Ligularia Britt Marie Crawford not growing - why?

ostrich(3a AB)July 3, 2014

I planted a really big and healthy Ligularia Britt Marie Crawford in my partial shade bed next to the Toba Hawthorn last year. It did great last year, except that it was very thirsty and wilted quite a bit. So I had to constantly water that thing! Anyway, it was beautiful and bloomed profusely. It was just quite a show-stopping, statement plant!

Unfortunately, this year, it took forever to show any sign of life after winter is gone. Even now, at the beginning of July, it still only has a few small leaves.

Does Ligularia BMC take forever to establish itself in zone 3? Is this very slow progress normal, or is it just telling me that I need to move it to another area where it may be happier?

I would very much appreciate your information and comments. Thanks!

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I find that L. dentata is more finicky than L. przewalskii - mine will do alright for a few years and then all of a sudden croak. From my experience, they do best in filtered sunlight and with ample moisture. If you feel like yours is declining, it's probably a good idea to move it to more ideal conditions.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:59AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

My ligs flourish in total shade and very damp conditions. Slow to show leaves is normal (much like a hosta), but it shouldn't be getting smaller. The bed mine are in needs the moss scraped off the soil once a year.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:51AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I have ligs in two spots. The one under some trees was very slow to emerge this year, but it was under snow well into May, so that's a good excuse. It's doing okay now. The other is in an east-facing bed and gets a bit more sun. It emerged early and has a beautiful mound of leaves. So far it hasn't wilted this year. I watered it well and then mulched with woodchips. We've had a lot of rain this year, so the ground is probably pretty wet under the mulch.

Mine are "The Rocket", not "Brit Marie Crawford", so maybe there's a bit of difference. I'd say to give it more time and even wait and see what it does next year. If it does the same thing, then move it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:00AM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I have several varieties of ligularia. My l. othello dentata almost died after one brutal winter, whereas the others were all fine. Othello doesn't seem to be as hardy. Did yours have good snow cover this past winter? After that winter (it was the one where there was no transition from fall to winter. It went from above normal to a deep freeze almost overnight with no snow cover. I lost many perennials that year.) the ligularia Othello has been slowly recovering its stature.
If you had to water it so much last year, maybe it's in too dry an area.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:43AM
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I bagged the roots on my Britt Marie Crawford and find that I don't need to water it nearly as much as the "Rocket" which is in almost full shade and not bagged. That one needs almost a gallon of water a day! I have the BMC in filtered sunlight next to a mature 9-bark and even after a brutal winter it showed earlier than I expected and appears very healthy and robust. I do mulch quite heavily for winter so I think this and the extra moisture are keeping it well.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:23PM
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I have one in full sun and the other in a shady location, both are doing very well ... sure, the plant that endures the hot sun gets the wilts, though it's thrived just the same. I had deeply turned over the soil and added peat, though have not fertilized them.

'Britt Marie Crawford' in shady location, the other plant is somewhat larger.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:40AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, everyone! I am thinking that I should move the BMC now. It is in a partial shade location with moisture, but then it is also close to the Toba Hawthorn, and during winter, the snow coverage there is inconsistent. I think that I should move it to a north-facing area with lots of moisture and snow coverage. It will probably thrive there.

Terrance, thanks for the photo - your BMC looks healthy and happy! Mine is just a FRACTION of the size of yours. Now, that cannot be healthy, huh!? LOL!

Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 1:52AM
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For myself at least, 'Britt Marie Crawford' has always been a vigorous grower that has easily bulked up enough that I've been able to divide it several times, the plant shown was from such last spring. It only sulks when conditions are dry and temps getting up there (but, I had expected that) and has never been a slow poke to appear in the spring. We almost always "enjoy" a good reliable snow cover ... so, all in all, this somewhat finicky plant might actually like the conditions here, I have otherwise never given it any special pampering at all.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:38AM
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I have two close to each other. I thought one was a goner last year - like yours, it started off very small. It did recover though and is fine this year.

They are mega slug magnets though - it may just be being eaten to death. I've had a ton of slugs this year, eating virtually everything.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 6:14PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Shazam, there was no slug at all. I think it is just not happy where it is. So I will move it to a much more moist location to see how it works there! Thx.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 7:07PM
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