Plum Pudding Coral Bells are dying!

mercime(5)August 3, 2010

Help! Every year I lose so many of my Plum Pudding Coral Bells. I planted them when we moved in 5 years ago (new construction). I am sure I have replaced every one of them. They look beautiful over the winter and in the spring they flower as they should and then the leaves start shriveling up, have brown spots on them, and the plants start to die one by one and it spreads like wild fire. I am at a loss to explain why this is happening. Last year I removed several that were obiously mislabeled Plum Pudding and transplanted them and they seem to be doing fine. However, almost all the new plants have died off including some of the larger older ones. I would post a picture but don't see where it can be uploaded.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well ....

and how many times are you going to keep buying it.. is the real question ....

it is obvious.. [to the rest of us anyway] .... that it is not going to prosper in your 'hood ...

so why do you keep banging your head on the barn door ..

move on ... find something else.. move to where it grows ... anything.. just quite spending money on it ....

lol ..


ps: we all have plants we want to grow.. but cant.. because they are not friendly to our garden.. we move on ... you should too ... and i hope you have a sense of humor .....

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:22PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

It would also help if you told us how you're growing it - sun, shade, temps., water, soil etc.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 7:37PM
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....then we'd understand how you are killing it and tell you stop!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:48PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I have a 'Frosted Violet' that was supposed to "shimmer across the yard" looks great, flowers and then promptly lays on the ground in a gray/brown heap once the trees leaf out and it only gets about 1/2 hour per day sun at noon.

Moving it in Sept. to front yard bed where it'll get 1/2 day sun...which probably means it'll burn to a crisp and/or need extra water.

Won't buy another Heuchera until I have someplace where I don't have to rescue it from too little or too much sunlight...which probably means I won't be buying another one any time soon.

How much light do your 'Plum Pudding' get? Were they all purchased from the same place? Same result when purchased from different vendors?

I almost picked up a couple 'Plum Pudding' a year or two ago but remembered the non-shimmering heap of 'Frosted Violet' and decided I already had enough location/soil/slug challenges.

Good luck with finding a solution to your 'Plum Pudding' pickle.

ken adrian...I can always hear the "mellow" in your words and it's a comfort to know there are still some people out there like that. :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 10:29PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

If they get a lot of sun, it might be too much. What's the soil moisture like?


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:07PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Well, I have to agree with Ken...

Coral Bells can be finicky, finicky, finicky. I have lost many (many!) over the years. Some cultivars are inherently less vigorous than others, and location plays a big role in success.

In your case, sounds like you may have a disease, but I defer to someone who is more knowledge in that regard.

If you have your heart set on Coral Bells, a different cultivar might fare better for you.

Regarding "Plum Pudding" specifically, I have mine in full sun, and they perform beautifully. Not sure if full sun in my area is different than full sun in Nebraska, though...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 3:44PM
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hosta_house(IL 6)

I had no luck with Plum Pudding or Lime Ricky but Purple Palace, Carmel and a few others always do well.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Gosh, I didn't know I had so many answers to my post! Thank you all...I've been in the garden replanting my Coral Bells...sorry, Ken, got to try it ONE more time. FYI, Kevin, they are on the east side of the house and they get sun from about 9:30 until 3:30-4. They are beautiful when they are alive ...yes, I have a sense of humor, and I understand why the landscaper located them there. The tag says they are sun to part shade and my research says they can stand a lot of sun. We are pretty humid in Nebraska and have had lots of rain this year preceded by the 3 the snow didn't melt until March at which time we could finally take our xmas lights down :)

I purchased the coral bells from Walmart in 6" pots. I replaced them with 2 gal plants last week from Home Depot. I noticed that the ground had a lot of clay (landscaper obviously didn't lay down as much top soil as we thought)so I tilled in some compost and peat, I hope it was enuf. For the plants barely hanging on, I sprinkled the mixture over them and used the pitch fork to loosen the soil. I also sprinkled the soil with manure in hopes it will draw worms to loosen the soil but may have just invited the moles. We're outside of town on an acreage so lots of little critters. Now I will hope for the best next year.

I do believe it is a fungus, it seems to be rampant. Some of the plants are doing fine maybe because I was able to spray the ones that weren't affected in time. Most of those that died are last year's plantings but not all. The pacyasandra ground cover next to them is fine with a little fungus but further down the bed, my karl forester grass is full of rust, I is barely coming back this year only after I superthrived it.

The coral bells I took out and transplanted in another garden that is mostly shade are fine except for the turkeys digging them up (never put a bird feeder over a flower garden). However, I gave 3 of the transplants to my son and he had died, one is barely hanging on and one is fine. His are in mostly shade. Next spring I plan on using the Bayers 3 in 1 Rose and Flower Care which was the salvation to my roses and hydrangaes in the same bed. They also had fungus when I first planted this flower garden. Even a viburnum tree on the west side of the house has fungus.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 4:17PM
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