Root-bound, perhaps? Also, do you think it perhaps goes dormant during summer...some of those Mediterranean plants have weird annual cycles...and I'm TOTALLY guessing. I would let it be...just checking to make sure the soil doesn't dry out...and cross my fingers. I'm the same way...I feel so utterly useless when plants show weird signs of what I always assume is a fatal disease. Of all my 'Blue Blazes' Agastache, 2 of them keep wilting more and more...and I honestly don't know why...very frustrating :-( Let us know if the little guy pulls through!
Some uneducated guesses:Water? Mine seems to like it every other day or so but it's in pretty sandy soil.Natural cycle of the plant? Mine blooms later in the year and looks like this through most of the winter when it only gets water every week or two in the little plant room. Revives in the spring when I bring it outside. Food? Pests? Any sign? A nice spray of soapy water or Neem oil usually takes care of that.
My first thought was what's it's natural life cycle? You are no phony girl!
you're not a phony! I know nothing of sonchus so I wouldn't even take a crack at it. But all I can say is to wish you the best of luck. That is a beautiful plant!
You're no phony, my dear! I freak out whenever we loose something in the garden and call myself the biggest poseur ever to step on green space.I wonder if it's a fungus, something similar to fig tree rust?
You mean plants aren't disposable? Buy them, keep them around for a couple of months until they die, then throw away and replace. :-)I usually think "food" when I see a potted plant looking sickly -- it's so easy to forget that nutrients in pots get flushed out and used up quite quickly. It could be something else, but try a bit of fertilizer and see if that helps. Of course it could also be soil pH, temperature extremes or other conditions the plant hates, or lifecycle. My red buckeye loses most or all of its leaves every summer.I wouldn't trust anybody who said they knew *exactly* what was wrong with a plant unless they've had the same issue and corrected it, so not knowing doesn't make you a phony.
I feel that way, too. I can tell endless stories about my successes (many of which might simply be due to stupid luck), but it's the failures that invariably have me stumped. Wish I could help...
Many plants from the Canary islands can go dormant or semi-dormant during the summer. I have never grown this plant, but my reading says that this is one of them. You will probably get new growth in the fall.
Looks to be in about the same condition you rescued it from, so maybe it just poops itself out with all that leafing out and blooming. Why not give it the same spa treatment you lavished on it last time and see what happens?
Frustrating, isn't it? But you're no phony. If you didn't have concerns and even failures you'd be less of a gardener. As for the Sonchus, I can't possibly say, so I won't comment. But Linda and I are both having a similar problem with our red bananas. If yours also has one dead leaf for every new leaf it gets and you know why, we want to know too!
Don't be so hard on yourself Loree!I tend to agree with some of the comments above about it having a different annual cycle to the rest of your plants, so maybe it is having its autumn now and will grow back in your PNW autumn? Maybe it's like a Cyclamen or Arum italicum? I must admit that it is a bit weird looking around my front garden and seeing next to nothing where my Cyclamen and Arum used to be. Even my delightful little Snowdrops (which remind me that spring is on the way) are fast asleep at the moment, but they will come back. Hopefully your plant will as well :)
Never even saw this beautiful plant before, but I'd put me money (and heart) on it being the life cycle. I've had many people give me their "dying/dead" clematis only to have them green up in a month or two (or three or even four. It seems to happen to ficus trees belonging to several friends too. Talk to it and pamper it a little too. And let us know!
Lori, I've been reading the comments with interest. I have no clue, but there seems to be a theme from people familiar with such plants that it is in a dormant stage, much like you found it in. Don't give up hope, and hello gardening guru, you're no phoney. Cheers, Jenni
Well, you know I'm not going to attempt to diagnose anything. But I appreciate the candor. I think fears of phoniness may be part of the human condition - some people are just better at warding them off when they come. But you garden, therefore you're a gardener. And I for one love the photos you share.
Know nothing about Sonchus since I've never even seen one, but failures are what makes a real gardener in my book. One of the things I enjoyed most about Christopher Lloyd's early books was his discussions of the ways he killed things over the years. It was very reassuring. When I care about a plant enough to try and save it, I go on the web and try to understand it's gardening origins and then mimic those conditions. I also go to the xxx plant society, in this case I bet there is a Sonchus Society and see if they have advice. And you can also trim a leaf and try to root it for backup.
No clue as to what the problem is. I've never heard of this one before. What a great plant. HOpe it pulls through
Often plant stress from overwatering and underwatering looks the same. You might try removing the pot and looking at the root ball to see if its healthy. In the third-from-the-last photo the apical bud doesn't look lively so you could cut back that arm past the bud, remove the old leaves, check that the tissue is sound, and see if it re-sprouts.
as a last ditch effort change the soil and pot.......go larger...and also move it out of the sun.....get a better potting soil......good luck its an amazing plant I wish i had one...
Upend it and pop it out of the container. Then, look at the roots, and maybe find a clue. Root rot? Something eating the roots? Root-bound? Also, get a magnifying glass and look at the leaves. See any spider-mites? See any spots of fungus? Do the leaves show nutrient problems (look at some photos for examples)? How is your watering compared to the plant's environment? Too much; not enough? Check sun vs shade requirements. Also, temperature and humidity. Does your area have an agricultural specialist (maybe a plant pathologist)? Sometimes, they can identify diseases. Also, check with ag colleges. Good luck.
I agree with the others, that you are no phony. You are very knowledgeable about certain areas of gardening, much like a doctor who specializes in a certain type of medicine. I think that's true of most of us, no one knows everything. My first thought was that it had a different dormant cycle, like an Arum, which someone else already mentioned. At least you haven't killed a Woodlander's Hardy Callistemon, which I did, by neglecting to water it in its pot now that our dry season is here.
Looks like a root problem to me. Take it out of the pot and smell the root ball, see of it smells rotten. Look for new white roots. Also look for insects such as pill bugs or ants.
hang in there! You will excel and you have a love and intrest, that's part of success, willing to learn.I enjoy your pics too. Looks to me like these plants are perhaps drying out too much from over exposure to sun.
To curb my anxiety when a plant goes bad, I write it off as an annual...
Wow thank you EVERYONE for so many ideas, great advice and encouragement! I also got a couple of emails, one from Mr Sean Hogan (owner of Cistus), advising that indeed this plant wants to go summer dormant. I guess I won't worry...too much.
I like Patricia C's outlook - ha! I don't fret too much when a plant dies inexplicably. It happens all the time in my garden. Doesn't it happen to everyone?
There you go! Just your usual dormancy. You aren't a phony at all. I'm sure a lot of plants have us gardeners stumped at one time or another.
It has the same thick, fleshy stems as my Plumarias and these go into a total deathlike dormancy each winter. I agree, you are quite the gardener. david/:0)
Linda Cochran gave the same advice as Sean. She says hers always look like crap in summer too -- just like mine does now ;)
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