Daphne Carol Mackie - two down

jamshed(7)December 6, 2013

I have a spot in my front yard where I planted a small Daphne Carol Mackie. It did very well for the first 3-4 years. Then we had a massive blizzard and the weight of the snow caused some of the major branches to crack, and the plant died the following summer.

I replanted another Daphne Carol Mackie the next year. It was small (12") and over the next two years it did well, growing to about three times in diameter. Blossoms were beautiful. Then, this past summer, the branches started wilting (turning brown) one by one, until the whole plant was kaput.

Another note, I had planted Vinka around the bed, spaced a bit from the Mackie.

The spot gets full afternoon sun, once the sun comes over the back of the house.

I am hesitant to try another Mackie unless I know what caused the first two to die. The soil is a bit clayey deep down, but I mixed in a good plant soil before planting. Else, can someone suggest another shrub. My requirements are to have slow growing shrubs. I redid my entire front yard about 10 years ago with low maintenance, slow growing plants and I love it.

Thanks!

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stimpy926

Try slow growers Enkianthus - either perulatus or companulatus if your soil is sufficiently acidic.

I had a dying Carol Mackie a few years back, and took cuttings before it was kaput. Easy...in a small pots of perlite with root tone dusted on the stem, cut off all leaves save 2 or 3, put in bright shade in a clear container, such as a fish tank with a plastic lid on top to keep out the weather, for a few weeks in spring, until they adhere with gentle tugging.

A dozen cuttings all rooted and I gave away all but one which is now 3 feet tall in a bed of vinca. I know ultimately it can go at anytime, but i'll take cuttings again if possible, and do it again.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Like many other shrubs daphnes are prone to water molds that rot the roots.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Dzitmoidonc(6)

Yeah, Daphne likes well drained soils. The roots can go pretty deep for a small plant and if they lay on clay in a wet season they can rot. One here died after a very wet summer. 3 hurricanes dumped rain on this part of PA one month. It had been in the ground 2 years but wilted like a flower on a hot day. Other things that died that year were other ill-sited plants like Enkianthus, Chionanthus and the European larch (Larix).

http://www.seidelbast.net/cultivation.html

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

In my world Daphnes die overnight with no apparent reason. But sometimes they last quite a few years. I plant them and enjoy them but do not expect them to be lifelong attachments. For that I plant trees. If you happen to run across a Daphne called 'Briggs Moonlight' be prepared to fall in love, but this one ditched me flat in a really short time. I mourned, but recovered.
S

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:27PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

The soil is a bit clayey deep down, but I mixed in a good plant soil before planting.

===>> never amend a planting hole ...

and review the link for how to plant in clay to aid with drainage issues .... the short story is.. plant high .. the plant.. not you ..

i will go further than what they said above.. and say they abhor wet feet ... and clay is their prime nemesis ... and especially wet feet in winter .. cold wet feet..

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: study it all.. but find the clay soil part

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:38AM
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stimpy926

Ultimately, daphnes are likened to temporary shrubs, or short lived woody perennial. I garden for fragrance, after wildlife - and wouldn't be without them.

Some other dwarf plants - Viburnum carlesii 'Compactum',
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' or 'Sixteen Candles', Fothergilla gardenii, Thuja occidentalis âÂÂRheingoldâ -

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The no apparent reason is water molds.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 2:54PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

never forget...

you arent a true green thumb gardener.. until you have killed every plant.. 3 times.. lol ...

bboy.. you have said the same thing twice.. how do you avoid water molds... thru high planting or increased drainage.. or both??? or what??

ken

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Hot + wet = rot.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

The reason that a lot of CA natives that won't stand summer water will grow just fine in England (e.g. Fremontodendron, Ceanothus) although it rains all summer there. Reason? Their summers are cool. It is the oddest thing to be a Californian and go into garden after garden over there and see Fremontodendron interplanted with Clematis and roses...

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 9:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the one i lost.. long .. long ago ... at a different house...

IF.. big if there ... i recall ... it was cold and wet in highly organic MI peat soil in spring ...

presuming of course.. it wasnt dead before winter.. lol .. who knows.. maybe summer killed it.. and being evergreen.. i didnt know it was dead until spring ...

i do remember asking some hardcore local gardeners.. if it was worth trying again ... and their caveat was.. NO WET FEET ...

they are complete weeds at this house.. cold Z5 MI .... which means hot in summer... in full drainage mineral sand .... and really cold in winter with howling winds .... which always brings me back ot my sand ....

someone may also have suggested.. in MI .. repeated thaw and freeze cycles of the organic soil in spring ... also ...

all suggestions lead to root rots.. for sure ...

ken

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 12:38PM
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jamshed(7)

Wow!!! Thanks for all the great advice. I get it! NO WET FEET!

I am going to try growing another shrub there. Looking for recommendations:
- Has to be able to stand "wet feet"
- Full sun afternoon
- Zone 7 (suburban MD)
- Deer resistant! (they're like rodents around here ...)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 5:52PM
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sam_md

Apollo pursued Daphne without luck. He eventually gave up and so did I.
Winterberry 'Red Sprite' on the left would be a good choice for you, the more sun the better. It can take all the wet you have and then some.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 7:22PM
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j0nd03

Sam, what is the one the right?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 9:28PM
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stimpy926

'Red Sprite' - 3-4' high, is a dwarf version of Ilex verticillata. On the right looks close or is the larger version, one of which is 'Winter Red' - 6 - 8' high growing. You need a male plant in the vicinity to pollinate and get berries on these females.
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' or 'Sixteen Candles', Itea virginica 'Little Henry' are water tolerant plants

deer is a tough one jamshed ... small shrubs could use protection around them

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 4:12PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Man, those are some nice berries! Ilex is another one I can't grow due to its demanding natural for acidic soils.

Sara mentioned Briggs Moonlight....that one is a beauty. I have one struggling but we'll see. There is no way around these plants needing well drained soils but they also have disease issues. Check out Daphne 'Moonlight SonataâÂÂ, an improved sport of Briggs Moonlight.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 4:01PM
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j0nd03

Have you tried whaas or are you being timid from the threat of failure? My soil ph is 7 and there are ilex decidua everywhere here and the youpon holly I've planted has done very well, too

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 9:07

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:02PM
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