Little Bluestem

Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)July 25, 2004

Any reason why my LBS would be getting brown tips on the blades this time of year? These are my winter-sown plugs and that have now grown between 8 to 12"...not the ones direct sowed in fall which are only about 4".

Thanks

Vera

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ahughes798(z5 IL)

Well, I'd say it MAY have something to do with the container they were planted in? Native plants often spend the first few YEARS of their lives putting down 15-35 foot roots...

A friend of mine gave me a whole flat of indian grass seedlings. I have given about 2/3 of them away to good homes, because I just don't have enough room! Anyway...the leaf tips on the plants this person gave me started to turn brown after a while, and I think it's because they were planted in a container wherein their roots could grow outward, but not down.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 12:07AM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Well I could say that could have been the problem except these guys were sowed in DEEP containers and were in the ground when the blades were just 1/2" to 2" long since end of March...this issue just started happening after 90+ temps over a 2 week period but I would think heat would not be a problem? It's not too bad but when your a "mom" you worry too much! :>)

Vera

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 1:23PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

i havent seen this on mine - so i am not much help... but i am curious though... could it be they have had too much water? what has your weather been like? what is the soil condition? i know LBS prefers a fairly well drained soil -

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 6:15PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Hi Joepyeweed,

No I don't think too much water is the issue either...I only water after checking the depth of moisture..and when I do water it drains away quicky in my sandy soil. Could it be not enough water? Would you say that most dry upland natives would be more drought tolerate the more established they get? Maybe I should have been giving things a drink when the temps got so hot....it was a pretty big leap overnight it seems.

Thanks

Vera

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 8:26PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

if you have sandy soil then too much water is not the issue. perhaps it is not enough water. i do water my natives in their first year - i know people think that you do not have to water natives, but that is really only after they have established themselves. when they are seedlings and for the first year, i water them about once a week. (or less if we have had alot of rain). i water my first year natives particularly because i have sandy well drained well and the plants havent set down their roots deep enough to get to the moisture they need. which makes sense for your situation - particularly for plugs... if you havent been watering them - then i would say go ahead and give 'em a good drink...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 10:02AM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

I was watering once a week just with my nozzle set on the shower feature...I don't like my sprinklers...the kind that shoots water back and forth because it takes way tooo long to get a good soaking and the round head thingy just floods...sooooo I'll try to time myself for at least a 1/2 hr with the "shower"...I should be able to manage that with my lil'ol' 12X60 area :))

Thanks Joepye,

Vera

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 2:32PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

i am curious to know if watering helps or not...keep me posted?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 2:46PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

I'll do that :)
You know how the spiderplant (Chlorophytum) will get brown tips from un-distilled tap water or low humidity? That's what it looks like.
We'll see if lack of water is the culprit...

Vera

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 3:46PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

my spiderwort gets brown tips as summer progresses... actually i have two kinds of spiderwort in one of my plantings... i assume that you probably have the western spiderwort... which in my planting completely dies off in late summer but it keeps coming back each year so i havent really worried about it much. (western spiderwort is not really native to my area - so if it doesnt thrive - oh well - i wouldnt try to replace it. and i dont collect seed from it - i let it be... i wont go out of my way to remove it either though. i planted that when i was told by a local nursery that it was native. it was one of my first plants. it was after that i figured out how to find out which plants are truly native etc. etc. )

however in my area ohio spiderwort grows like a weed. and i have plenty of it. it tends to turn brown in late summer too. but i notice that spiderwort in the wild gets that as well... so i'm not sure its tap water. i think its just more of a spring loving flower - even though it will flower all summer - its mostly a spring bloomer in the wild... if i knock the seed heads off - i do get more blooms later in the summer though. i dont worry much about my ohio spiderwort turning brown in late summer. i have had years where the plants disappear altogether in late summer and by next spring its as hardy as it has ever been. of course it does grow like a weed near my house - so its likely to come back...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 5:40PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

actually i just posted that stuff about spider wort and then noticed i read your post wrong - so sorry - please ignore my stuff about tradescantia... as you were talking about chlorophytum - totally different... oops

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 5:44PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

LOL No No No!! I was referring to Chlorophytum comosum ..common name Spider Plant ... houseplant :))

Sorry for the confusion...a bad comparison I guess for describing the "look"....
But hey now I know what Spiderwort is...I had to check it out!

Vera

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 7:11PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

well hm,

ill betchya it has to do with the age of the plant. the plant has blades that are just plain older than the first year seedlings. these little powerplants of mystery, leaves, have a certian life span, especially natives. they are designed to give in at just the right time and they start to eat themselves to wait for next years sun.

i would guess that u, my friend, just have more mature plants and next year (givin they stay in the ground all winter and are in the same micro ecosystem) they will both brown at roughly the same time, in their brilliant brown and white. easily, one of the best looking grasses on the planet.

by the way, kinda gives local genotype a whole new spin, eh?

froggy

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 9:07PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Froggy
These LBS are not even through season #1 yet...just babes :)

Vera

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 1:08AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

that is why im saying it.

one set of plants are older than the others. and the older ones are turning color right? and they are turning because they ran out of genotype time and are going to turn brown earlier...

froggy

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 6:18PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Ok I get ya :)
These are all 1st year seedlings, but the wintersown plugs had a way big head-start by a few months.

Vera

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 9:10PM
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