What's up with my phaeums?

ticksmom419(z7 NC)April 12, 2006

I have a couple of phaeums (I think -- they're called Samobor) that are looking stunted this year. I know people say geraniums should be planted in full sun, but these 2 have been in part shade, getting mostly filtered afternoon sun, since I got them, about 3-4 years ago, and they've always grown and bloomed well. Last summer, though, was pretty dry and I noticed by the end of the summer, their leaves were beginning to die back. Same thing happened with a couple of hostas in the same bed -- leaves died back before summer was over. This spring, they're showing some new growth, but it's rather sparse. (And those hostas never came back at all -- it's like they completely disappeared.) Are these supposed to be divided? Or is something else possibly wrong with them?



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Not all hardy geraniums will enjoy the same growing conditions and the phaeums in particular are quite shade tolerant. I have problems with Samobor reseeding rather prolifcially and hostas tend to be tough as nails, so I'd look to some other problem. What is your soil condition and drainage like?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 9:40AM
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ticksmom419(z7 NC)

Hi, gardengal -- thanks for responding. You know, I think the problem is dryness. We're having a really dry spring. I watered them a couple of days ago and there's a lot of new growth already. I guess they usually get a lot more water in the spring. Things got pretty dry last summer, too, and I usually don't provide much extra water. They've always been fine that way, but last year, as I mentioned above, they sort of fizzled out. Would that have impacted their growth from the start this year?

The soil is probably not the best. They're one of the first things I planted, when I knew nothing about soil. Do you think they'd benefit from being dug up and replanted with amendments? I guess they shouldn't be divided. Would they suffer from digging up, do you think?

Thanks for your help. I love their foliage -- would hate to lose them.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 11:43AM
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flowerfloosey(z8 NCal mnts)

you could dig them up but in a rainstorm is the best time as they won't miss a beat that way. Fall is probably the best time to dig them and re-ammend the soil. Mine can't deal with dry soil. In my garden, they get only morning sun and afternoon shade with moist conditions. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 8:58PM
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ticksmom419(z7 NC)

Well, I decided to dig up a good chunk of them. For whatever reason, I didn't realize that their crowns looked so similar to the crowny things of heucheras. Anyway, I have a nice pile of completely dead crowny things. But those that had new tiny leaves, I moved. They're already happier. I'm going to guess that I smothered them in compost last year, followed by inadequate watering. Guess that was just about enough to do them in. I'm glad I dug them up! Thanks for the help.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 5:16PM
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