Little bluestem is dying

everlastingJune 16, 2007

hi all.

At the college we planted hundreds of little blue stem and switchgrass.

The little bluestem is turning yellow.

Do you think this is from too much water or a lack of it?

They were planted at the end of may. We bought a bunch of plant plugs. we put them in and packed the dirt around them.

I am going to try and get a picture today to show you!

Also, what might we do to save them as the little bluestem planting cost us hundreds of dollars


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cypsavant(z5/6 Ontario)

hi everlasting,
Speaking only from my own experience, LBS really likes sharp drainage to do well...I have some clumps growing at the edge of my cactus bed in slightly elevated pure gravel (right out of the pit, so it's a mix of coarse sand and small pebbles) never watered except by rain, and it's easily the healthiest planting I have of it. I've tried it in heavier soil and it just doesn't do very well at all, and I'd suspect it hates getting wet in such conditions.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 1:10PM
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I dug up some clumps of Little bluestem & transplanted them this spring to an island in the middle of the cul de sac. I watered them well when I put them in, but then I forgot about them. They have turned yellow & died. I suspect that your new plant plugs need a little coddling this year, maybe some mulch & extra water. If they survive, then they won't need mulch or extra water next year. If they don't make it, try planting seeds instead next year. It may take a bit longer to get a nice size clump, but it is actually easier to start them that way than from transplants.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 1:18PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I suspect too little water is the problem. It isn't easy to overwater in most outdoor situations. If you have an automatic irrigation system in place and you are watering daily, then too much water might be the problem. Otherwise, too little is probably the problem. Although these grasses will be very drought tolerant once established, right now they have very limited root systems and cannot cope with dry soil the way the will in the future.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 2:13PM
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