12 Oct, 2009

 

i have 3 Alpine Mints in my garden planted this year. I can't believe that a plant can survive for 3 years and not send out any new roots to the surrounding soil. I could understand a fatality after one season, but 3?!
I think I will need to dig mine up in the warmer months and check to see if the root ball is compact. i don't recall it being like that when I planted it, but i put so much stuff in this year my head is spinning!!
I am going to try some Correa next year. I am working full time now and I need someone to look after my garden!

28 Dec, 2009

 

Hmmm. Not sure you'll like that, Andrea! I hope you find someone who knows a dandelion from a paeony. LOL.

I was amazed, as well, by the way. I suppose that in a Nursery plants might well sit in their pots for years unbought and just watered occasionally, too.

28 Dec, 2009

Add a comment

Recent posts by spritzhenry

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 May, 2009

  • amy
    Amy

    Gardening with friends since
    17 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    21 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009