Is there a plant that's considered easy to grow

alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)March 10, 2008

that you have a hard time with?

I tend to kill Siberian iris. I have a beautiful purple one that I collected in PA that's still alive and bloomed all of these years, but hasn't really grown either. I got a ton of what I think is Siberian iris at the last couple of swaps (thanks Ais and Nancy) that I have put in really prime places that should do well, but we'll see. I think they don't like really wet clay, so the new divisions are in highly composted soil where they shouldn't get too crowded by other plants or get too wet or too dry. Also, I can't seem to grow trumpet honeysuckle from seed at all.

What about you? Have you had any trouble with something that's not supposed to be any trouble?

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tooslim

I can't get camelias to grow in my yard, I have tried different locations and they live (if you want to call it that) but always look poorly. I don't know what I am doing wrong.
My siberian irises I grew from bareroot, they are in a real wet area but well composted soil, not straight clay. They have done real well and taken off in an area that I have been having trouble getting other stuff to grow (wet and fairly shady). I have an Endless Summer hydrangea and astilbe that are doing well with the irises, Any other suggestions on a small blooming shrub?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

Tooslim, the area for which you are seeking a small blooming shrub sounds like it might suit a Clethra alnifolia, aka, Sweet Pepperbush. I bought an in-flower 'Ruby Spice' in a gallon pot two years ago at the Raleigh Farmers Market for only $3 (not the normal price). I collected seed from mine last fall, but do not know if it will come true or not.
A perennial you might consider for a damp area with at least half a day's sun is Monarda 'Jacob Kline'. It is very mildew resistant but will need support in partial shade to keep it from flopping over in a thunder storm. I can bring some of it to the Raleigh Plant Swap on April 19th if you can come and are interested.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 12:52PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Swamp, piedmont or pinxterflower azaleas would do well there too.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 1:17PM
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ronda_in_carolina

Alicia--be sure that the tuber for the iris is on top of the ground. If you bury this, it rots. Often, to get mine started I have to put a stone gently over the tuber--otherwise the shallow root allows the plant to topple over. Once the long roots take hold I can move the rock.

I dont have luck with Camelias unless I make sure there is NO evening sun on them. I don't think they like the western sun baking on them.

I can buy anyone a Pieris Japonica and it will thrive. Plant one in my yard....poof....instant death. LOL

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 1:40PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Ronda, you're thinking of bearded iris. Siberian iris roots can't ever dry out.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 1:50PM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

alicia, my sib irises set seed each year, and i've tossed it in certain spots and have a bunch of babies. maybe if you started that way-the plants would be more acclimated and take off. i can bring some babes if you want. i have seed collected recently- lmk if you want me to bring some to the swap. i have caesar's brother, a smaller light blue and a small white growing close, so it's probably gonna be blue/purple. the ones that have bloomed for me so far have looked like caesar's bro.

ronda, of all the iris species, i think beardeds are one of the few that can & want to dry out, really. LA and jap iris don't like being dry, either. iris cristata does well in dry woods, but i don't know how it would do separated from soil for long. but beardies can start up again even after they've been dry for a while if they aren't dessicated. i do the same as you and use a rock til they root in.

while they aren't ornamentals, i have a lot of trouble growing squash for some reason. they get to the point where they're about to bear and die on me. i've had a few successes over the years, but nothing to write home over. at least it's cheap at the farmers market! :) i've had the darndest time getting fall blooming jap anemonies going- and for most people they spread like wildfire.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 6:47PM
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lindakimy

I had an awful time with morning glories last year! Sparse and disappointing. Who knew?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 9:09PM
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shari1332(z7NC)

I've had terrible luck with Butterfly Bush and Caryopteris.
Verbena has also been a challenge but I think I finally found a winner with 'Snowflurry'- not the original plant but one that reseeded. I'm going to keep trying the Buddleia until I succeed LOL!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 7:02AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Shari do you have sandy soil?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 11:46AM
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shari1332(z7NC)

Hey Alicia, yes I do have a fairly deep top layer of sandy soil. There are other things I've had difficulty with that I could definitely blame on critters but those I mentioned just seem to languish until I finally yank them or they just don't come back over winter.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 1:25PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

I have had some trouble with Buddleia and Caryopteris too but always thought the problem was my wet soil. I have several Buddleia now (most of them Potter's Purple and Petit Indigo), but the real test will be how many I still have in 3 years. The Buddleia I've lost got wilt and the Caryopteris didn't overwinter.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 1:31PM
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dyhgarden(7b)

I have trouble with viburnum here. I had great success at a previous house.

The easiest plants to grow in my sunny garden are nepeta, lavender, rosemary, buddleia, salvia, ornamental grasses, verbena, coreopsis, delosperma cooperi.

Cameron

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 4:36PM
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ronda_in_carolina

ooops....missed that 'Siberian' part didnt I. LOL

Sorry 'bout that.

Ronda

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 9:59PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Ronda I've killed more than my share of bearded iris too, unless I cleared a place on a ridge for a big perennial bed.

Tammy yes to trading for Siberian iris seed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 12:54PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

We have balloon flower that self seeds everywhere and you've got to hack it back.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 10:44PM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

I can't grow cardinal flower. I've tried it everywhere. From seed, from potted plant, from wild collection. I've tried it in wet to dry, rich to poor soils. I also can't grow dahlias and seem to be challenged at baptisia. -Ais.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 8:33AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

I think a lot of people can't actually grow cardinal flower, or at least I've convinced myself of that. I had one clump from Niche that lasted 4 years, but the rest I just have to let do their own thing. They like rich wet soil, with oxygen I think, because I've seen them doing best near running water. I think the periodic washovers also keep fall leaves from smothering the rosettes.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 4:07PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Ais, isn't the purple iris you gave me Siberian iris? I haven't killed that -- I divided it into a bunch of clumps and planted them in a bunch of different places to give them the best chance.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 4:08PM
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aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

Alicia, that iris was given to me and I honestly don't know what kind it is. It makes me feel better that you have a hard time with cardinal flower too. I've tried other lobelias too, with no luck. I must just have the wrong soil for it. Yeah, it's the soil... that's it ;-)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 4:55PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Oh woops! I misread (didn't read the post) and just responded to the title. As far as plants that I can't do well with, I have the most trouble with growing shade plants. I have a shade tree, but it must never produce enough shade?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 7:24PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

The tree probably sucks all of the water and nutrients out of the soil.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 7:42PM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

I have a lot of trouble with cardinal flower too, but I'm pretty sure it's slugs.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 8:04AM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

Oy- having trouble with my internet connection, and couldn't log in yesterday to say i've had lots of trouble with cardinal flower, too. Makes me feel a lot better to know that so many of you have run into the same problem! I've tried it one last time in my bog for the pond- we'll see if it made it through the winter. If not, i don't think i'll mess with it again. Seems like in nature i tend to see it growing along ponds and streams, so it may not need oxygenated soil, but definitely soggy seems a benefit. Seems more common in cooler climes, too- but that may just be because that's where we've vacationed and hiked (mtns and up north).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 9:20AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Cutworms also like to come along and cut off the flower stems right when the plant is about to bloom or is in full bloom. Another reason periodic flowing water helps I think.

I have a lot of cardinal flower in ditches on my property but I cannot cultivate it. I have never been able to grow it from seed, when I move rosettes they croak, so I have to just enjoy it where it pops up.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 12:18PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Shari have you tried "Homestead Purple" verbena?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 12:00PM
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tooslim

Shari, I have caryopteris Longwood Blue--I can't stop it, every place a branch touches the ground it roots a new plant. I cut it to the ground every year and it does great. It is on a hillside so the soil drains.
The same with Homestead purple verbena, I give TONS of it away and I have been transplanting it around my yard. It will overtake ME if I stand in one place long enough! :-D It is real simple to grow. Don't cut back the plant until at least March, the dead stuff helps it overwinter. I cutback my caryopteris the same time.

I confess, I can't grow zinnias. Mine always look sick. I know they don't like overhead watering. But I have tried them in pots too and they still look sick.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 4:02PM
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shari1332(z7NC)

No I haven't tried 'Homestead Purple' yet but I think I'm ready to try it. I've tried Caryopteris 'Dark Knight' and I've killed 'Worcester's Gold' twice. I grew Caryopteris incana from seed and it didn't overwinter. We're on a hill and my soil isn't heavy so I don't think drainage is an issue.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:00PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Perhaps Caryopteris "Longwood Blue" would prove tougher -- my MIL has well-drained sandy soil too and hers has done well. Caryopteris likes soil to be rather poor and well-drained, otherwise it can form some wild octopus shapes.

Verbena "Homestead Purple" is as tough as nails. I've had it over 10 years, down in the floodplain.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:25PM
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transplanted2scin07(7b upstate SC)

Of course there's a plant that's easy to grow. It's called a WEED!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:04PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

But those never keel over inexplicably.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:06PM
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