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Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

Posted by pumpkin2010 CO (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 20, 10 at 18:26

Hi All,

I'm usually a lurker, but I haven't been able to find great answers for these two issues. I hope someone can help.

1) I recently transplanted a "Purple Emperor" sedum from a pot into the ground. It was doing great in the pot, standing up straight, nice and dark purple. Now in the ground it's getting a yellowish color and flopping big time.

2) There's a GIANT, gangly rose bush in our yard that I'm having trouble keeping up with. Should I be trimming this thing? How should I support it? (The support stakes I'm using are already way too short) And can anyone tell me what type of rose this is for future reference?

Also I can't figure out how to post pictures here...I know I did it a few weeks ago with a different post. Can someone refresh my memory?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 20, 10 at 18:42

Welcome, Pumpkin! Glad you decided to come out of lurkdom!

Was your Purple Emperor already budding/blooming in the potand about how tall is it? How long ago did you transplant it? How have you been watering it since you transplanted ithow often and how much each time? How much DIRECT sun was it getting when it was in the pot, and how much direct sun is it getting now? (I often ask more questions than I answer! ;-) But the answers will help try to figure out whats going wrong!)

Most roses can be cut down virtually the whole way if/when you want to, tho some types wont bloom the next year if you do it late in the year, but to give you any really helpful advice on the rose question, I think wed really need to see a few pics to fully understand the problem and what you hope to accomplish.

Soanother question! What photo hosting site do you use?

No answers! Just a bunch more questions!


RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

Lol Thanks for trying to help, Skybird!

Here are some answers:
I bought the sedum in mid-June and put it in a pot getting full western sun on our back deck (direct light starting at about noon). It got watered once every couple days with the other pots, but I figured the watering wasn't necessary since it's supposed to be a xeric plant (right?). I transplanted it two weekends ago into another spot getting full western sun (direct light all morning and afternoon) and I think I've watered it once per week since (so twice). I found another thread about floppy sedum (it started flopping right after transplant and I thought it would recover) where someone advised not to water, amend the soil, fertilize or anything and if you treat it like a cactus, it will love you. So far I'm afraid that strategy might be making things worse? It has not bloomed since I've had it, though I don't mind as I really like the foliage anyway.

The rose....really I'm just trying to figure out how to work with it. It's so long/tall that the branches grow along the ground if I don't stake them, but then it still looks so unruly when it's staked, or it pulls over the stakes or grows in a "U" shape where the stake stops, I'm wondering if there's a better way of coexisting with it. It is pretty when it blooms...

As for photo hosting....I'm not quite sure what that is, so I guess I don't use a photo hosting site. What do you recommend?

RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

Every plant needs water to establish. After establishment you can stop watering.... I love my purple sedums.

Use PhotoBucket to host pix so we can see your rose for pruning idears.


RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

OK - I'll try watering it. Here are pictures of both the rose and the sedum

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose picture

RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 20, 10 at 21:54

Back again! When you planted it, how did you water it? With whathose, bucket, sprinkler? How long? When you planted it, it should have been watered in WELL. That means that it and the soil around it for maybe a foot (or more) should have been watered well enough that the soil BELOW the original root ball was saturated. To do that you need to do it slowly, so the water will soak into the soil, rather than run off. If it wasnt watered well then or since, do it now and see if theres any noticeable improvement by tomorrow morning. If the stems on top are fairly tall, you may want to stick in a little stake and tie them to give it a little bit of extra help for right now. Most people freak out if they see me do this, but when Im planting/transplanting things that are more than a few inches tall, I cut them down almost the whole way. That lets them concentrate on developing new roots in their new home, and they dont need to be worrying about supporting too much foliage while theyre doing it. As the roots get settled in, the top easily regrows! With the upright sedums, however, you wouldnt get any flowers this year if you did that, but, if yours isn't starting to bud yet, I doubt that its gonna bloom this year anyway. So, cutting the top off to help it is a possibility, but if it hasnt been well watered since you put it in, Id try that first.

The rose! More questions! How big was it this spring when it started to grow? Did it bloom just once in spring or early summer, or has it been repeatedly getting flowers over the summer?


P.S. If youre interested in a system where you can download your pics, then edit them and post them very easily (in four different sizes), I highly recommend Picasa and Picasa Web Albums. Its what I use, and I LOVE it. And if you install Picasa, itll "find" all the pictures that are already in your computer, so you dont need to go different places and transfer them or re-download them, and then you can edit them if you want towithout losing the "original" picture as it is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picasa and Picasa Web Albums

RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

Thanks for the link - I'll definitely try Picasa sometime.

So when I planted the sedum in its pot, I was watering with the "shower" end of a watering wand. I usually water until the water is spilling over the sides of the pot, then I let it sink in and come back on another pass to do the same thing a second time. Incidentally, it was also potted in regular old garden soil, not potting soil.

After I planted it in the ground, I used the same hose for maybe a couple of minutes to try to soak it pretty well. I did that again probably a week later. It's mulched with grass clippings so I was wary of it being overwatered and the dirt retaining too much moisture. Tonight I went out there and gave it a full 2-gallon watering can worth. I did notice that the very ends of the stalks are still perky and fairly dark colored. That's probably somewhat noticeable in the picture as well. We'll be out there planting a new tree tomorrow so I'll check him again and probably give him another 2 gallons. Hopefully there will be some noticeable improvement...

And for the rose...last fall I cut it back to maybe 8-10" stems (not having a clue what I was doing except that it was just going every which direction and getting in the way), but if I recall it put out all new stems from the base this spring. It also has a funky old wood (dead)thick stem in the middle that the prior owners staked upright - heavy duty style but I can't figure out what this accomplished. It hasn't bloomed yet this year but last fall (hmm, August sometime) I remember it blooming and it was very nice, albeit unruly as all get out.

Hope that sheds some additional light...

RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

That answers a bunch of questions for me that may help, Pumpkin!

I didnt see your sedum picture till after I did that last post! I thought the cut & paste link was the same thing as the one you linked at the bottom! I found the second pic right after I posted last time!

I suspect the lower leaves on the sedum are just dying because of transplant shock! When you go out tomorrow, BEFORE you do anymore watering, pull back some of the grass mulch that would be a couple inches past where the soil in the pot was and then take a spade and dig down into the soil to where youd be BELOW the level of the bottom of the root ball that you planted. (BTW, were there roots thruout the entire soil when you planted it in the ground, or did most of the soil still not have roots in it?) If the soil is wet, not just "moist," that far down, dont water anymore. If you find that youve really only been soaking the top few inches, then water slowly by laying a hose right at the base of the plant and leaving it run on just barely a trickle for 30 minutes or more!

IF the soil is wet all the way down to the bottom of the root ball, dont water again until the soilthat deepis almost all the way dry! Thats where the part about it being "like a cactus" comes in! Like a cactus, sedum stores water in the plant itself (albeit not as efficiently as a cactus), so if you water it well when you do water it, it takes up a lot of water and stores it in the leaves and stems and can go for a fairly long time without being watered again. Like with almost all plants, if you keep them wet ALL the time, the roots rot, and if anything, sedum will rot somewhat faster than most non-succulent plants, so be sure youre leaving the soil dry most of the way before you water it WELL again. It all depends on your soil and the weather, but you could possibly be going for 2-3 weeks between waterings. After its been watered really well, wait overnite and then feel a couple of the leaves! Theyll feel firm and "full!" It can go without watering until the leaves are actually starting to feel limp and "thin" without doing any damage at all to the plant.

One thing, before I forget it! Plants that are xeric arent drought tolerant until theyre "established." That usually means about a year. What makes plants xeric is the fact that they have very deep root systems so theyre able to draw on water thats deep in the soil. So whenever you get something thats called xeric, be sure you water it deeply when you water it, and as it starts to grow, gradually stretch it out more and more between the deep waterings. That draws the roots deeply into the soil (as the surface dries, the roots have to go deep to get to the water) and will give you the most xeric plant possible. Sedums, on the other hand, being succulents, are more-or-less drought tolerant right from the beginningbuttheyll develop much faster and look much better if theyre watered regularly at least until theyre well established.

Now heres the thing nobody likes when I tell them this! IF IT WERE ME, Id cut them down to about 2-3" above the ground! I knew you didnt want to hear that!!! ;-) Your flopping stems, based on the experience Ive had with upright sedums, are not going to "stand up" again! You can stake them if you really want to, but as you can see, the tips are already starting to turn "up" toward the light, and if you stake them, theyre probably going to keep looking kind of strange! And from looking at the picture, Id say that the lower leaves are going to continue to yellow and fall off! IF you cut them down, you could cut the tips (about 4") off of each one, remove all but the top couple leaves (about 4, or 2 "sets" of leaves), and stick them in soil to start more plants! (Have you checked out the Swap thread? ;-) ) BUTif you do decide to cut it down youll want to be EXTRA SURE that you dont water it until the soil, at the bottom of the roots, is most of the way dry! When you cut things down and they suddenly dont have any foliage, they use VERY little water till they start to grow again, so its MUCH easier to overwater them than when they have lots of foliage to help use up any "extra" water!

So, whichever way you go, dont water on a schedule! Pull back the mulch and check the soil for moisture before watering!

By the way, your watering in the pot was great! When you water, always soak things thoroughlyand then dont water again until the soil is at least half way dry for most things. Not just the surface, but the soil down in the pot. And one other thing, just so you know, MOST things wont do well in pots in "garden soil." Sedum will grow almost anywhere in almost anything, so it worked for that, but with other things Id really recommend using a store-bought potting mixanything EXCEPT Hyponex!

With the rose! And most of this is still speculation! First of all, it there is a dead cane in the middle (or more than one), cut it out! Maybe when the previous owner staked it, it was still alive, or partly alive! Dead canes just get in the way, look bad, and could possibly promote disease if/when they start to rot, so Id get rid of it.

If you had the rose cut that short this spring, Im guessing its a climber! That means youre really going to need some sort of a trellis for it to grow up and be tied to. You could possibly train/tie it laterally along your deck railing, but Im guessing you dont want to do that!

And, Im also guessing that its the type of rose that only blooms on "old wood!" That means that youll get flowers next year on the canes that are growing this year, so if you cut it all the way down in fall again, you will probably get no, or very few, flowers next year. But thats just a guess at this point since you dont have too much experience with it yet. So if you want to check that theory out, get a trellis or lattice for it, tie it up, and leave all the canes on till next summer to see what it does! If some of them are getting too tall for whatever you tie it to, cut the ends of them off, but dont cut them all the way down this fall. Next year you can see what it does and decide what you want to do with it. Its conceivable that the "original" rose that was planted there was completely different, and that what you have in there now is a rose that grew out of the root stock below the "graft." The only way to figure that out for sure would be if you could talk to the person who originally planted it and ask them what type of rose and what color they originally put in! Sometimes when a rose reverts back to the rootstock, people like what they wind up withsometimes they dont!


RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

Wow - lots of good info. I'll have to read that a few times to take it all in. BTW, I have seen the swap thread and it sounds great! This fall one didn't work as far as dates go, but maybe the spring swap will work better :)

I think I will cut that sedum down actually. I put it in its spot because I wanted the height there, so I'll try rooting those little tips and tossing the main sections of flopping stems. When I planted it, the root ball did have roots all the way around.

As for the rose...what a pain! I find "climbing" things that have to be tied really annoying. But it is a solid plant, and I'm not going to rip it out so I'll try the trellis idea and see if it helps clean up the profile a little.

RE: Floppy Sedum and Giant Rose questions

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 21, 10 at 15:29

Quick reply!

If youre going to cut it down and stick the cuttings, be SURE that there arent buds starting to form on the tips of each stem. Ive looked as closely as I can at the picture, and it doesnt look like there is, but if buds are starting to form, pinch off the very tip with the bud and the first two tiny leaves and then save the next two sets of leaves on your cutting. Then leave them lay, out of the sun, for a couple hours first, and then stick them in soil all the way up to the remaining leaves. (You can actually leave them laying around for several days without hurting them if you dont get around to sticking them in soil right away!) Saturate the soil completely, and then dont water again till the soil is COMPLETELY dry. Continue with the saturated to completely dry watering till theyre well rooted and then plant out. You could stick the cuttings directly in the ground outside, but with upright sedums, Ive found it MUCH easier to start them in potswhich can be kept outsidein at least some sun after the first couple days. You can stick one or several cuttings in each pot!

BTW, if you want a lotor if you just want to experiment, you can probably make more cuttings out of the stem sections! Just cut them into 3-4" sectionsKEEPING THE "TOP" UPremove all but the top set of leaves, and proceed the same as for the tip cuttings. Since the lower leaves are starting to yellow, Im not positive itll work in this case, but Im guessing it would, even if the top leaves fall off or if there arent any leaves still on when you stick them! Just be sure you keep the top UP, and if there are no actual leaves, stick them up to just below the top leaf joint. That works very easily with the ground cover sedums, but sometimes the upright ones can be a little bit more "touchy!" Be sure youre leaving the soil dry TOTALLY before re-saturating it.

Have fun,

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