What are your most disappointing plants?

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7June 12, 2002

What are the plants you just knew would be spectacular and were not? Or plants that just didn't perform the way all the books and literature led you to believe?

At the moment my vote goes to carpet roses. I installed 15 of these 2 years ago and only the red ones are big and lush. Pale pink and white ones are tiny and smaller than when I started. Pink are O.K.

And reeves spirea. Tired of a big weedy looking plant taking up my garden space for a few measly flowers 2 weeks in spring. Am digging 4 of them up and throwing into the woods.

Would love your input!

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LoraxDave(z7B Alabama)

I don't have much success with roses either. I have tried several different types, because roses are one of the few plants that my wife appreciates. But it's just one pest or disease after another. I'm more of a foliage person anyway, so I have a hard time accepting these ugly, defoliated thorny plants in the garden, even if they do produce flowers (which often look like hell due to thrips, Japanese Beetles, or the weather). I have tried some of the old garden roses, but most of those also seem to be full of blackspot this year. I don't have time to baby these things along - I like plants that thrive as "naturally" as possible. 'New Dawn' looks good without pesticides for me. Also, I've been fairly happy with a couple of the Renaissance series of roses that I planted last year, although the flowers still get damaged by thrips, etc. 'Louis Philippe' also looks good. But most that I have are ugly plants.

Bah humbug on roses! Give me Camellias! LOL.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 3:19PM
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Well, now that you mention it, I don't "get" my spirea either. I'm also not a fan of my viburnum burkwordii - it's fragrance is nice when and if it does not get nipped by a frost. I love all the other viburnums though. I don't seem to have a very good knack with clematis.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 4:10PM
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Ya'll are gonna laugh at me, but I'll tell ya, I keep trying to grow Lamb's Ear (Stachys). Yes, I can grow cannas, gingers, african violets, roses even! And I can't grow something as simple as lamb's ear! I pictured beds full of it with its soft leaves that I could pet as I walked by. And I just can't grow it! I get it and it rots. I get more, and it rots! The leaves just turn to mush! I know I'm not over watering it. And I know to water from the bottom. I KNOW it grows here. I drive around town and see it in other people's yards all beautiful and soft, and I get this wild urge to run out and yank it all up! It's NOT fair!!! Waaaa waaaaa waaaaa!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 8:25PM
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cakeperson(zone 7)

Nancyann - you mean Baaaa, Baaaa, Baaaa don't you? I, too, love lambs ear and have never had success at growing it. I can grow maidenhair ferns, peonies, roses but the simple, lovely lambs ear alludes me. And poppies - everyone I know plants them for early spring color and they're gorgeous - I put them in the ground and they sit there like lumps on a log - not really dying but not producing anything either just taking up space.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2002 at 8:36AM
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Jan, poppies don't like being transplanted, so the best way to grow them is to scatter the seeds in late fall. They need a freezing period and mother nature will do that for you and then they burst into action in spring. They are cool weather plants and they die out before it gets too hot. Also, I've discovered that as soon as a plant is done blooming, it IMMEDIATELY begins dying! I thot I had gotten Roundup on mine, but someone else said, no, that's just what they do.

So glad I'm not the only one who is Lamb's-Ear challenged! LOL


    Bookmark   June 13, 2002 at 10:10AM
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teri2(7B TN)

According to the catalogs, there is Lamb's Ear and then there is Lamb's Ear. Some cultivars are more able to deal with heat and humidity than others. Maybe you have been trying the wrong ones. One sure way to get the right one would be to get a start from one of those thriving patches you mentioned. Lamb's Ear owners ALWAYS have enough to share.

My list of disappointing plants is huge. That's because my garden is tiny. Anything that turns out to be even the smallest problem is outta here to be replaced with an endless list of new plants to try. Lamb's Ear, for instance, got only one year because it zoomed past its allotted space. Sorry, Nancy Ann.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2002 at 1:08PM
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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

IF you ever get Lambs Ear started, you may wish you hadn't. It surely does invade on its neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2002 at 12:12PM
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LOL!! I lIKE this thread! I have killed MANY plants that were supposed to be very easy to grow - 7 plumbago at last count! Also my oleander ALWAYS looked like hell... but my lamb's ear and roses are doing well! I am also content with my Reeve's spirea - I have 3 plants and am thinking about adding another! Isn't it funny how every plant seems to be different for every gardener??!! portulaca, plumbago, gardenia... my list of dead plants is long!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2002 at 2:24PM
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You killed portulaca?? Wow! I just scatter the seeds and it grows everywhere for me. I love it and can't get enough of it!

I am currently killing an orchid and an african violet. I have a friend in Memphis who grows them and I tried to be a copycat--without any luck, as you can tell. She is planning a trip here to rescue them! LOL Funny, the tag on the orchid says it's the easiest one to grow. Easy for whom???


    Bookmark   June 16, 2002 at 4:57PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

The beautiful Bergartten selecton of sage. Damn! After growing nicely from division, half of them up and died with no notice last summer, and now the survivors are starting to do the same this summer and it's only mid-June. Drainage couldn't be better and air movement's good, too.

On the other hand, my little clumps of white-flowered calamintha, grown from seed, bloomed all summmer last year, seeded about a bit, and are blooming away again this year. The 'Countess Helene von Stein' selection of lambs ears has done pretty well in my garden, also.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 8:08AM
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cakeperson(zone 7)

Ahh NancyAnn - you and I are soil-sisters for sure! I, too, am currently killing two african violets and an "easy to grow" orchid! My sister-in-law is on her way down here to rescue them - it's shameful! This weekend friends of mine have offered (yet again) another sampling of lambs ear to try in place of the now-dead poppy. I'm sorely tempted but worried that the garden police will arrest me for eweacide should I even attempt it! I will try scattering poppy seeds this fall - it's that Wizard of Oz fixation I have - I just want to be able to look out at my flower bed and say "Popppppppies, poppppppies........."

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 10:45AM
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LOL at the Wizard of Oz... my mom is from KS and we often quote bits of the movie to each other! hmmm, what else should I confess to killing... I had no luck with seeds - poppies, hollyhocks, etc. some small success with cosmo seeds... we are having a fence built and I am finding that I must move several plants I planted on the property line. I HATE doing so in mid-summer, but haven't much choice. So far they are coming back well... I have delayed moving a rosa mundi cus it just pains me to have to dig it up and cause it pain... oh well, I suppose better now then later!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 11:23AM
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Marigolds....never had luck with those....I have a long list of plant kills, but marigolds are pretty much consistent. Oh, and geraniums....its really too hot for them here but I LOVE them....reminds me of my grandmother...love their smell.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 6:24PM
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Houseplants -- can't do a thing with them. No matter what I try, what I do, nothing works. I try my best to get rid of any and all houseplants as soon as I get them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2002 at 3:16PM
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Orchids die when I enter a room! They are really hard to grow and I have given up trying. The orchids are now happy.
My brother has a huge lambs ear growing right under his dryer vent. Maybe thats the trick - air blowing on it all day.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2002 at 10:59PM
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I can't grow coneflower although it is supposed to be easy. Also have killed many lamb's ears. Must be to heavy on the water. Ayone have any advice on fushsia, the honeysuckle kind. I have nice new plant that is looking wilty.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2002 at 9:41AM
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OK, here is my take on lamb's ears. I planted mine between a brick wall and the drive way in western sun. They want it hot. The plants get watered every other day. I think they thrive on hot baking sun--no shade at all. The hotter the better. My mother has impressive plants growing on a hill in all day sun. She waters once a week. I think that they need to bake.

I tend to kill fuchsia and never even GET poppies to germinate. My obedient plant died over the winter. SO FAR I have kept my roses alive this year.

I always love a good challenge!!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 10:56AM
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Wren14(7b GA)

OK, what's the story with Lambs Ears??? I thought I was the only one who kills them. I've also given up on Homestead Verbena. It grows great the first season, but it never comes back the following spring.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 2:18PM
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Petunias- for some reason they first wilt and die. I've grown petunias in the past with great success but don't understand what's going on.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 3:14PM
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teri2(7B TN)

Ah, yes! Homestead. I can't even keep it flowering for more than a month, let alone get it to overwinter. I've also managed to kill off a number of Hellebores, including a fancy, schmancy one that Wayside overcharges for.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 3:58PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

This has been so interesting. My lamb's ears are the easiest plants in my garden. Hot, Hot, direct sun all day next to driveway and I never water. They looked great all winter, and no die back at all. Have only removed a few brown leaves.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 4:32PM
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LoraxDave(z7B Alabama)

Homestead Verbena came back one year for me. My favorite Verbena is Biloxi Blue (aka Blue Princess). That one never comes back for me. I think wet Winter soils are the problem. In a raised bed, I bet they would come back!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2002 at 10:37AM
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Maryl zone 7a

The lambs ear I grew did perfectly fine. Too fine. It was in full day sun, with adequate moisture, and it took off. It's gone now. Am I the only one who dislikes Stokesia? I've grown two different varieties (currently Blue Danube). It's foliage is downright weedy looking to my eyes, and it's flowers are sort of short and dumpy looking. My neighbor grows "purple parasols" and her plants are erect and awesome. But she still doesn't like it because of the foliage.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2002 at 7:47PM
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teri2(7B TN)

Funny, my Stokesia 'Klaus Jellico' is the current hit of the garden. Everyone asks about it. I'm just hoping that when bloom is over there will be enough floppy neighbors to mask the remaining leaves.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 4:19PM
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I agree with the post that orchids are hard to grow. I've got one that I had shipped from Hawaii and it hasn't bloomed since I got it. I'm doing the orchid food and watering it regularly, but it just isn't happy. I've put it outside now that we have the tropical temps. and hope that will help it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2002 at 12:25PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I'm not much yet into ornamentals so my problem plants are all in the practical plant category. The only real problem I have at the moment is a Tropic Sweet apple that just seems to insist on waning no matter what I do for it which is frustrating since I have two Anna's and a Golden Dorsett that are doing well. Planted twelve blueberry bushes this last winter and eight of them are putting out good growth. The remaining four leafed out but that's all they've done. No new growth on them for months.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2002 at 1:52PM
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summergirl(Houston/zone 9)

Annual vinca used to be the one plant that never let me down in the hottest of months...Now they dont make it but a week or so out of the 6pack before turning yellow, then dead...Must be that dreaded vinca virus...Another one is the moss rose/portulaca. I see this stuff growing profusely everywhere but my garden. They dont grow much bigger than when I first planted them. Even the self seeded ones look horrible. But, I can grow things that should have never made it in my zone so I guess not all is bad!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2002 at 7:01PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

I'm doing pretty good at killing Mallow/Zebrina this year, lol. They bloom but look so raggety and straggly it's pathetic! My "Love in a Mist" just won't grow. They reached about two inches tall, got a single bloom and then started dying back. I did pinch the bloom off as quick as they started so it would put it's strength back into the roots, but it hasn't helped. I keep blaming it on the dry weather. :))

    Bookmark   June 27, 2002 at 12:51AM
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teri2(7B TN)

Summergirl - Ditto with Portulaca. My solution this year was to bunch at least 3 plants together as one. Instant size and who knows except you!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2002 at 3:59PM
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summergirl(Houston/zone 9)

I wish that were the answer...This year I wanted instant "lush" so I bought some hanging baskets , took the plants out, and planted those. I had instant gratification and did not have to wait for litte teeny 6 packs to come together!! All the hanging basket plants I put in the ground made huge mounds of color...except the portulaca...So I guess it is just one of those things!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2002 at 5:59PM
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Portulaca,Goldflame Honeysuckle and Verbena. I visited a garden in Texas that had Portulaca as a ground cover used in several beds. It was VERY pretty. I tried it in one of my beds and I know I purchased well over 30 6packs and my bed never looked full and lush like the one I saw. They became long and leggy in no time!!!

I had several homestead verbenas that were beautiful but they are covered with white flies. I have never had this problem before so I assume they are attracted to them. I also did not have luck with any of the regular verbena that I purchased. I think it is just too hot for them. They also developed powdery mildew. I have one variety that has on the growing instruction card that it was tested in Texas for heat capability and is suitable for extreme heat and drought. We shall see (LOL).

I have tried growing Goldflame Honeysuckle for several years in different locations and each plant always gets powdery mildew. I have tried everything to get rid of it but once this plant gets it I have found it impossible to get rid of. It is sold every year at our garden center and every year it looks so beautiful that I am suckered in to trying it "just one more time."

    Bookmark   June 30, 2002 at 9:17PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Cerinthe (sp?)...the ones that are supposed to look like blue flowered shimp plants.

I started them from seed and they have grown well, but when it came to flowers they just have a little thing about 1/3 inch long poking out and that is it!

Very disappointing. Anyone else have any luck with them?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2002 at 11:59PM
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pepper7(z7 TN)

I have a moonflower vine I planted way back in May and it's all of an inch tall. I planted seed along one section of fence and only one has made it this far. I have a neighbor that had them growing beautifully up her mailbox so I know they will grow here. None of my vines are doing very well so far really. Maybe I need to water them more.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2002 at 4:49PM
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Bullnettle(z8b TX)

Gaura - I just don't like them and intend to do away with them in the fall. I haven't had any luck with purple coneflowers, except the Tennessee purple coneflower. The others just die. Ruellia - it just keeps spreading. Coral honeysuckle - just won't bloom. I've pulled it out three times, but the vine keeps returning - bloomless.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2002 at 5:29PM
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my african violets are doing great but i can't take the credit for them my husband has been taking care of them. my big problem plant is lilies they just don't seem to want to grow for me and i am starting to hate my drwarf burning bush i know it is a slow grower but the thing has been in the groung for 3 years and has not grown an inch.trying a camellia this year hope it makes it in my zone everyone is laughing at me telling me i wasted my money on it but the first blooms it had were well worth it just hope it makes the winter then they'll be sorry..lol

    Bookmark   July 5, 2002 at 2:59PM
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I just cannot grow vegetables! Although I am a child of avid organic gardeners and grew up working in the garden alongside my parents, I did not inherit a knack for growing things to eat. I have tons of Lamb's ear and give it away to anyone who will take it - believe me, it thrives on neglect! Flowers and herbs love my gardens; I can grow irises, daylillies, and hostas from division like crazy; but the one and only vegetable that has ever actually grown to fruition is a volunteer cherry tomato plant that has shown up amongst my marigolds. I have bought actual plants and tried my hand at starting seeds indoors, but it's been a total waste of time and money. Oh, and I have also killed all the "heirloom" peony eyes my mother-in-law has given me over the years-ones her grandmother brought with her from Hungary, that her mother took to Pennsylvania, that she brought to Ohio and then North Carolina. It's not just the plants I'm killing, you see!LOL! English stock, English daisies and roses are tough ones, too.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2002 at 3:55PM
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Propaganda Garden Design

Hey Roselee I have to say I LOVE my Cerinthe. It is not exactly what I expected. The bracts aren't quite as blue as pictures have indicated. But I love the foliage and the graceful way the stems hold the flowers. I planted a good number of them near some painted ferns, Geranium 'Samobor' and a variegated Hydrangea and I am so happy with the combo that I will try it again next year.
I was dissapointed with Geranium 'Summer Skies'. Supposed to be a double Pratense but the flowerbuds just turned brown and shriveled without opening.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2002 at 11:59AM
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I planted Coreopsis last fall. They leafed out this spring, and some of them bloomed initially. Now there are no blooms at all. I selected them for the sunny west facing, hot, arid site, but they aren't blooming. I have been watering during the drought weeks. The butterfly bushes that I planted behind them are thriving and blooming! Think I'll pull the Coreopsis up in the fall and plant daffodils instead.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2002 at 9:33AM
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zichlebee(Z7 Tyler, TX)

After reading some of the responses, at least as far as self-seeding plants are concerned, it probably has to do with soil type. Here in East Texas, we have deep sand or clay/iron ore. Poppies, Johnny Jump Ups, annual phlox, sweet William, zinnia, wishbone plants are practically weeds in sandy soil and have to be coaxed in clay. I have clay that has been amended for 18 years and have fair luck with larkspur and poppies. One solution is to buy seed in large quantity either from Wild Seed or from Stokes and sow it at the appropriate time.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2002 at 12:27PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Clem...I am glad your Cerinthe did well. Maybe it is the heat (not only hot is it in the daytime, but the heat at night affects plants -- they never get a chance to cool down) and alkaline water here, though they were planted in good amended soil. Mine are the Pride of Gibralter variety.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2002 at 10:11AM
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Datawgal(8/9 SC)

Just came in from pulling up the pink flowered ruellia. They were taking over everything in a 10 foot radius from the original plant. I must have pulled out over 100 plants. My next door neighbor's plant (we bought them at the same time, same place) never self sows; her's is lovely and mine is a noxious weed.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2002 at 3:09PM
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gwen13(z8 TX)

Datawgal, I have the purple(4'), white and the pink and my pink are the least prolific. The purple are everywhere, huge stands of then. The white is one pretty small stand and the pink are scattered lightly through out my red bed. They pinks are also the shortest only about 18" high, white is about 2'. Guess which one I want to spead? Yep the pink. The white and purple spread by root and don't seed hardly at all.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2002 at 1:37AM
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I hate those things, too. I only planted pink (I got it free in a dogwood tree I bought from a local nursery) and now I have pink and purple everywhere. Those roots could choke an elephant. The seedlings come up in my potted plants that are being planted later, and I've inadvertently spread them around that way. My friends tell me not to give them anything that may be contaminated. They ought to be against the law! Also, I've killed yellow lantana. Got tired of its perpetual cheerfulness after 9 months of non stop bloom. I like the cream and lavender colors a lot better.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2002 at 12:30PM
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hi - regarding lamb's ears rotting in houston, mine rot if left standing in water. I have observed that the plants "lie down" when hit hard with a hose or heavy rain, mine need help to get back up when the rain stops. they get kinda "stuck" to the ground/mulch underneath. This morning after the last two days deluge, i went outside when the sun was hot, lifted up the plants leaves, shook any wet soil or wet mulch off the leaves, removed any gushy rotten brown leaves from underneath, and this stops that whole rotting process. When i was out of town last month, i came back to almost dead, mushy rotten lamb's ears, after a several days of rain. got back just in time. Gotta pick 'em up!

it seems i can grow only zinnias, sunflowers, and marigolds from seed, i am holding my breath at the baby hollyhocks planted from "dollar store" seeds which are coming up in this ungodly august heat.

lady kemma in katy

    Bookmark   August 16, 2002 at 3:54PM
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Kjunglegrl(z8 Houston)

So far, I have had ZERO luck with things that are supposedly easy to grow either everywhere or in my zone.

Sunflowers- yeah they grow, they bloom, but they never stand up right.

Dusty miller- I was told they grow great here and come back too. I don't particularly adore them but I tried them out. Lost them to either root rot or leaf spot.

AZALEAS!!! Grrr. I never should ahve even attempted these things. 4 dead, and 4 looking like they wish they were dead. I guess they're not doing that bad, but I guess I am just expecting them to take a turn for the worse. Add to this list gardenias too.

Begonias- Why can't I get these to grow? Right now I am working on the pink gin begonia. It's not dying but it's very slow growing.

Zinnias- i picked these up after reading in a book that ANYONE can grow zinnia. They looked great for to weeks and are now on the decline. They blooms are nice but the leaves look sick. Leaf spot strikes again????

Right now it seems a large percent of my garden is plagued with some kinda fungus. I lost some healthy well established pittosporum in a matter of 5 days. I suspect root rot.

Maybe the list of what I can grow easily would be shorter.
Evergreens, alyssum, salvia, umbrella tree, ferns, portulaca, succulants.

Sigh. wow that list was short.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 3:44PM
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I have some Aralias (I think Ming...) and they are so frustrating! They are the MOST sensitive plants I have ever seen! I think I overwater them but I can't get any info on them, no one seems to know about these things...


    Bookmark   March 11, 2003 at 5:02AM
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Blooming_annie(z 8/9, Chas, SC)

I love reading that other people struggle with supposedly easy plants! Some of my worst 'enemies' have already been mentioned: homestead verbena, plumbago, sunflowers. But what has really amazed me is how plants that are notorious self-seeders never, and I mean never, self-seed for me. Cosmos, cleome, etc. And, my moonflowers were a flop last year. This time around, I planted about twenty seeds and plan on ripping out all but the 3-4 biggest vines.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2003 at 11:55PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

I know what you mean about zinnias, Kjunglegrl! I haven't had much success with them in recent years, either. Just this afternoon I bought some zinnia seeds that are supposed to be "fungus-resistant", so, assuming that has been the problem, I'm going to try them. But the real problem for me is ROSES!! Once black-spot gets on them, it has been impossible for me to eradicate. I read that our summers are too humid (?) Anyway, I have tried EVERY home remedy known to man, and even bought sprays, etc. all to no avail. And if the black-spot doesn't get them, all kinds of pests devour them. Way too much trouble!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 5:04PM
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loves_roses(z8a GA)

i killed an AIR PLANT once, bet ya no one can beat that. I've killed many an African violet, which I don't like anyhow. I don't think they're even pretty. My gladiolas (sp) are disappointing, for they grow but don't bloom as profusely as I'd like.
Roses bloom for me, but not profusely. I really want my hollyhocks to do well, though.
It makes me feel better to know that there are others besides me who have trouble with stuff.
Thanks for starting this thread.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 5:32PM
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A rhododendron I've been nursing for 3 years now. I'm digging it up to put in a mahonia.

I also have a weird superstition about buying plants in odd numbers. Anytime I've planted an even number, I lost one.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2003 at 6:23PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Ok, last June I threw into the woods a large reeves spirea.
I had two left in different areas of the yard.
This spring with all the rain the reeves spirea was gorgeous and bloomed heavily for at least 6 weeks. I think it was the prettiest thing blooming this spring. I wish I had been more patient!

My lambs ears, however, turned to mush and had to be cut back. They are rebounding now, of course, but they were a beautiful, full patch for 2 years. On the bright side, since they looked awful anyway, I dug up a bunch for transplanting. I hadn't wanted to touch the perfect clump last year.

And, the hinoki cypress right next to the garage door has a nesting cardinal and chicks. So fun to watch!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2003 at 9:01AM
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sandra_mcp(z8 AL)

The worst plant ever is the oriental limelight artemisia. So beautiful but so invasive. Also very invasive is the bog sage. Plants like these should come with warning labels.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 3:35PM
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magicboovoodoo(8 SC Chas)

I wish I knew how many of the plants that I've spent good money on would have survived or croaked. Almost everything I plant in the yard. DH mows down or weed eats. Blueberry bushes, clematis, gaura all murdered by DH.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2003 at 2:28AM
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shellyshelly(z8 SC)

another lamb's ear murderer...my mother (who lives next door) offers me small plants every spring. i won't even attempt to take them anymore.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2003 at 7:08AM
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I have a large clump of lamb's ear growing, get this, in my gravel driveway. Even the curly dock can't survive there. I never water it, the only drink it gets comes courtesy of a rain storm or if my husband washes his truck.
My least lucky plants are roses and hybrid azaleas. Too humid for the roses, and I haven't a clue what ails the azaleas. I used to have trouble with poppies before I got smart and invested in California poppies and Shirley's. Sowed them right out in the garden and they are going nuts right now. The seedlings even survived a late frost. This year my biggest dissapointment is Dame's Rocket. I bought it for the promise of smell and a healthy cottage garden plant, and what I got is the scrawniest weed you can imagine. The smell is good, but as a plant it's a mess.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2003 at 9:44AM
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Brenda_in_FL(z8 FL)

Oleanders and Tropicannas. Oleanders are supposed to be evergreen in zone 8. All of mine except one dies to the ground every winter and has to restart every spring. By the time they get any size to them and begin to flower it is winter again. I bought tropicannas last year. They never flowered didn't grow and this year they may be a foot out of the ground and that's it. They have multiplied but look like crap.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 6:24PM
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flowerchildCT(6 CT)

Most disappointing over the years:
Gaura-looks great when I buy it-never comes back
Sidalcea (Party Girl)-blooms about 2 weeks no matter what I do!
Scabiosa butterfly blue-gets all spindly, dies!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 7:08PM
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Primulaveris(Z8 Augusta GA)

Sweet Pea! Suppose to be so easy, but they either don't even come out of the soil or look so sick and week as if they are about to die any time. Which they do ;-)
But what I do in most cases when I buy more than one plant of something or divide a plant I put them in totally different places in the yard. If they don't do good here, they might thrive over there. And then I move the others there, too. Sometimes it seems like it is just an hour more or less sun that makes the difference. And the condition of the soil. I don't even bother testing the soil. I have at least 5 different conditions of soil. I had one spot with only morning sun where I would throw dead plants and leaves (due to the lack of a compost pile and because there was a hole in the ground that I thought would fill up over the time.) I grew the most awsome moonflowers there. By the way, I saw a fig plant at the grocery store among the house plants. Is that one I can put in the ground outside and grow figs on it?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 4:32PM
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I despise encore azaleas. I have wonderful regular azaleas that bloom profusely, but have pulled up all but one encore after years of waiting for them to do something. They do bloom more often, but very sparsely and the foliage never seems to grow.
I suspect most of my other failures are due to my soil being acid and the plants wanting more alkaline soil. I don't know why I can't grow zinnias well here--always get that rust disease. I've given them up.
I can't grow sage although the rest of my herbs thrive. I'm not too good at anything from seed. I did plant shasta daisy seeds once and almost pulled up the plants because they didn't come up for four or five years, so I didn't know what they were. Glad I waited.
I would really like to grow hollyhocks and sweetpeas but can't.
Fortunately I LOVE caladiums and coleus and they grow well for me.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2003 at 12:20AM
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The plants I want the most to succeed and have the most trouble with are my vanda orchids. I have friends who just hang them up and do nothing with them, and they bloom and bloom. Mine wouldn't bloom if I threatened to throw them into boiling water! I'm about ready to give them away.

On the other hand, my dwarf phaeleonopsis I paid $5 for at HD grows and blooms regularly every year with absolutely no care. I forget to water it for weeks sometimes. Go figure.

African violets are easy if you remember three things. One, the minute you get them home from the store, repot them in the same size pot with good african violet soil. The soil the growers use is supposed to get them to market, nothing more, and they're usually abused and neglected at the stores, so they need new soil and tlc. Don't put them back into the same pot unless you sterilize it, because they probably already have root rot fungus in the soil, so it's clinging to the inside of that pot too. Two, AV's thrive on neglect. Don't water them until they get completely dry. You can fertilize them with any kind of fertilizer as long as you use it 1/4 strength, which is usually 1/4 tsp per gallon. I use that every time I water, and mine do fine, as long as the birds don't eat them, or I forget to repot them as soon as I get them. Three, don't ever water them with cold water. You can water them from the top..if someone says you can't it's a myth. The reason they say that is because cold water hitting the leaves gives them white blotches, and water in the crown causes crown rot. Make sure you water underneath the leaves, as close to the edge of the plant as you can, with warm water, and you'll be fine. Just don't let them sit in water. Water until it runs out into the tray, then after 10 minutes, pour out everything that hasn't been absorbed by the plant. Overwatering or wet feet is what kills most AV's. Like I said, unless you're growing them for show, they thrive on neglect. They do, however, have to have sun, so put them into a bright window. No direct sun, because it will burn the leaves. An east window is best. If you only have a south window with no shading make sure you put them back a foot or so from the glass so they won't burn.

Roses I can't help you with. Unless it's indestructible, like my Louis Phillippe, I can't grow it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2003 at 9:32AM
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My problem child is a boston fern. Everyone I know has them and they grow so good. Not me. I buy a new one every spring, and every winter it dies. Boo Hoo... it's become an obsession to make one live thru at least one winter.

Begonia is my best grower. I thin the plants and the ripped off pieces I throw on the ground root and grow.

I'm amazed at all the problems with lambs ears. We used to have them growing wild all over. This week I went looking for them and none to be found! I wonder what's going on with them this year?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2003 at 11:30PM
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shellyshelly(z8 SC)

i've got a lamb's ear baby!! just popped up in my dianthus...i'm not touching it! (chuckle)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 8:10AM
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andreap(z7 NC)

Cosmos never reseeds or does well for me either. I have cleomes all over the place, but so far this year they look puny compared to last year--probably didn't thin them out enough, or maybe it's the poorly drained soil in some areas.

Sunflowers: most don't come up, if they do they look sick.

I just love to dig up my sick roses--then I can buy or transplant something new there, and planning is half the fun, isn't it?! I have a patch of pink old roses I found and transplanted when I moved here, bloom only once in the spring, but are so beautiful and smell so good they will stay, unlike the 'disease and insect resistant' Freedom Roses, of which I have one left, and can't wait to dig it out (I find most mini-roses short-lived as well). But I will certainly check this thread before making a final decision on what to plant there.

Brenda in Fla.: Have you tried 'Wilt-Proof' spray on your oleanders? I plan to try to overwinter mine outdoors using this to protect the leaves, but I'm only in z 7, so I'm beginning to worry, since I haven't had luck rooting cuttings of them yet. Last year I brought mine in when the temps got down below 10, and I had some damage but it is now in the ground, about 5 feet tall and blooming nicely ( I don't plan to break my back trying to move pots anymore). Maybe it's the variety you have? I hear the darker pinks are hardier, though there are some white ones supposedly hardy to z 7.
I have never seen my oriental lilies bloom after I put them in the ground from the pots they had been blooming in. Some foliage, then that's it. Last year I think rabbits got them, but this year they haven't even gotten that far.

Then there are all the seeds I've planted in containers that have failed because of fungus gnats or something. And maybe I pulled out the ones I threw in the ground because they looked like weeds.

My hollyhocks looked great at first, but now they're about 10 feet tall and flopping over their stakes--soil must be too sandy in that spot? In another area, one is blooming though only a foot tall--that's the clay soil area. Maybe we all just need more compost and time to amend the soil?

Well this has been fun; I can see why this thread keeps going!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2003 at 3:31PM
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trowelgal(Kansas Zone 5)

My tall phlox is dying a stalk at a time. The leaves start to dry from the bottom up and then the whole stalk starts to fall over. Very ugly. It looks to me like the center of the phlox has gotten old and "woody". Mums die out in the center, could that be what is happening to my phlox? Has anyone else had this happen? Would it help if I dug out the middle for next year and separated the young shoots around the perimeter? I love my phlox and want to keep it pretty and erect.
In addition, I have tall orange lilies that bloom in the spring. Then I have to look at the bare stalks for months while they "feed" their bulbs. I have an idea and want to see if anyone has tried this. I would like to dig up the bulbs with the stalk intact and move them to the edges of my compost pile where I would cover the bulb with the composted soil and let the stalk yellow there. Then I would cut off the stalk in the fall and replant before frost. Please give me your thoughts on this process. Thank you.
A thought on everyone's zinnias problem. I raise a lot of them and feel they give you a lot of blooms for very little attention. I don't put them in until the end on May, I'm in Kansas. Zinnias like it hot so there is no reason to put them in earlier as they just sit there and wait for the heat. I also don't crowd them (I have in the past and powery mildew takes over). Then I water from the bottom, never wetting the leaves, they get about an inch of water twice a week from my hose. I ordered my seed from Redbud Farms on the web and they are huge, thick stalked and gorgeous, almost Dahlia like. Redbud Farms offers their seed in single color packets and I love that because whenever I've purchased a package of "mixed" all I get are yellow and orange. This way I can plant the colors I want for bouquets. I did use bamboo stakes as we sometinmes get fierce rainstorms here (this year no rain at all) that knock everything over. Hope this info might help those of you who have troubles with raising Zinnias.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2003 at 1:38PM
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bdot(z7b Cary,NC)

I saw someone post that their coreopsis pretty much did nothing after planting. I planted coreopsis tinctoria a couple years ago. It's an annual but mine acted like a biennial. First year it grew to about 2 inches high and had about 10 flowers. They say it's supposed to get 3 ft tall. 3 ft tall... hmmm.. well the next year it made up for it and got over 6 ft tall and bloomed all over. This year there's nothing left in the ground so I'm guessing it's starting over and will be about 2 inches tall again.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 10:20PM
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Twinkle(7 GA)

Gardenia - plant every year, lose every year
Hydrangea - ditto
Verbena - likewise
Gypsophilia - see a pattern here?
Lantana - grows, but looks really scraggly

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 11:33AM
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I have a pretty green thumb so I don't have to many problem plants, but verbena is defintly one of the few. I used to buy the annual six packs but gave up a few years ago as i watched my 1.29 wilt, shrivel, or just sit there and do nothing every single year. the other one I'm not very happy with at the moment is Astible. I bought one on sale two years ago. Last year it did absolutely nothing as far as flowers. All I had was a clump of small fern like leaves. I got sick in September last year and wasn't able to water it well and it shriveled on me. I thought for a while it wasn't going to come back this year, but as I was counting the self sown seedlings around a hellebores I have planted in the same area I noticed the reddish baby leaves poking up through the mulch. They look a lot bigger this year, maybe the damn thing will finally bloom.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 3:45PM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)


I know people that have a lot of luck with it, but I'm not one of them.

When I went to California and saw it basically growing like kutzu does in Mississippi but with beautiful blooms, I realized that it flowers with greater ease with a very long growing season and mild climate.

I'll stick with hibiscus for beautiful flowers.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2004 at 7:28PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Australian blue hibiscus.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 2:21PM
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Dancey(Zone 8b Texas)

For some reason I have never been able to have success with Phlox. I've tried it several times but it just never did well at all. Could be my soil ??

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 12:51PM
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theresainms(7b N.Central MS)

hybrid tea roses for sure; I only bother with the shrub type roses now with a few climbers. I just put up with the blackspot on the ones that get it. I have a couple of hybrid teas that I moved this year and am waiting to see how they do. I have a 'New Dawn' climber that I planted last year and am hoping I'll have luck with it without having to put up with blackspot. I also treated all my roses today with a systemic product that's supposed to control bs and bugs. Here's hoping :-)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 10:37PM
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I just cannot get moonflower to grow, much less bloom. And I haven't had any luck getting passiflora to bloom. I have several ivy's growing on a fence and they all appear to be dying. I also killed a pot of ivy I grew in my house this past winter. How can ANYONE kill this plant?? Evidently I do!! Do I have a black thumb or what??

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 8:06PM
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susieandjay(8b GA Brunswick)


    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 12:01AM
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Hmm..can't say I've had a truely disappointing plant other then buying what I thought was a gardenia but turned out not to be (still don't know what it is) but then again I've only really been gardening a year. I can admit to the fact I think my poor Key Lime is permanently stunted since I left it out one night and it got too cold for it - Lost ALL leaves and is just now sprouting more but they're comeing off the trunk of the tree lol.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 3:53PM
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Well the list of the dead in my yard is long. Lets start with tea roses. then we can move on to delphinum, ferns,and the beautiful but dead black eyed susan vine. Some days seems like the best crop I have is all of my rocks. They come up well every year with all of their cousins right behind.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 10:39PM
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I bought 3 beautiful thriving (but not yet blooming) Blushing Butterflies gauras in one-gallon containers a few days ago. Planted them in Georgia red clay and within 24 hours, they were completed wilted. I replanted them in another spot, gave them a good watering, and in the next 24 hours I realized they were in poorly drained soil. I just replanted them again--in their wilted, sad condition--in a sandy, well-draining spot. But they're still wilted and dead-looing. But could the roots have already died within a few days? What are the chances these beauties will recover? THANKS ANYONE!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 10:21AM
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Cat mint. I hope none of you were injured when you fell out of your chairs laughing. I can't grow cat mint of all things. That's like saying I can't grow crabgrass (which I grow very well).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2004 at 8:27PM
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chandu(z8 SC Irmo)

The blackened yellow leaves, the ever present cloud of whiteflies that hover around the leaves and twigs, the motely growth of smallish leaves which remain pale green for a day and then have the life sucked out of them by the flies and mites. My Gardenias were causing my BP to rise every time I went in the back yard. The plants have been pruned severely, several times. True to their form, they make a successful comeback after every pruning to provide a feast for the white flies and to torment me some more.
I had tried the "water jet" the soaps, the tobacco juice, and failed. I have also tried insecticides which harmed the plant more while the flies kept on hovering. Finally I discovered "isotox", the systemic insecticide which is gentle on the plant but deadly to the flies. 1/2 tsp in 16 oz of water (added a drop of dish soap -for better wetting) and sprayed the 3 bushes, exactly a week ago. Happy to report that most of the infestation is GONE! and only a fly or two on some isolated leaf flutters when shaken. Lots of new green growth that has remained unblemished. Now I plan to apply it for two more times at a weekly interval to "break the life cycle" of the flies. Yesterday I caught myself humming near the gardenias :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 10:33AM
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I haven't been able to find a gardenia that will survive Clemson winters. Do you know where I can buy the old-fashioned Cape Jasmine, which I have always heard called "kate Jessamine"?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2004 at 8:59PM
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josephine_sc(7/8 Clemson, SC)

I live in Clemson and have August Beauty planted against the East side of my house (morning, overhead and some afternoon sun. They have been there about 7 years and are doing fine. I also have an old gardenia about 10' x 10' growing on the South side of my house which came with the place. It may be 50 years old or more. The trick may be to plant them next to the house.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 5:43AM
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drapcho(z8 LA)

I have killed alyssum several times. Water, no water, sun, no sun, feed, don't feed. You name it, I've tried it. Suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 2:10PM
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I have had Gaura for 2 years and it has not bloomed for me? The only time I cut it back was late February...Also, asters look so pretty in the catalogues....but you can't grow them in the south...Humidity!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 4:24PM
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murphyl(Metro Detroit)

Hmm. I can think of a bunch...

Carpet roses. My idiot brother-in-law praised these things to the skies a few years back, so we planted half a dozen of them. About the only good thing they do is keep the dogs from digging. Poor growth habits, blackspot-o-rama, skanky looking flowers - they're even worse than my hybrid teas (which are also scheduled to go to that great compost bin in the sky this year).

Salvia spp. See above about idiot BIL's recommendation. Flowers don't make up for weedy, scraggly-looking foliage.

Pieris spp. Idiot BIL hit the trifecta. We put it in a sunny, well-drained spot, added lots of compost and soil conditioner and fed it Holly-Tone every year. Three years later, it's still sulking there, the same size it was when it came from the nursery. A couple of hydrangeas planted nearby at the same time are now 6' around and laughing at it.

Oh, and in case you're wondering what Idiot BIL does for a living: he has his own landscaping business. I only hope his clients like his work better than we did.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 7:29PM
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cory(7b- N.C.)

Oh Wow! I have Terrific! luck with roses and I don't spray or fuss over them. I think the key to good rose success is to find the right varieties for your area. Also, stay away from hybrid teas. I can't grow Boston ferns, ditto lambs ear and guara and, don't laugh, Cosmos!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 12:10PM
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Thank you, thank you ! I thought I was the only one who can't grow "easy to grow" plants. My passion vine doesn't bloom but grows like crazy - one pot of moonflowers is doing great - another pot 4 feet away looks sick, zinnias, cosmos won't come up, gave up on plumbago, lamb's ear - so-so, do good with snapdragons and shasta daisies, finally got coneflowers going after two years, have given up on sea holly (oops, no I haven't - I just ordered a plant! after trying seed for 3 years!!) time will tell on this one. Many others that come and go quickly, but the fun is in the trying different things. This is a great support group ---Hi, my name is Diane and I am a plantaholic.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 1:33PM
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Vamptoo(7b/8a SC)

LOL, this is great. I'm currently on trial at the plant court for the killing of 2 camelia's, 5 boston ferns, 6 azaleas and 4 poppies. But... I'm hoping for probation to take care of the dozens of impatiens, geraniums and angel trumpet plants that I started from seed and wintered over plus my 4 gardenias that are beautiful. Maybe they won't hear about the numerous spider plants or wandering jews that have gone to their maker while residing in my home. If you are on the jury please be gentle with me. LOL


    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 4:24PM
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I live in north central Florida, and I killed a hibiscus. Seeing them all over my town, I thought it would be easy to keep alive, so it was one of my first plants in my first garden. In the shade, the leaves turned yellow and fell off, so I moved it to a sunnier spot. I watered regularly, but the leaves continued to be sparse. Finally, winter hit and it did not survive the cold.

I have had some luck with a rose plant my neighbor gave me shortly before she moved and I would love to find out what kind of rose it is. The plant has thin branches and small, fucshia flowers. It has been growing rather quickly and, since spring, it is blossoming quite abundantly. I haven't experienced any black spots, like my other roses right next to it get, but it has had a "swiss cheese" type of disease that is easily controlled by spraying soapy water on them. As it continues to multiply, I think I will be populating other parts of my garden with it or sharing it with friends in the area. It's a low-maintenance, beautiful plant.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 9:15AM
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cougar_roberts(z8/9 TX)


I used to grow roses and was pretty good at it--I had lots of blooms. However, the blackspot, thrips and watering schedule were just toooooooo much for me. If scientist could create roses that could resist blackspot, then maybe I would grow roses again. Blackspot was the main reason I gave them up though--that stuff was like wildfire once it started.

Also, the pesticides and fungicides needed for roses were definitely NOT good for me to breathe in or to be around all the time.......so I just gave 'em up for that reason and went with hummingbird/butterfly natives and other fragrant plants. Glad I did.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 4:33AM
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Mine was the foxglove. I bought a nice clump and the first year they were simply spectacular. This year they got fungus and did not look good at all. I am tempted to put them on the compost heap. I know they are biennials but I wanted the same show the second year. We have a lot of heat and humidity here and get fungus and bugs but I hate to spray.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 8:14AM
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barton(z6b OK)

"Geranium Tiny Monster" from Park's!!

I have had one for two years (the other two died.) This morning my husband was reading a Park's catalog and said "Hey look at this! It oughta be great out back of your pond".

So I took him out back of my pond and showed him the "Tiny Monster" that I have renamed "Sulking Bratty Kid". He said "Where are the little blue flowers?" He just doesn't get it.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 10:28AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

My list of disappointing plants has grown to volumes since this thread started.

Here's a few: licorice plant. I bought 3 this year and all died from rot /and or mildew. All were in separate locations too. Of course, we have had tons of rain.

Yuletide Camellia. Many of you love this variety. Mine has beautiful foliage ...and buds that freeze each year...except on the back of the plant. My other camellias do not do this. Ive had mine for 3 winters now.

Magnus Echinechia- Spindly and not vigorous. It gets the same light, soil and fertilizer as its neighbor's autumn joy and goldstrum rubeckia. They are magnificent.

And yes, Endless summer hydrangea. I haven't given up yet, but Nikko does as well, if not better.
I have 2 endless summers-bought last summer and a dozen or so NikkoÂs.

Hopefully, this yearÂs purchase- Lady in Red, will not make this list!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 10:53AM
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gilisi(zone 7 sth/est)

i can't grow clematis.....does it really exist how they show it in the magazines? or is that just trick photography??? what a mean joke to play!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 12:35PM
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Canna. The pests drive me crazy and it is not worth spraying the heck of them.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 9:32PM
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For Lambs ears, Dianthus and other plants that cannot stand a lot of moisture at their base, I first create a small mound of soil, cover it with gravel or sand (about an inch) and then put the plant in at the top. That way the leaves stay dry and do not rot. I water only once a week during the driest months. Susan

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:20AM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

I can't get my firebush to grow. It's a native, so it should thrive, but it hates me. It's been 2 feet tall for 3 years now. I'm gonna move it soon. My neighbor planted hers last year, and it's six feet tall! No, mine isn't a dwarf, just won't do a thing.

I've also been disappointed in my purple ruellia. I wanted them to spread, people promised me they'd spread, but they haven't at all. I think I have one of the new non-invasive hybrids. I need the invasive kind!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 12:06PM
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Fledgeling_(4b SD)

yeh, the fuzz on lambs ears is definatly a adaption to prevent water loss so it will like it very well drained, hot, and dry.

I cant get beebalm to grow, it always is defoliated by midsummer.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 12:11AM
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nanahanna(a8 AR)

I can grow lambs ears with no problem. I cannot grow Heuchera, astilbe, or nemesia. I have one heuchera (purple palace) that is doing just okay...it bloomed, but the others I planted are all dead. Atilbe dies almost immediately. Peonies will not even come up. Dahlias are puny and long and straggly. Maddening!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 3:19PM
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Vamptoo(7b/8a SC)

Well, thought I would come back with the end of summer woes. I started about 15 hibiscus this year. Not one single bloom on any of them. I lost about half of my angel trumpets to bugs. These same bugs killed a lilac and a pussy willow and really did some damage to my sweet potato vine and even my coleus. I cannot find the bugs so I can't figure out what it is. I've been out in the middle of the night with a flash light with no luck either.

About mid summer I cut all the rose bushes back. They had black spot so bad from all the rain they looked like they were in agony. They have actually started coming back and I discovered a pretty yellow bud on one of them last weekend.

I put 3 rhodies in the ground and they died almost immediately but the 2 in the greenhouse are doing wonderful. I don't know why. My Heuchera did fine but like Nanahanna my astible keeled over almost immediately.

It's really disappointing. I don't understand why I can grow things beautifully in the greenhouse but planting them outside is like pronouncing a death sentence on about half of them. I can only think that I have soil issues for some things.

Next summer I'm going to stick with what I did well and what seemed to be happy in my dirt.

Hee hee, I guess that's the best part about gardening. There is always next summer!!!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 8:19AM
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alicekay(9 CA 14 Sunset)

Looks like the newer passionate gauras are worth looking into. I think they might do well in my East San Francisco Bay garden, where summers are hot.
In recent times members of the gaura clan (more commonly know as 'Butterfly Bush') have seen a resurgance of popularity amongst Australian gardeners. In earlier times their sprawling and somewhat untidy habits meant they were almost exclusively utilised in mixed perennial borders where they could weave their impressive floral display through supporting neighbouring plants or shrubs but in the past few years we have been fortunate enough to have the introduction of a selection of cultivars that added new flower colours such as the popular G. 'Siskiyou Pink' as well as those with dwarf habits and/or ornamental foliage (see G. 'Crimson Butteflies').

The PASSIONATE range of gauras, however, now offer us that keenly sought upright, erect form which not only keeps a tall dense habit but also retains a neat appearance throughout the winter months.

The prolific display of pink flowers are borne on shorter than usual stems and will add colour to garden borders for an extensive season with main flushes occurring during the warmer months although spot flowering may also occur during winter months. The dense, upright habit coupled with burgandy colouring in the new growth makes G. 'Passionate Blush' and G. 'Passionate Pink' terrific specimen shrubs as well as offering the potential for creating an eye-catching, informal hedge.

G. 'Passionate Rainbow' also offers ornamental foliage but differs in that foliage is variegate giving a more 'golden' appearance. All are easy to grow and require little maintenance for a great and lasting show!
The most immediate application which comes to mind when viewing this vibrantly coloured plant is its charming presence for the traditional cottage style garden where it can casually intermingle with other 'frothing' perennials in a border for that romantic ambience often sought after. This is not to say that it cannot just as easily be incorporated into simpler schemes for those limited in time. Also a particularly good choice for water wise gardens. A particularly striking garden feature that could be achieved using these robust performers would be an informal hedge which, when in flower, would be hard to upstage! PASSIONATE range gauras could also be grown in a large size container or tub for inner city gardens or paved areas.
Gauras are easy and fast to grow. They tolerate a wide range of soils from sandy to clay based although performs best in a well drained, moist and fertile soil. Cold and frost tolerant. Will grow in hot, dry conditions, however, mulching and occasional deep watering during extended dry periods is recommended. Easy to prune - simply trim off up to half of the plants overall size in early spring to promote flower production and to maintain a neat shape. A light prune to remove spent flower stems in mid summer can extend flowering into winter. An application of slow release fertiliser during early spring would also be beneficial.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 8:32PM
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queenamy(Zone Seven)

I am glad I am not the only one with magical plant-killing powers! My husband INVARIABLY sees me with new plants/seeds and says "What are those?" When I tell him, he always says, "That may be what it is NOW, but in a few weeks it will be just as dead as all the rest." Really, I am not that bad, he just teases me cause I get upset when things won't grow for me. I am a little naive, too, because I really thought everyone else out there just planted whatever and it grew effortlessly! Thanks for reassuring me.

Datawgal, you can send me the pink flowered ruellia; I think they are gorgeous and if they grow prolifically for me I will feel like a success! (I am zone 7B, so would not make it here anyway)


    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 4:08PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

Was surprised to read that someone had managed to kill obedient plant. I've been trying to do that for several years, now and can't get rid of the stuff. Obedient it ain't! Invasive, yes.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 10:36PM
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Isn't it amazing how different people have problems with different plants? How can that be?

I have to agree with whoever was having difficulty with marigolds. And I find that embarrassing! Those are supposed to be easy enough for small children to raise!

No problems with gaura - which I adore - and my roses are amazingly stubborn in spite of a bit of neglect. My stokesia is utterly gorgeous and just divided it early this spring so I can have even more of it! Even my lamb's ear is doing o.k. Not as big and wooly as I'd like but it made it through a deadly summer and a winter so far and is actually growing.

Black eyed susans have refused to thrive since we moved to this dry place in the country. They were EVERYWHERE in the bog we lived in before. Do they really need THAT much water?

Oh...and my blueberries are acting sickly. What's up with THAT?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 8:15PM
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My Stokesias are out of control. They reseed so much, I no longer have any idea which plants were my original selected forms and which are now seedlings (except for obvious ones that have sprouted several feet away from my original plants). I have a hard time bringing myself to pull them out. I should take the time to dig up a bunch and replant them elsewhere where I could use some spreading plants.

I have a green thumb with most things - but there are some things that confound me. I can't seem to grow a decent Fig tree for anything... And my banana trees never get very tall .

I can grow some monster Gardenias though! :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 8:48PM
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glad i live in oh. i think i have a green thumb. i can grow just abt anything.albeit i mught have to overwinter some bulbs and tropicals.the problem that your having in zs 7,8,maybe 9 is that your simply giving your lambs ear too too too much water. It will grow in the poorest conditions!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:01PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I just like having a five year old thread!

Lantana is king right now....

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:48PM
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I have rotten luck with roses. This year I have planted 8 total; 6 to begin with, and replaced 2 of the 3 that died before they grew.
Mister Lincoln
Queen Elizabeth
Gold Glow

The BIGGEST disappointment, though, is the "EASY DOES IT" rose. It's still alive, but every time it buds out it gets powdery mildew and I have to cut it back again. I have yet to see this plant bloom.
Next time it turns all white and fuzzy, it's gone.

And Gaillardia will not grow in my yard at all. Just turns all spindly and yellow.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:54PM
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I live in North Georgia where morning glories and honeysuckle runs rampant. Everywhere except my yard, I have tried everything I can think of, just past my fence honeysuckles grow rampant, but they die as soon as they try to cross the fence even if I just try to let the wild ones in they yard.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:06PM
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My Pumpkins. It makes me sad thinking about them. I know it's still early but the male flowers are dying, there are no female flowers to be found and I understand its August but I haven't really seen any improvement. The only thing I mess with my pumpkins about is those darn pests. The squash beetle is the most annoying. I don't like to crush the eggs so I step on them put them in a plastic bag and let the trucks send them far away from my house. Now I'm seeing the bugs that look like lady bugs but aren't and I've tried so hard to just make them die but the eggs are still being laid and I don't know if the vine borer is still a problem I saw one and made it fly away but I don't know if it laid it's eggs or not. I was able to control some of the issues with the bugs via insecticide but who knows if I'll even have pumpkins this year:(

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:10AM
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I can't get thyme to grow well - it ends up twiggy, and suspending itself of light. Blueberries are struggling as well.

My growing area transitions from bog to clay over a short area. A huge grasshopper population demolishes any leafy greens I plant.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:32AM
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I kill roses and geraniums. Think it is just too humid and rainy in my Summers. And if the roses survive the wetness, the deer eat 'em anyway!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:09PM
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