Jack Frost fine but King's Ransom yucky

rouge21_gw(5)July 31, 2013

I have a very healthy JF Brunnera that looks just fine in the heat of mid summer.

But I also have 4 KR are now in their 3rd year and they have looked similarly by late July each year. They are an eyesore.

All of these Brunnera are in good shade but the JF is in much richer soil.

Do you experience similarly with your "King's Ransom"?

(I had planted just this May two "Silver Heart" Brunnera and they are looking really good even now...take a look)

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

rouge21, I love that 'Silver Heart'! Really pretty!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Thanks 'prairie'. Can I trade you my 4 "King's Ransom" for something beautiful that I know you have! ;)

This post was edited by rouge21 on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 16:49

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 4:47PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well...ummmm....*gulp*...lol. Well, I can't imagine that I have anything even as nice as what is already in your garden. :-) My pulmonarias and cranesbill are looking similar to your King's Ransoms. I'm going to cut back the foliage and see if I get a nice new bunch before the summer's over.

I don't suppose you bought them at Bluestone and that sending them a photo of them compared to the Silver Heart might cause them to take pity on you and refund your money? (g)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 9:00PM
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These KR are now in their 3rd season. They have looked just fine each season until mid July or so and then they look terrible. I think I will cut one of them back lots and see how it rebounds...an experiment..

This post was edited by rouge21 on Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 9:07

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 9:05AM
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I have one KR and based on how it looks most of the year, I was reluctant to buy any other brunnera varieties. Your photo comparisons give me some hope that JF might just be a more resilient variety. And that silver heart, wow! What a beauty.

Meet my KR, photo taken today:

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Have a number of Brunnera: 'Langtrees', 'Jackfrost, 'Dawson's White', 'King's Ransom' and 'Emerald Green'.

They're all looking pretty good, except the single 'King's Ransom' (see picture, today, below).

Damage to the new leaves was me, renovating this area in spring. What is very notable, however, is the necrotic segments in old leaves. They're brown and very noticeable. They could be mistaken for earth on the leaves.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 12:58PM
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molie(z6 CT)

Wow! Silver Heart is something I'll have to look for next year. Where did you get it?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 1:03PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I really wonder if this problem has much to do with cultivar as it does placement. Do all of you have your affected Brunneras in the same location as your "good" ones? Do your healthy ones receive more sun/air circulation? Do they look like this from the get-go or does it develop as the season progresses?

I've been wondering for YEARS what this problem is. It seems it pesters my Jack Frosts and ferns (mostly Athyrium) on a yearly basis. They seem fine early in the season but get it toward later spring.

My best guess would be that it is some sort of fungal or bacterial issue. I'm kind of wondering if it is exacerbated overly moist conditions/areas with lack of air circulation.

My Jacks are planted in an area that stays fairly moist but also has somewhat poor air circulation, as it is in a corner by the house. My HC and DW Brunneras don't seem as troubled by this blackening. Not sure if they are more resistant or because I've planted them in shady areas that are either dryer or in an open spot.

This question might be interesting to post on the disease forum...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 1:21PM
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I originally thought to damage on KR was fungal. While I only have the one variegated brunnera, I have several of the solid green ones, in different locations throughout the yard. I don't recall any of them ever getting the same necrosis. I cut them back after they flower and they generally look good the summer. I did not cut back KR; msybe that is the problem. I don't remember it flowering even but now I have one variegated seedling.

Here is non-variegated brunnera a couple of feet away from KR.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 7:58PM
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These plants are so annoying. Just when you think they are going to make it, they disappear. I love the look of them, but they are so weak. I think I'll stick with my Heuchera!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Could any of this be foliar nematodes? Or, around here where the water and soil Ph is rather high, lots of plants are unable to take up iron and it manifests as yellowing that goes to brown spots and necrosis in the worst cases. Some of the damage in photos looks a little like this.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Thank you for the suggestion, aseed.

All of my Brunnera are in similar lighting and soil conditions and some of them are quite close together.
I've not seen these brown segments on leaves on the others, (though, if I'm correct, I may have seen them previously on the species (B. macrophylla)).

I stopped using the species some time ago because it seeds around to readily here.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:39PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

this is interesting that this came up because when I went to plant delights open house, they had king's ransom there and Jack Frost.I chose neither because I had heard that Jack Frost didn't tolerate the South's sun very well and their Kings ransom looked exactly like yours, Rouge. even though their tag said that it did better in the heat, I thought "I don't want to buy anything that looks like THAT in the summer and in greenhouse conditions no less". I did buy a silver heart this year but it didn't make it through the mail order process and I haven't had a chance to order another one yet. Looks to me like Kings ransom just does that in the heat. Definitely not a plus its favor. Your silver heart is absolutely gorgeous, I so want that one for myself!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:52PM
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UPDATED Pictures:

Here are pictures as of September 30 of "Jack Frost", "King's Ransom" and "SIlver Heart". As you can see all 3 look very similar to the pictures taken 2 months earlier.

KR has looked like this since mid July and similarly the other two have looked so nice *all* season. All are within 20 feet of each other. I have 4 of the KR :( and I hope, budget permitting, to replace all 4 next spring. (Part of the appeal to me of KR is its advertised more modest size).

This post was edited by rouge21 on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 6:52

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 5:07PM
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jackie_o(zone 5/6)

Hmmm. I have Jack Frost and it's taking over the bed it's in, and it looks like that awful damage every year from August on. I was just looking at them today thinking I need to yank them because I can't stand having that ugliness for three months in my garden. It never affects the plant health for the next year and the look nice from April until August. If I cut all of the ugly leaves off, the ones below look good, but it's just so much work. Cutting each leaf with felcos takes forever and hurts my hand, pulling them off doesn't work well.
So what do you think is the cause? Mine are not too wet.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:17PM
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Interesting 'jackie'.

Does anyone have KR in their garden with it being disease free all season?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 8:41AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I do not have KR but I purchased Dawson's White and it is horrible. I do not have any problem with JF it is still beautiful I my shade garden.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:06PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

You all have me wanting Silver Heart. I will be looking for it at the close out counters and if I don't find it there may even pay full price for it next spring.

My Jack Frost foliage has stayed nice all year. Divided it this fall to move one to another area.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 3:37PM
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marquest, thanks for that info re DW. I might just replace all 4 brunnera with something other than brunnera...it is a little dry in the location they are currently planted...that can't help with respect to their overall health.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 6:00PM
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I started with one plant of Brunnera macrophylla (species) years ago, and it has gradually reseeded around my mostly shady front borders to the point where there are at least a dozen plants which flower fabulously for a lengthy period in spring and then recede into the background the rest of the season. If you look closely, some leaves show edge browning in the heat of summer, but this is virtually unnoticeable in the overall dense greenery of the borders.

I can see where any Brunnera leaf damage or disease would be far more obvious in silver/variegated cultivars, which is another reason for me not to bother with them. Those blue flowers are what I'm really after, and the show is arguably best in the species.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Here is this same King's Ransom having now emerged from the cold ground. So bright, clean and crisp is the vegetation but soon to 'rust out' come July.

(I plan to replace these 3 KR with something else but did decide to wait while they still look their best)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 1:57PM
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That is so gorgeous. I have sympathy because even though I do not have that one, all of my variegated ones look good in the early spring and then do that same horrible thing. I think slugs, not heat tolerant, and need to be in the PNW.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:12PM
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And yet my "Jack Frost" and "Silver Heart" looked good all summer. The only difference I can come up with, between them and the yucky KR, is the soil. Specifically KR are in much leaner soil.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:30PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Brunnera like moist soil. Even in shade, if the soil isn't moist enough they start to toast. I would pot up the King's Ransom in rich, moist medium and see if they stay nice all summer If so, the soil is the problem, not the plant. Solution: Find a different spot which will be to their liking. :0)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:13PM
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brunnera foliar nematodes. If you google it, lots of others have the same problem, including me.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Thanks for that. But then I wonder why aren't all my brunnera affected similarly?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Both "Silver Heart" Brunnera easily came through this past winter and have grown vigorously. In fact I wish their leaves were not so large. The one pictured below is 12" long by about 10" wide.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:16AM
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