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Very thirsty Hamelia (Holik)

Posted by julia42 8b - Houston (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 17, 10 at 15:46

I was hoping someone might have some experience with Holik Hamelia. I put one in the ground about three weeks ago, and it seems very, very thirsty. I thought Hamelias were supposed to be very drought resistant. Is the Holik Hamelia cross a particularly thirsty variety, or is mine just taking a while to get established? It gets really droopy if I even skip a single day of watering it. I've never grown a Hamelia before, so maybe this is just normal for a while after planting?

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RE: Very thirsty Hamelia (Holik)

Mostly I think it just needs to get established. The roots, instead of reaching out like they will when its been in the ground for awhile, are still confined to the size of the pot and used to getting watered just about everyday in the nursery.

Also the plant might be root bound, meaning they have gone around and around circling the inside of the pot and have very little soil around them to hold the water. This happens if they have been in the pot for a while. I'd be tempted to gently pull the soil from around it and see. If you see a lot of roots still the shape of the pot, lift it out of the ground, and loosen them up (pull some of the roots out from the mass) so they can begin to travel out of their circle.

Another possibility is that it is wilting from overwatering. Roots can rot if overwatered and in that case the top would need to be cut back by a third or even a half to compensate for the root loss.

In either case it might be wise to cut it back some. Sometimes we hate to do that, but by next spring the plant will have completely regrown and then some.

Probably not in Houston, but in San Antonio hamelias die to the ground in winter anyway.

Hope this helps. Hamelias are very drought tolerant but they need some time for those roots to spread.

Perhaps someone else will have some good tips to help your plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Answers: about hamelias ...

RE: Very thirsty Hamelia (Holik)

Thanks! I always loosen up the roots when I plant container grown plants, so my guess is that it probably isn't root-bound. I also kind of remember this one being in particularly good shape when I pulled it out of the pot anyway.

The reason I think it's thirsty rather than being over-watered is that it droops and then perks back up when I water it.

Perhaps I'll see how it does for the next week or so and then try cutting it back like you suggested if it still seems like it's having difficulties... Thanks!

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