Calibrachoa, Lobelia, New Guinea Impatient all struggling

denise785June 20, 2007

Hi, I am having some problems with a couple of my container plants.


I have a container pot of Super bells that I purchased from a local flower mart about 1 month ago. A large amount of leaves are drying up light brown and crispy on the plant. It appears to start at the tip of the leaf. I water daily and use Miracle Gro Flower bloom weekly.

Lobelia/New Guinea Impatient:

I planted some lobelia in a container with a New Guinea Impatient. The lobelia seems to be dying off. There doesnÂt appear to be any additional growth in size since planting and some of the leaves have darkened and look spotted. The New Guinea Impatient is also struggling. New flower buds are appearing but they arenÂt blooming. They get a brownish tint to them and fall off before blooming. I water daily and use Miracle Gro Flower bloom weekly.

Any ideas what my be wrong?

Thanks a bundle for any help - Denise

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Most lobelia don't like the summer heat and sometimes die off when the heat comes and stays and/or too much sun. I have the 'moon' series and they only get about 4 hrs tops of early morning sun. They last all summer. I've tried other kinds and they never lasted. The New Guinea...maybe too much water?? Check for bugs too on NG and the superbells.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:52AM
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million bells: can take some good sun, or will also do well with morning sun, then dappled shade in afternoon.

lobelia & the N.G. impatien: morning sun, then dappled shade.

sounds to me like too much watering is going on. unless your temps are over 100 degrees or something like that, watering twice weekly seems more realistic. this guideline also depends on the size of your plants. if it is a small plant in a small pot, it may dry out more quickly.

million bells will wilt when they want water. once they get water they should perk back up. I'd water one day, then keep a sharp eye on these plants for the next few days. If they look good, don't water until several days have passed.

lobelia reseeds and grows around for me in all kinds of places. I don't think it really needs a lot of water, but will tolerate it to some degree. For example, it has reseeded in a tub where I have elephant ears, which do like a lot of water. But I still only drench that tub once a week, unless it is really really hot.

the N.G. impatiens are too much trouble for me to grow.

one thing i like to do with my container plants on the deck is to mist them daily. get you a spray nozzle that has a mist setting and hit them each morning. then do your regular watering twice a week and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:29PM
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I am sorry to confuse you but I have the exact opposite opinion. I don't think you are watering enough if they are turning brown. You have to pour the water slowly til the water runs out the bottom of the container. And I use Miracle Gro--small amount--every day.

If you just pour some water on the top, it may well not be enough. Feel the soil with your fingers--even push your finger in an inch or so. The soil should be good and moist, tho not soggy. Brown usually means dry--too dry--dead.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 1:11PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

I was reading in some older messages that browning buds are a sign of too much water in impatiens. I wouldn't water the New Guineas until they are looking a little droopy.

My experience with lobelia is that they like a lot of water, and will dry up quickly when they don't get it. They also don't like afternoon sun. I put some lobelia in a pot with impatiens one time and they didn't last too long because of the infrequent watering of the impatiens.

Don't have experience with superbells, but I think they're related to petunias, which I know are waterhogs. I probably wouldn't water daily, but I'd water a lot when I do water. That's how I do petunias. At the end of the season when I dump out my pots, the petunia roots have completely filled the pot, and I use large 18 & 20 inch pots. I have a 2 gallon watering can and frequently use 1 full can per pot when I water the petunias.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 2:51PM
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