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Fennel and rue wilt

Posted by DeniseR 8b/9a TX (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 30, 05 at 11:17

Recently I lost some fennel and rue that have both been growing beautifully since last fall. Both were in full sun. One rue plant that gets a little afternoon shade survived. Are these two plants cool season annuals in my zone in Texas or could there be another reason why these plants would die?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

How well were you watering them? Both of these plants like more water than the Mediterranean types like thyme, etc.


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

I was watching them very closely because I had just discovered my first Swallowtail caterpillars munching on the fennel. It went from completely healthy to flat on the ground in a day. We have an irrigation system, so it was being watered very thoroughly about once a week at the time. I tried watering it right away when I found it like that and it didn't respond at all. All the plants around it were just fine. Also, the roots looked fine when I dug it up.


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

That is very odd. I grew all my fennel in full sun & my rue plants in part sun/shade, & they did fine year-round in Zone 7. I never got the impression that they were cool-weather plants. The fact that you lost both of them the same way is frustrating, I'm sure. Could they have been exposed to some sort of herbicide drifting in from somewhere?


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

I don't think it could be herbicide drift since there are other plants in close proximity and they are doing fine.


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

  • Posted by Baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 3, 05 at 23:37

I had some year old Ruda in the sun & it looked very poor this year. I had some sprout from seed in the shade & it towers over the year old one. In areas of intense sun, it seems to do better in the shade. Mine flowered & went to seed last year in the shade.
On the fennel you might need a drought tolerant variety. There is a giant fennel in my area that does so well in the sun it is invasive in some areas.


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

DeniseR

Fennel, dill, parsley and carrots are host plants for the swallowtail cats, so that is why I grow lots of them, but by summer they are suffering from the combined high heat and high humidity.

In Texas the heat is so much more intense than in other parts of the country, that we divide up growing herbs into the cool-weather herbs and the warm-weather herbs. When you get an herb and the little sticker says "full sun", don't do it.

Both fennel and rue are considered cool-weather herbs down here, but if you take the necessary precautions, you can grow them as perennials. Be sure to grow them in shade to dapple sunlight. Don't let them bolt, and you can keep them going. More than likely the fennel won't come back if the cats got it. Some other cool weather herbs are cilantro and dill. They just won't, most of the time, make it down here during the summer. Let it bolt and around November you should see lots of little babies coming back up that will make it through the winter only to die back in June or July.

The best books for herb growing in Texas are: Southern Herb Growing by Madalene Hill & Gwen Barclay and Herbs for Texas by Howard Garrett. Both of these are the best books that you can get for Texas herbs. I have lots of herb books that I enjoy, but for Texas get both of these or at least one of these. Garrett says that both of these can take full sun, but I have found that if you want to give them full sun, just make sure that it is the morning sun and not the afternoon sun.


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

Does anyone know of any Wild Edibles that can be used as Herbs for Tea, Cooking and Medicine ... ???

-- Jim (Central California)

> Climate Zone #8/14
> Hardiness Zones #8-9a


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

I just recently found six Fennel plants in my garden.! I did not plant them, and none of the Fennel seed I planted earlier this year survived, so they must have arrived on the wind or from the Birds. They seem to be healthy and doing just fine. We are having some nights down to 40 Degrees F. already, but days are still warm (50-70s). I'm hoping these Fennel plants will survive the Fall and Winter ....

-- Jim (Central California)

> Climate Zone #8/14
> Hardiness Zones #8-9a


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

I just recently found six Fennel plants in my garden.! I did not plant them, and none of the Fennel seed I planted earlier this year survived, so they must have arrived on the wind or from the Birds. They seem to be healthy and doing just fine. We are having some nights down to 40 Degrees F. already, but days are still warm (50-70s). I'm hoping these Fennel plants will survive the Fall and Winter ....

-- Jim (Central California)

> Climate Zone #8/14
> Hardiness Zones #8-9a


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

Does anyone know of any Wild Edibles that can be used as Herbs for Tea, Cooking and Medicine ... ???

-- Jim (Central California)

> Climate Zone #8/14
> Hardiness Zones #8-9a


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RE: Fennel and rue wilt

Peterson's Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Hobbs and Foster may be useful to you. There are certainly other books, but I'm not familiar with the best sources for your region.

Word of extreme caution, however, wildcrafting should only be done after you know how to identify the plants and any look-a-likes 100%. I would suggest taking some herb or plant identification classes.

FataMorgana


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