Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What a stupid thing to do!

Remember that Blue Atlas Cedar I was so excited to have bought? Well I did a really stupid thing and let it dry out. I went to plant it on Sunday and when I picked it up the roots came right out of its plastic nursery pot and it was light, too light. I felt the soil, bone dry. Then I looked at the needles…

Yellow! And when you touch them…

They fall off. Damn! It had been sitting up against the shade pavilion, too far back I guess to have benefited from what rain has fallen, and I didn’t think to check on it. Immediately it got good soaking.

There are still many happy clusters of blue needles. Have I ever mentioned these clusters make me think of teeny tiny Yucca rostrata? Maybe that's why I love it so.

It’s the tips that are yellowing and soon to be needle-less.

I know nothing about conifers, is it hopeless or might it bounce back? Will the needles regrow, or will it live on with bald spots? Have you ever done something this stupid? Help!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

22 comments:

  1. Oh no! I feel so bad for you. It's happened to me before with other plants (not conifers) and most of them have come back. Keeping my fingers crossed...

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    1. Thanks Gerhard, I'll be sure to let everyone know when I see signs of improvement (I'd hate to have you crossing your fingers any longer than necessary).

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  2. Plenty of stupidity to go around, so I'm guessing that was a rhetorical question? I wouldn't give up on it. If the tips do die, you can just nip them off and maybe some interesting things will happen.

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    1. I have a friend who used to say she was just along for "moron support" in times of stupidity it's nice to know you're not alone.

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  3. Not stupid, just forgetful. Once we reach a certain age... Oh, I forgot what I was going to say. Anyway, make sure to set a timer if you put something on the stove mkay. Your cedar should be just fine and maybe it's early enough in the season for the tips to grow new needles. With admiration as always, your older friend, Peter

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    1. Thank you for that last bit. You had me scared with that "once we reach a certain age..." part.

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  4. I've done the same thing with conifers, and it's a bad feeling. I hate killing almost any plant, but when when my neglect kills a tree that just makes me sick. Sorry I don't know if the distressed branches will be okay. Fingers crossed for you though.

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  5. Oh no! I've done that before on several occasions, thinking they are getting rain, but too late realizing that, nope, dry as a bone. I wish I knew more about evergreens...but sadly, am sort of clueless...I'll just hope it recovers.

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    1. I started digging sod yesterday for my backyard planting expansion. I couldn't believe how dry the ground is. It was a good reminder to water a few newly planted things so this doesn't happen to them too!

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  6. Don't feel bad, I once killed an Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' in that fashion AFTER it had been planted. In an attempt not to over water, I neglected to water enough. That was an expensive mistake. Yours still looks reasonably healthy though so it should be OK.

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  7. I've done that an embarrassing number of times. I always feel plants couldn't need water in winter, but protected pots sometimes do. This recent dry spate of weather also hasn't helped with pots, especially the little ones. I bet your cedar bounces back, and might only need a little judicious pruning to clean it up later.

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    1. I don't think my penchant for desert plants helps either, they are so thrifty in their winter water needs I start to get careless.

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  8. No, I've never done anything remotely that stupid, NOT! All the time I'm afraid. I lost my Acacia para...something that way. I had it trained really nice and I was so proud of it, then couldn't understand why it looked so bad... Duh.

    Anyway, I have a feeling just keeping the root ball moist will revive your Cedar. And then there's the gardener's adage: "Wait and see."

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    1. Oh you've reminded me I did something similar to an Acacia once too! Lost all its leaves on the stem and a few on the branches. However I did "wait and see" and it (mostly) bounced back. Thanks Grace!

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  9. Ouch! But I think it'll be fine and will recover in the coming weeks and will flush out more needles to replace the ones that were shed. We used to have one in a tiny pot and it got neglected and dried out so many times and it has shed loads of its needles but soon were replaced when we remembered to take care of it, oops...

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    1. Thank you for sharing your similar experience...gives me hope!

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  10. I know it will pull through with your TLC. And yes I have. i bought a potted cactus family at a sale. it fell over in the truck and everything fell out. That was when I discovered the mama in the middle was rotten and ants were living up in the crown. I hosed out the middle and replanted and she grew as though nothing had happened. Now she has her own babies. Hope you have similar success.

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    1. Wow Jenny you actually hosed out a cactus? That's fabulous. I wouldn't have ever thought to try something like that.

      Thank you for the well wishes!

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  11. I've done things much much stupider than that. Many things...

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    1. Misery loves company I suppose...

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