I know it is a little early, but when do I give up?

Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7bApril 9, 2014

Obviously, this winter was rough! Way more things made it than I expected, though. I see lots of green! :):):) I see life in my oldest BB salvia and some other salvias....most Veronica's...my one buddleia......most penstemons....nearly all daylilies....and others.

I am going to plant a lot of seeds next week and partially redo my beds. I pretty much want to pull anything not likely to make it since I have plenty of seeds to put there. I would be doing that next week, so they all have a few more days to prove themselves. However, I wanted some advice from others, first. What do you think about the following? (I did put mulched leaves down late last fall and removed it a week ago):

1) I have several salvias showing life (older black and blue, 3/4 pineapples, etc). I have some that are not (especially s. Nemerosas). Most that are not yet showing life were not in super-great shape even last summer fall, as I bought them as clearance plants. I know salvias can take a bit to show life again, but I am leaning towards yanking the ones that looked sad even last fall/summer. Would you yank, wait, or put in pots?

2) Dahlias: I had Starsisters and others. They were not even supposed to survive 2012/2013 winter, but they did. No life shows up this year, yet (I have down they were green by 4/18 last year). Is there any hope for them? Would it hurt to put them in pots and wait?

3) Blanketflower/galliardia: They are supposed to be perennial, but one just bloomed and bloomed all last summer/fall. Is there hope for it? I also have an AZ Apricot. When do they usually start coming back to life? I think one had green basal foliage all of the previous winter, so I wonder if it bloomed itself out.

4) Mums: Only 1-2 are showing life. I know we are borderline hardy for mums. Don't they take a while to wake up?

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I've only started seeing signs of life this past week (after that hot sunny week) so I wouldn't yank anything just yet. I will say that plenty of things are going to sprout but look like crap this year because winter was so wet and cold. Sooooo, if you have better looking plants already, you could plop them in as you yank. Who knows what summer will bring, it could be hot and bone dry which will only add to our misery.

I dug my dahlias up and kept them sheltered, they survive winters but come up late and seem to suffer AND voles love to eat them. This way I know who's alive and can better plan on where to plant them. We'll see if this makes for better dahlia displays.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 1:26PM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

Thanks, John. I did not realize the wet/cold winter could make surviving plants look awful. I will definitely take that into consideration. I saw somr good-looking Starsister dahlias on the clearance rack last week....I should have grabbed them. Oh well....I have lots of great seeds. :)

Will it hurt to dig up the dahlias (that show no life) now and pot them? Will it possibly help, or would it likely just shock them?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 1:48PM
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dekeoboe(7B NC)

I have three mums. Two definitely made it through, but I do believe the third one is a goner.

I'm a bit impatient though and cut back the lantanas already. Actually, I will probably end up pulling them all up because they look dead and they are tender perennials here. Most made it through last winter, but I think this past one was just too hard for them.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:57PM
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I think a lot of plants have the most energy right when they start to spring back to life this time of year. That you can do all sorts of torture to them now and they will recover just fine because they are so pumped up and actively growing. But there is this touchy period when digging and dividing or potting up upsets the balance. There is basically no way to determine when that magic moment is - so I say, if the sprouts look healthy go ahead and dig and pot up. If the plant looks weak, leave it alone unless you would rather go ahead and replace it.

In my fruit area I have plenty of doubled up plants, because I thought one was dying so I cut it back and planted a new one only to have the original plant return later and now I have two of them growing side by side (when they get bigger, one of them will have to go).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

Deke, I have a lantana, too. I have seen no signs of life from it. I think one seed sprouted. I am curious how it will turn out. :)

Thanks, everyone. I think I am just going to yank anything not showing green next week. I have plenty of seeds and a decent number of plants already showing green. I hate the idea of having a bare spot while I wait on something not likely to make it. Thx for the advice/thoughts. :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:37PM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

Well, turns out several dahlias are coming back! I pulled a few before I noticed. Whoops. I am happy with what I got, though. :) I think my lantana would have cone back eventually, but I found a yellow one I like better. :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:15PM
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