failing ironweed; Vernonia fasciculata. what am I doing wrong?

maiden_minnesotaMay 25, 2009

I planted a Common Ironweed, Vernonia fasciculata, 3 years ago. This is the 3rd spring. Each year it gets smaller and smaller. Last year it had only 1 stem. Just now I was looking to see if it was coming back and could not find it. I started digging (carefullY!) and found the crown about 8 inches down with 4 very tiny "Nubbins" that were still alive. The roots went quite deep, at least 14 inches, and I ended up breaking them off at 12 inches. From what I've read this should be a very hardy plant. It is planted in full sun, mostly sandy soil. I water during dry spells. My tester showed the Ph to be about 6. Does anyone have any suggestions what I should do? I'd like to get it replanted soon. I've heeled it in for now. Thanks!

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seamommy(7bTX)

Ironweed prefers consistent moisture, so you may need to water it more often. This is a tough and hardy plant, so wherever you decide to put the plant you dug up should be OK, and you may also see a new plant emerge from the roots that you left in the ground in the original location. I have Western ironweed that comes up in several locations in my cottage garden, how it got there in the first place, I'm not sure. But no matter how much I dig, chop or trim it, it keeps coming back. It does look pretty though, so I don't hate it too much. Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:12AM
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dandy_line(3B (Brainerd, Mn))

I've had good luck germinating V. baldwini and V. novaborasensis here in Z4. They come up nicely and have great blooms. I can send you some seeds this fall if you like.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:45PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Ironweed is very slow to start growing in the spring. Once it gets above the soil, it shoots right up. I would try some seeds or other plants to see how they do. Maybe your one plant is stunted for some reason. Was it getting crowded out by other plants?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 7:23PM
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