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Becky Shasta Daisy

Posted by finn21 5 CO (My Page) on
Fri, May 23, 08 at 14:54

Hey everyone! It's the growing season and I'm back for my second year of beginner questions. Aren't you excited!

At the advice of some of you (most notably Skybird) on plants that bloom for a long time but are fairly easy to take care of, I planted some Becky Shasta Daisies, Coreopsis, dianthis, gaillardia, etc. last weekend. So far so good, except I'm a little worried about the Beckys. They are planted in an area that gets a good amount of sun and is usually very hot in the summer (close to my neighbor's wood fence). I read that they will often times do well in that sort of environment so I put them and the Gaillardia in that spot near one another. Except, the Beckys are already looking a little droopy. It was hot, of course, the past week but I thought they might have rebounded with the cooler weather the past couple days. No such luck. They don't look terrible, just sagging a bit and don't look very confident...if you know what I mean.

As you may or may not remember, I'm in Arvada in the heavy clay soil. I amended with some Clay Buster and mulched 'em up good. Any ideas? Should I stop worrying and just ride it out?

Thanks a bunch and happy gardening!

Finn


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

Once the stand of daisies is established and there is a lot of root mass, that frequent wilting goes away - they do better with a moist soil the first year to get them established, and later, they still need at least some moisture in the top 6".

But I've still had them collapse when we get a hot, dry windy day in the middle of the summer.


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

By collapse, do you mean die or just wilt and bounce back? Should I be concerned about the wilting? I can definitely live with it, as long as they aren't dying. Don't mind at all waiting for them to establish...no problem there. I just don't want to wait too long to try and save them if I need to.

The soil is nice and moist out there right now. Too moist if anything. They are looking worse since I posted my first message and as the sun is starting to beat down on them more.

Thanks for your reply David!


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

Are these newly planted? Often, new nursery plants haven't been hardened off and the leaves are pretty fragile, susceptible to sunburn and the pores aren't that well developed. To make it worse, the root mass is likely all bundled up in the pot with a tall plant, but out in the garden and drier air, that amount of root surface isn't going to be enough to continue pumping moisture from the soil up into the leaves.

Do they look any better in the mornings? That would mean they're just getting adapted, and a week or so, you should be fine. If you suspect something like this, then you can snip off the top half the plant, meaning the roots have only half the work, and they'll recover more quickly.

Wilting where I am .... I'm on the west facing slope of the Rockies, and about 20 miles due west, its the dry desert canyon land of Utah, and SW is the dry desert flat land of the Navajo Reservation, and when the wind gets blowing from that direction in the summer, it will dry out a wet t-shirt in about 3 minutes. Combine that wind with a hot sunny day, and unless I'm pouring water on, just about everything in the garden, including the gardener, wilts :->. Luckily, that doesn't happen all that often.


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Fri, May 23, 08 at 17:46

Hi Finn,

I agree with what Davids said, and hes already mentioned a few of these things, but here are a bunch of questions for you!

What size pots did you buy them in?
Are there any flowers on them now?
Do they stay wilted looking, or do they perk up again when the sun goes down?
How often and how much have you watered them since you put them in?
And have you been watering them every time they look wilted?
Did you add any organic mattermoist peat or a good quality compostbefore/when you planted them?
Are any of the other plants doing the same thing?
Did you buy them all at the same place?
Did you notice how the roots looked when you planted them?

Im not at all surprised newly planted perennials are wilting in the sun with the heat weve had, but if theyre not perking back up at/after sunset, there may be some sort of a problem.

If youll answer all the questions to give us some more specific info, we may be able to narrow it down more.

Skybird


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

Thanks again David! Yes, these were planted one weekend ago. It sure has been windy here but they are fairly well protected by fences and houses and such. Your hypothesis makes a lot of sense though (especially after my answers to Skybird's questions below). I really appreciate your help :).

Skybird, here we go:

Pots were about 6 inches in diameter, 7 inches tall.
Plants are about 7-8 inches tall, no flowers.
I just went and looked at them now (11:15 pm). There are three. All have perked up some. The one in the middle looks normal and happy, and looked the best throughout the day. The two on the ends looked pretty terrible today, have perked up some tonight, but are still pretty "soft" and not very happy looking...not firm like the middle one.
I planted them last Sunday and watered them that evening, then I watered them again Wednesday evening after our mini run off hot days...and after they were starting to look like they were struggling a bit.
No, I haven't been watering them everytime they looked wilted. They started looking a little wilted on Monday (maybe even Sunday afternoon after planting) but I rode it out until Wednesday, watered them then, but they have continued on a seemingly downward path.
All I added to the soil was Clay Buster, which has some organic matter in it. My local garden shop advised not to add anything else if I was using Clay Buster.
Everything else in my garden is doing fine....even the other newbies planted in the same general area.
Yes, bought them all at the same place on the same day.
The roots looked good but they were pretty compacted and starting to grow round the pot if I remember right.

The weirdest part, as I touched on above, I planted three in a V shape pattern pretty close to the fence. They are about 2-2.5 feet apart. The one at the bottom of the V is doing pretty well overall...still wilting some but bouncing back. The two at the top of the V, and closest to the fence, are the ones that are struggling the most and not bouncing back as well. Soil contamination in those couple spots doesn't seem to make sense because I dug a pond three summers ago and built a little hill with the excess dirt, which was tilled and amended and mixed real good, and the neighboring plants are all doing fine..so far.

Ahhhhh, the joys and perils of gardening! I don't know how you balance it so well!

Thanks Skybird!



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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

It doesn't sound all that bad - If you have a watering can, then pour a gallon directly at the roots of each one, which would make sure that the roots have plenty of water. You might need to do that again in 5 - 6 days, but they should be establishing themselves pretty quickly.

I have a plot that is now daisies, oriental poppies, and perennial sweet pea vine. It also has weedy stuff and looks horrible now, but from early June to mid Aug, it looks pretty good.


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sat, May 24, 08 at 12:33

Good! I was really afraid you might have been overwatering them trying to "help" them! They should be fine! I agree with David, give them a good watering, but if it were me, with your heavy clay soil, Id lay a hose at the bottom of each one, turn it on just barely a trickle, and let it run for 20 minutes. Im aiming for the gallon (or two) that Davids talking about, but by doing it more slowly, itll soak in more deeply. Water runs off of clay very easily, and since it sounds like you had gallon pots or something close to it, it could be that theyve never been watered deeply enough. They need to be watered so the soil BELOW the bottom of the original root ball is wet, so the roots will start growing down looking for the deeper moisture. And for the difference between the 3 plants, soil can vary amazingly much in a very small area, so it could possibly just be some variation in the soil, or there might have been subtle differences in the plants themselves. My guess would be the soil. Andwith clay soil, regardless of what the guy at the garden center said, I recommend always adding at least some organic matter anytime youre planting anything from now on. As long as you dont do it all at once, I dont think its possible to add too much organic matter into the stuff we call soil out here!

You can also help them a little bit by shading them for a few days when the suns directly shining on them. Anything that will still allow full air movement, like inverting a lawn chair over themif you can keep it from blowing away! Or rig a few stakes and tie lightweight fabric to themif you can keep it from blowing away.....

And, if it were me, Id probably remove a few of the biggest, oldest, outside leaves so it has a little bit less to support until it recovers from the transplanting. Once it gets going, new leavesthat look even betterwill quickly grow to more than replace any you remove.

I suspect that once it (they!) gets a good, DEEP watering, itll start smiling at you!

Gotta go! Im spending the day with a friend out in the foothills!

Sounds to me like youre doing pretty good for a "beginner,"
Skybird


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

I don't know if this actually helps, but I pile straw mulch around things like that to give them a little shade and to keep the soil damp longer, plus I don't have to see how sad they look while they are establishing. :-) It also supports the plant from wind and having wilting foliage knocked flat. Then when they start perking up and peeking over the mulch cheerily, you can slowly pull it back. Or just let them grow out over the top as the mulch slowly settles down.

It's an odd system, but so far it has always worked. I usually just water things in when they are planted then put them on drip, mulch, and ignore them until they start looking over the mulch at me.

Speaking of which, I need to get out and plant some Moonshine Yarrow today! Whoopee!!! Love the stuff!

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

Thanks again everyone, and have a great weekend!


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

Wow...see I am a beginner. I did the 20 minute trickle on each one (35 once, oops!) and - PRESTO - the plants stood up and saluted...raised up and thanked god for David, Skybird and Michelle!

See, I've been one of those "water them everyday to 'help' them" people before and I guess I learned too good a lesson. :)


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

Finn, I don't have 'Becky', but I do have a couple of 'Alaska' shasta daisies. A couple of weeks ago, I moved one, and on those days when it reached the upper 80's last week, it was really wilted by the afternoon. I gave it a good drink each time, and by morning it was always perked back up. I guess the roots are working overtime, since I'm sure I damaged a few in the move.

Anyhow, I'm glad yours are doing better.

Bonnie


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

A side note on the 'Alaska" kind (now that I see the name, thats the variety I have) - they do surprisingly well in partial-mostly shade. They turn their faces and grow a bit towards the sun, but far from falling over.


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RE: Becky Shasta Daisy

I just planted my first Becky and I love the height. I have had it for about 5 days and the bottom leaves have wilted and the roots attached are black. I also have leaves with black tips up the entire plant. Help!


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