The "duds" of 2014!

ostrich(3a AB)August 13, 2014

Since marcia started a thread on this year's "superstars", I thought that I would start one on this year's "DUDS"!!! LOL! I really did not have any superstar this year, but I got plenty of duds for sure! Here's some of them:

1. Coreopsis Zagreb - these things leafed out super late this year, and they still have hardly bloomed at all! YIKES! Just lost of dense, healthy foliage! LOL! Hmm.... I'd rather have less foliage and more flowers!!!

2. Morden Blush/Morden Sunrise roses - both succumbed to the winter of 2013/14.... sigh!

3. Ninebark Coppertina and Ninebark Little Devil - what is up with these dark-leafed ninebarks in my yard!? Aren't they supposed to be hardy!? The Coppertina leafed out super late and is only half the size that it was last year, and that Little Devil is so little that it was no different from its size from 2 years ago!!! YIKES! It may be time to S.P. that Little Devil....!!!

Do you care to share some of your "duds" here!? LOL

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The Morden Blush should have survived. An interesting tidbit I learned about Morden was one of the last of the Mordens to be offered before funding was cut to the program. It was not fully trialled and so therefore, the hardiness was never confirmed. It's assumed that since it was a Morden introduction, it should be reliably hardy for our cold zones. Not so. I have bought at least five of these roses and none of them have made it past two years.


You have fairly new gardens...a lot of the plants you bought I have tried to grow in my own garden over the years. I didn't buy any new perennials this year (gasp!), so don't have any duds of 2014. However, my roses aren't as nice as in other years due to the rose slugs. Does that count? ;)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:29PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Ninebark Centre Glow died for me. It was a standard though and I didn't have much hope. Diabolo is a dark leafed one that does awesome for me.

My dud is a Japanese iris (dead) and that rose that everyone complains about black spot. Soleil D'or? Is that it? Well it's a bunch of prickly sticks with three sickly leaves. Poop.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:40PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Donna, I know, I know,,,, I need to be more patient! I have some very young plants and they may not be established enough.... BUT I JUST CANNOT WAIT! LOL!

OK, I will be behave and learn to be more patient :-)

northspruce, Centre Glow is a gorgeous one! But it died on you!? Well.... makes me wonder how hardy these new ones are.

How big is your Diablo though? I thought that it could get HUGE.... but perhaps that was in warmer climate but it should be much smaller in our climate?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:13AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I got Centre Glow on clearance this time last year and even though I watered it a lot, our Augusts are really hot and dry and it was stressed. Then we had the coldest winter ever. It had one tiny shoot alive in the spring but it died. I'm sure I could grow it under better conditions.

I don't know how big Diabolo will get. It's only 3 years old and very bushy and healthy, and maybe shoulder height on me. Where I planted it I don't really mind if it turns into a tree.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:43AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Well, if by "duds" you mean "deads", i do have a few! First of all, my beloved Hawkeye Belle rose succumbed to our winter as did Topaz Jewel. Moment of silence, please. Sniffle. And my Gaillardia 'Big Smile' didn't come back either. That was upsetting because it has taken years for me to get gaillardia to grow, and it did make me smile!

A not-dead dud this year is the clematis 'Durandi'. I moved it last year and it has a pulmonaria shading its roots. There are a bunch of tiny shoots there but that's all.

Both ninebarks came through the winter just fine this year, and i think they're hardy enough. Gil, it might be stress, as you say.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:12AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Oh boy I have a good list.

The Endless Summer collection of hydrangeas. I had 2 'original' and a 'Bella Anna' .... originals are not original unless dead is considered being original. The 'Bella Anna' was discontinued and probably for a very good reason as it has a stunning 2 blooms on it right now.

I also had 3 dogwoods and they are really dogs. I hope they compost better than they looked.

How about my amazing Potentilla's. I have 2 gold finger and 2 abbotswood. One abbotswood joined the dogwoods in the compost bin and the other I hope the deer graze on. The gold fingers grew a nice size but I didn't buy them for their foliage. They better start producing or they will be gone.

How about those amazing powdery mildew magnet polemoniums. Compost.

Oh how can I forget all my Coleus. I started about 30 of them indoors and while they have really nice foliage you need a spotting scope to see them. Never buying coleus seeds again.

I see folks talking about 'Morden Sunrise' well mine came back from the ground bloomed early and continues to bloom but it started with blackspot, moved on to rust and then I think picked up some sort of cercosporia and is a horrible looking bush other than the blooms. It has the prime location in my whole yard and it may have to give that spot up.

Looking out the window right now I can see the missing Dahlia. Well it isn't missing but instead of the 7' tall and covered in blooms like last year it is 2' tall and attempting to added foliage interest to the garden.....blah.

Lets move on to the veggies for a bit. Last year I had cucumbers in 3 pots and we couldn't eat them all. This year I have one cucumber in one pot and the other two have barely grown. Then we can look at my pumpkins that just started flowering this week. I think I am going to remove the fence around them and let the deer at them.

Back to perennials, lol. Did I mention my fabulous foxgloves that are thinking of being tri-annuals. yeahp out of 7 that should be blooming this year only one is and barely at that.

Without thinking and hurting myself I will end the rant.


Oh, I can't forget the annual nicotiana and lavatera that grew 7' and 5' respectfully last year and this year are barely peeking above the zinnias in front of them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:16AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Wow, if we're going on to annual duds, i'll add cleome, lavater and snapdragons that never even passed as seedlings. Probably 100 others that i started outside this spring. Well, maybe i exaggerate.... How about the two tomato plants that are still 6" high in spite of me transplanting them into larger pots. They're like "Who cares? We're dwarves!"

In the vegetable garden, there's the swiss chard that's still bolting, the beans that i planted three times before a paltry few plants came up, the squash and pumpkins with a couple of tiny fruits on each, and the beef steak tomatoes that look like cherries. Hey, we're doing GOOD! LOL

Have to say that i do have luck with coleus seeds - i've done Wizard Mix for a couple of years and it has done well.

In the shrub department, there's the Mockorange 'Minnesota Snowflake'. Had it for seven or eight years now and it's about 3 feet high and about 3 stems coming out of the ground. It has been a dud every year since i got it!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:44AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Dang, you sparked my memory.

I forgot to mention the 20 or tulips I got out of the 300 bulbs I planted. The garlic and daffodils never showed as they rotted in the cold, wet soil.

Then my beautiful Rhododendron that tossed out one nice bloom and now is slowly receding. I don't give it much of a survival hope.

And yes some of my tomatoes are doing the same....nothing.

Hey I did get a massive 18 beans off 5 plants.

My second set of radishes decided to be flowers instead of anything else. Kelsey onions that where the size of cantaloupes last year and this year I am going to have to eat the green stems if I want anything.

Am I missing anything?


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:13PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Some of my annuals sucked too. The gomphrena from seed "bolted" into "imposing" two-inch plants, each with an adorable bright button of flower. They suck.

And Ursinia anthemoides have really cute flowers and lots of them, but the plants look disgusting and when the cute flowers are done they turn into a gross dandelion fluff thing. Nope! (anyone who sees my Facebook, this plant is my cover photo)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:27PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Had to go and look, of course. Then i got caught up in all of your negativity lists. LOL

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Be patient with the ninebarks, they take forever to get established. The cultivar root systems apparently aren't very vigourous.

I have one in front that finally got taller than two feet. It only took 4 years.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:01PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Lol sometimes it is fun to whine and complain.

It has been a really hard year here. What didn't struggle with the cold, wet spring got mowed down by the deer or disliked the change from 10C to 40C overnight.

I am not sure why Coleus do not like it here. I also have had the wizard mix and they look really good just don't grow, neither in the ground or in pots.

Here is an example of my wizard coleus. It might be 4" tall now and probably was over 2" when I planted it mid may.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:31PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

I shovel pruned 2 Coppertina ninebarks this year and replaced them with western sandcherry - the third year in the ground, could barely see the leaves and they have been aphid magnets for the past two years. I guess I should be more patient as shazam suggests but - sigh - I`m not!!!!
Some monkshood I planted last year are barely hanging in there - don`t know what the problem is and they may mysteriously disappear as well.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Yeah I would've nuked mine too but read somewhere on the interweb that they're very slow to establish in colder climates.

There's a monstrous Diabolo Ninebark in Kelowna that's about 10 feet tall and twenty feet wide. :(

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:08PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

This is my Coppertina, taken in early July when it was flowering. Lousy picture, but you can see it isn't a dud! :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:17PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

marcia, that Coppertina is SOMETHING!!!

Now, I have to say that NONE of the ninebarks really had flowers this year....

In fact, NONE of the my elderberries really had any flowers at all!

I just have to hope for next year.... shazam, good info on ninebarks! I will be more patient then.... thanks!

OMG, SCG, how many plants do you have!? LOL

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:02PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I have been accused of having more plants than brains but also have been accused of not having much grey matter.

I am slowly growing into 5 acres....only working about 2 now but stupid aspirations show me developing more.

I like plants. I can do something if they irritate me. But People, well, I hate jail.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:20PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

Too many duds to mention. There were several 'deads' probably due to the winter from hell. Sadly neither of my 2 Clematis near the deck survived. Lost a beautiful brunnera and a really nice penstemon.
But what's confusing me this year is the lack of bloom on corydalis lutea. That thing usually blooms non stop all summer. I have lush full plants with not a single flower! What's up with that?

Surprised to read the comments about the ninebarks. I have Coppertina and Centreglow. Both are doing great. I didn't find them slow to establish. I moved the centreglow this spring. I hope I haven't jinxed it now.

SCG, don't give up on coleus. I don't think this was a good year for them. Also I know from past experience that they can't handle cold and wet at all. You may have got them into the ground too early. Mine are disappointing me this year.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 8:43AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Coleus always do that to me. I haven't tried to grow them for quite a long time.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:29AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Methinks if I try coleus again it will be in a part-sun bed not part-shade. North53 you may be right as this bed stays continually moist.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:26AM
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Try growing coleus in a pot if you don't have much luck in-ground.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:09PM
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rosecavalier(3 AB)

RE: Morden Sunrise

This is an unusual rose...I think it can suffer from "sudden death syndrome". I've grown it for quite a few years now but only have one thriving...the rest died. I planted (from the same supplier) what looked like to me as two identical plants...side by side...both started well...treated the same...a couple of years later one just up and died. I've tried them in pots without much success. It could be that many yellow roses are notorious for having weak root I don't know if my thriver is grafted or not...maybe it's own root...but it sure has performed year after wintering with 3-4 ft of live growth (with winter protection)...10 yrs old thereabouts.

Anyways, its one of those roses that you have to try a half dozen or so before meeting success...that just been my experience.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Bombshell hydrangea going to give it one more year. It has only grown about 10 inches and has 1 bloom. I think that is it unless you count all of my tulips and daffodils that failed to launch but with the weather we had, I can't blame them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:58PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

rosecavalier, I admire your tenacity and patience!!! I don't think that I would try anything more than 2 times before I give up! LOL! Thanks for the beautiful photo of your Morden Sunrise!

catt, I hear ya about the Bombshell hydrangea! It showed such promise and yet it turned out to be such a disappointment.... I am sticking to my other reliable paniculata hydrangeas! :-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 8:40PM
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