Dumb, Rookie Mistake...

mk87February 15, 2009

Well, either y'all are all going to get a good laugh out of this (no problem...I deserve it...), or one or two of you may empathize (but it's OK if you're not willing to own up to it).


Out in the rock-ish garden by the mailbox, I had Nana Coreopsis last year and it rotted when the temps got really high. So did the sedums. I just left them there...partly out of disgust and partly because I was too busy on other parts of the house and garden and figured I'd deal with it in the late winter. OK, it's late winter and I just went out to get some clean-up going and saw those black, greasy, coreopsis leaves and pulled 'em all right up. They came up VERY easily and all in pretty much one clump, so I was very proud of myself that I'd done this "great" thing.

Until I was throwing them on the compost heap and happened to notice the second "tier" of leaves under all of the greasy black ones.

Just as green as green could be.

I am new to perennials. I'm used to lantana and pincushion flower, but that's about it. I had never seen a perennial get all black and greasy-looking like that. The things I'm used to get woody or just die back, but don't look rotted.

Anyway, I'm sick about it...not much money wasted, but time and effort gone and figured if I came clean here on the Forum, at least it would be cathartic.

Dumb, rookie mistake...

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Well, I just did a similar thing. I had a Vaccinium darrowii (small leaved, evergreen blueberry) that I had planted last year and it died in the fall. I bought a new one and just recently dug up the old root ball and planted the new one. As I was carrying off the debris, I noticed small green shoots! So I have potted that up and put it in a protected location (squirrels can really do in something like that) to see if it will recover.

I'm sure you'll have plenty of company on this thread.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:40AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

i got to the point that i just totally refrain from doing any work in the garden shy of pulling dry leaves up until around late march. all of my nanas are pretty much sounding the smae as yours, but i know they'll be back :)

i had to get on one of my neighbors some time back, she ept cutting her hydrangeas down to the ground ever year, not realizing the 'old wood' was still alive. it was actually gratifying to walk up to the supposed "dead" wood, and scraping at it to reveal the green and white below :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 4:17PM
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esh -- Well, at least I'm in good company! :) I should have done the same thing to the coreopsis (pot it), but I didn't think of it, I was so annoyed with myself at the moment.

satellite -- Good idea about waiting 'til later in the spring. I had good intentions, but... (OK, OK, it wasn't "good intentions," it was impatience...) I will know better next year, I guess!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 4:28PM
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I had some unidentified variety of wandering jew I think it was...and it got completely toasted last winter....I pulled off dead leaves and it seemed so far gone that most of the plant came up with the leaves, so it all got tossed into my lasagne material layers...it didn't get completely covered, but later on I see plantlike folliage coming up....it was regrowing and in the middle of my garden...So I dug it up and moved it back to the flower bed...still going strong....dies back each year...and back again...same thing happened to an air fern...didn't realize they would come back...but they did...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 11:02PM
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rjinga -- Yep, seems to me I remember that wandering jew is pretty hard to completely kill. Sounds like something my grandmother might have told me at one time...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 6:45AM
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jmzms(z7 Alpharetta, GA)

Maybe I have a misconception of what wandering jew actually is. I've always thought it to be an indoor house plant (not capable of surviving the cold winters). Do you have a pic of what you're referring to? I'd love to know if I have the same thing and have been treating it with "kid gloves" for no reason.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:28AM
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jmzms -- There is something called bolivian jew and something called wandering jew and I get them confused.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 10:04AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

At least one of the varieties of wandering jew can be very invasive. I believe it's kin to spiderwort. Our neighbor had it at one time as a ground cover since it will grow in light shade. It wandered over to our side and we have been trying to get rid of it since.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:32PM
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esh or satellitehead -- Hope that one of you sees this. I have a related question. Since I loved the look of the Nana coreopsis last year (before they got all black and greasy-looking), I'd like to put some back out there. When they start to go icky, would it be OK to simply cut them back to the ground, to keep them from looking so ugly in their dormant period (late summer-winter)? Or, would that impede their blooming for the next season?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:19AM
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It would be fine to cut the foliage back.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:23AM
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Cool...thanks. I notice now (of course) that some of my other ones (the ones I luckily didn't have a chance to remove before I realized my error) are indeed greening up and even flowering a little. @@ We live and learn...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:10AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

same experience here :) 80% of ours have come up, and we have half a dozen itty bitty flowers between the 7-8 that are showing.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:58PM
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You guys have flowers already? Lucky ....

Here is a picture of mine from last year.

And here is a picture of the "mouse ear" that gives it the common name "mouse eared coreopsis". Mine has spread very well, I shall have to pot some up for the swap in May.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 4:44PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

man, mine are nowhere near that big or that many flowers!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:47PM
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Mine never got that big either! Those are BEAUTIFUL, esh! How long have you had that one? The largest mine got before I (hanging head again) DUG. THEM. UP... was about 12 inches. And, those in the pic appear to even be getting some shade. Wow!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:13PM
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I guess that has been there about 3-4 years (we moved in in 2003, so it can't be older than that). It was probably just one or two plants that I rescued from a construction site.

It has really grown these last 2 years - it may be almost twice that size now and is moving into the territory of other plants (solidago, aster, even green 'n' gold, mountain mint).

The area is in my "clay patch", an area of unimproved soil that I put things that are allowed to be wild if they want. It gets a good bit of sun, especially in the afternoon.

I went out last night and potted up 5 pots of it for the swap. You're welcome to have some.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:09PM
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esh -- I just don't really have anything to swap, so I probably won't go to this one. :( Thanks tho'!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:25PM
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I'm not looking to swap ... you are welcome to have some.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:21PM
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Wow...that would be great! Well...hmmm...I hate to come to a swap empty-handed tho'. Wish I had something folks would want...I just found out that hubby has that weekend off, so we may very well actually get to come to this one! I have a couple of azaleas I could bring I guess. They aren't special, but I am looking to dig them up and get rid of them... One of them is actually pretty cool. It is white with pink stripes. It crossed itself with a pink one we had next to it for years and now it blooms some white and some with the stripes. We don't have anything pink in our yard now, though, so I've been wanting to get rid of it, but hate to just dig it up and toss it. Think anybody'd want something like that?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 6:51PM
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I guess there was some talk of trading other things - old magazines, yard art, a batch of cookies .....

And yes, I'm sure someone would like your azaleas.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:48PM
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LOL I'm not likely to give up my treasured old gardening magazines, but I think I could be persuaded to make cookies! I think hubby and I will (carefully) dig up that azalea (it's got a good many buds on it and it's not too large) and pot it up.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Well, no way am I getting that azalea out w/out a backhoe or something. It's too close to the house and the roots are just too big and spidery. :(

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:12PM
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