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Flowers die in matter of hours!

Posted by flwrpwr N CA (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 1:18

For some reason, the flowers that I just purchased and planted in my upright window box planter died within a matter of hours, literally! I had taken pictures of them earlier in the day to show my friend, and when I went to water them that same evening, they were dead! I mean wilted, drooped over... dead! What did I do wrong?!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

What kind of flowers were they?


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Perhaps just shock of planting? Are they still dead?


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 12:47

Are they still dead?

Sorry it just struck me as funny - just my whacked sense of humor I guess. ;o)

Flower box in full sun? You didn't fertilize? Most likely cause is high heat, but there's not enough info to say that for sure. Could be fertilizer burn if you fertilized at planting time.

Al


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Well, my flowers; African Violets, Paludosum Daisies, & some pink flower that's still alive, are not as droopy but are withered nonetheless. I think I'm going to rebuy them, empty out my planter, put down some gravel first, then replant. Is that good idea? Click the link below for before and after pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Container Garden Page


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 15:51

Can't get to your page, but the gravel @ container bottom won't do anything to aid drainage. Even in a soil that is very poor in drainage, plants wouldn't succumb THAT quickly, so we/you need to look to another cause. It's still possible that your soil is too slow, but that's not what killed your plants in a matter of hours.

Please see questions above. You didn't provide much more to go on. Anything we offer w/o more info is just a SWAG.

Al


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Al... the flower box is in full sun for apprx 8 hours or more. It's been pretty hot the past few days; however, the flowers, according to the tag, require full sun. I did use fertilizer (maybe not enough?).

And yes, they're still dead. :o) Actually, they're VERY withered & shriveled looking. (I think my site might be up and running by now)


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 19:05

From above: "Flower box in full sun? You didn't fertilize? Most likely cause is high heat, but there's not enough info to say that for sure. Could be fertilizer burn if you fertilized at planting time."

Now I'm almost sure it's one of the things I immediately thought of, or possibly a combination. High soil temperatures and/or saturated soils make it very difficult for plants to absorb water. Fertilizer in too high a quantity causes water to migrate out of plant cells. When this occurs, the plasma is torn from cell membranes & cells die. If your plants were growing well when you brought them home, it's likely they had been recently fertilized to the max (that's what commercial growers do to lessen time it takes to ready plants for sale). Any fertilizer you might have added could easily have been the difference between entirely adequate & too much.

I would use fresh soil, or run lots & lots of water through the soil to leach the fertilizer from the container(s). I would also provide shade for your new plants until root systems are established & able to supply enough water to the top of the plant to prevent wilting.

Al


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Thanks for the information! I think I'll run water through the soil; however, I'm wondering if it's too late for these flowers as they are already pretty wilted.


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 21:27

If the damage is indeed from fertilizer, recovery would be very slow (if they recover) & plant appearance would be less appealing than what you're looking for, for quite awhile. It would help to view the pics, but I still can't access them. Can you mail them to me?

Al


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Sure... what's your e-mail addy?


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 22:25

It's in your mail box.


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

I did get a peek at your flowers. When I read African Violet, I couldn't imagine a label calling for planting them in full sun...sure enough, didn't look like African Violet to me.

Judging by the size of the plants in relationship to the planter, I am guessing that they were overgrown and horribly root bound. Plants at this time of year are left overs. The root ball was probably so bound up that it either couldn't get enough exposure to dampened soil or had dried out so much it failed to rehydrate. Just a guess...it could be either one... too wet or not enough. The symptoms can be the same. Were the plants partially or completely shaded when you bought them? If so, it may have been the only way they could be kept going if in very small pots.

Maybe you could wait until fall and put Pansies in that planter...get them as soon as the weather cools off and while they are small. It is perfectly Ok to pop a plant out of it's pot and take a look at the root ball to see if you can see any potting soil at all. When they have been in the pot too long, you will see almost nothing but roots.


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

flwrpwr, I have to tell you I love you little white picket window box! That is adorable. I can't add anything useful to help you cause you are already getting expert advice. But one thing I will add is that you should read one of the posts in here where Al described how he attacks the root ball when he repots something. I didn't do that when I moved an 8" hanging basket of supertunias to a 12" basket. Now I can wet my new soil but the original 8" rootball is constantly dry and hard. The soil in there is root bound and dead (as far as soil goes) and I would be willing to bet not many roots have moved into the new soil. My only defense (besides stupidity) is that it is very hard to transplant a plant that is spreading out so far and is so full.

Millie, I did the same thing. I thought "African Violet in full hot sun??" The only pic I was able to see was the "before" pic... and couldn't see it well cause it is small but that purple flower looks more like a hardy geranium or a calibrachoa flower. Someone must have switched tags.

Al, you bust me up!! (Are they still dead?) Guess I am as whacked as you! ;)

good luck with your window box, flwrpwr. I really did look nice planted up. :)


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Thanks for all of the responses! Well, you guys have a good eye: the "African Violets" are actually, "African Daisies". Al, I took your advice and "leeched" my soil, mixing in unfertilized soil with it as well. I went ahead and replaced some of the "dead" flowers with new ones (plus a few extra... I think I'm getting addicted to flowers!); however, at the suggestion of my gardening neighbor, I'm going to leave them in their original containers for a night or 2 and make sure I really massage the rootballs before repotting them.
Thanks for the compliment, DaisyLover!!
Keep your fingers crossed!


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

....crossing fingers.... ;) good luck.

"I really did look nice planted up"
Sorry... as you know, that should have been IT not I. "I" wouldn't look nice planted up... doubt there's a pot big enough.

ok...african daisy makes a lot more sense. :) shhhh.... We're not really that smart... there just isn't a lot you can confuse with an african violet.

I gotta make some picket window boxes like that... oh pooh! another thing on my to-do list!


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

DaisyLover,

I got my planter at an antiques store for a really good bargain; however, if you have the ability to make one on your own... then, you ROCK!


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

I'll give you three guesses how I learned those symptoms. LOL I have pulled flowers (that actually lived through it all) at the end of the season and found just that same little root ball..still had four corners just like it came out of a six-pack...never did grow.

I was so concentrated on the flowers that I didn't comment on the window box...DaisyLover is right...a real beauty and it stands on it's own...no nails in window sills, etc. I have just the place for one of those. ;O)


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Here's a thought--- is it possible that your plants were never hardened off? Where did you get them from? Were they actually inside of a greenhouse in sulight? The reason I ask is, several times this season my mother in law has brought me plants that she won at Bingo. Several Gerber Daisies, Geraniums, a Zinnia, Wave petunias. And every single time she gave the plants to me, I would set them on my benches in the sun, and the plants would wilt from minute one. Whoever was getting the plants for these Bingo prizes was getting them from inside of grocery stores, where they have those fancy displays of outdoor plants. I doubt these plants were ever exposed to direct sun or high temperatures, after sitting inside those air conditioned stores for a few or more weeks. I had to acclimate them to outdoor conditions, but most of the plants were fine.

Is it possible that your plants needed some acclimating for the same reason??


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RE: Flowers die in matter of hours!

Ellen,
That's a very interesting thought; however, I did get my flowers from a greenhouse (well, Target's greenhouse anyway). They were in full sun when I bought them, same as the initial flowers I purchased from a "real" local nursery.
My flowers seem to be doing okay, so far (it's been a few days now!) :o)


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