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Old 07-11-2017, 03:26 PM
 
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I live in Michigan where Lindera benzoin, the Eastern Spicebush, is native. I have wanted to grow some of these shrubs for years because (among other benefits) they would attract Spicebush Swallowtails to the yard.


They are supposed to like half-shade to full shade; I have always planted them immediately upon receiving them, in half shade.


They need decent soil and regular watering; I give them that.


This year I was thrilled when, for the first time, the dormant shrub someone sent to me actually started to leaf out instead of staying dead. But then it croaked.


There is NO sign of insect infestation, fungus, or any other type of disease on this plant.


What the funk am I doing wrong? What is the trick to growing these???
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:10 PM
 
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Your ground is cursed! Sorry.

Was this bare root stock? When did you plant it? How did you prepare the planting site. How big is it?
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
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Cliffie,
This is just a guess, but after checking this out on Dave's Garden site, it looks like they
really like water. They naturally grow in low spots where there is damp soil. You can't let them dry out.
Just a suggestion if you buy another one. Keep it real moist.
Sorry about that, but I would try again.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:21 PM
 
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I have watered this latest one just about every day. Not a sprinkle; a serious daily watering, in deep well-dug soil with lots of leaf mold, peat and black topsoil added. I only seem to have access to bareroot plants; I have never found any other version of spicebush available.


All the other woodland plants I've added have done fine. Virginia bluebells, tiarella, heuchera, bloodroot, spiderwort; they all do great. Not this.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
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You may be overwatering rotting off their little drinking roots. They need to be kept moist, not wet.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:39 PM
 
6,458 posts, read 7,878,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
You may be overwatering rotting off their little drinking roots. They need to be kept moist, not wet.


Not even the thirstiest plants have been overwatered this year as far as I can tell. It's been a hot, bone-dry year.


I finally pulled the latest one out by the roots -- it was easy to do with one hand, which is never a good sign! -- and discovered that there was NO root development beyond what came with the plant a few months ago. Does it make sense to use rooting hormone on a dormant shrub when you're planting it?
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Where are you? It has been quite wet this summer here in SE Michigan. are you int he west? North maybe?

Anyway thinks for posting this. We have areas in our yard that stay pretty damp. A willow tree grows like mad there. Now we have something else that may do well, and attract some cool birds. We will have to stick some in there and see what happens.
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