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Old 10-15-2020, 01:50 PM
 
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We did our planting very late in the season (July in Atlanta), but have managed to keep most of our plants alive in spite of this. I pruned our floppy Powis Castles, starting with the floppiest before going for the least floppy ones. I’ve read not to prune them back hard until the spring; however, all of mine grew back quickly, but the last one I pruned that was looking great until around late September hasn’t bounced back with any buds or signs of life, for that matter. The others were pruned in August. Is there anything I can do to revive it? We’ve had some cool mornings, but not daily. Most temps are between a low of 65 to a high of 80. They’re all in the same plant bed with the same soil, water, sun, and other conditions. It is near a thuja that has some black flagging that I’ve pruned and am monitoring, but other than that the conditions are the same as all the other thriving plants.

Last edited by meh0428; 10-15-2020 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:53 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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What's the soil condition and drainage like in the vicinity of both the thuja and the ailing Powis Castle? Does it tend to retain water more than the soil around the other artemisias?

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Old 10-16-2020, 06:28 AM
 
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I’m new to gardening, so I’m unsure if there are standard terms to describe soil conditions. But it’s not retaining water and dries out normally, like that of the thriving Powis Castles. I also have Russian Sage, Tall Verbena, and Mexican Feather grass near the trouble Powis Castle and Thuja, as well. All of them are thriving.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:38 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Okay, thanks. It sounds like the problem is definitely with the single plant and not related to the general environmental conditions (except for the thuja's stress, but that is a different topic).

Without seeing a really clear, close up photo of the plant I'm going to suggest that for the time being you don't try to do anything with it to revive it. Just leave it alone and monitor it between now and spring. Examine it closely in mid-January to see if there are signs of any new little bumps beginning to protrude from the sides of the main stem(s). It's possible the plant is a dud and is now dead but with this type of artemisia being an evergreen it's a little too soon to tell if it will come back. It's also possible it is living but went into severe shock from being pruned at the wrong time of year, has gone dormant for winter (even though they are evergreens in most climates they can go dormant if stressed) and it might make a full revival by spring time.

So just leave it, wait and see what it does by spring. By the end of March if there is still no sign at all of new growth then it is dead and should be removed. I'm using March as a general dead-line time because you haven't said what your geographical location, climate and growing zone is.

Of other concern - you made this comment: "I pruned our floppy Powis Castles, starting with the floppiest before going for the least floppy ones."

If your Powis Castles have been getting really floppy that suggests they aren't getting as much water as they need and are all under stress. The species is supposed to form a natural upright mound with gracefully nodding leaves that are supported on firm upright stems. If the weight of the leaves is causing the stems to collapse, bend or lean towards or lie flat on the ground then they are not getting near enough water for the stems and leaves to remain firm and plump and as upright as they are supposed to be.

The same thing goes for the rest of your plants you mentioned, including the thuja which needs more water than all those other plants need. Though all those species you mentioned are tolerant of dry conditions, all of them should be fully upright, none should be leaning or bending because of weakness. They shouldn't be going floppy and limp or have to be struggling to survive because of getting too little water.

So take a good look at the "posture" of all of those plants and determine if they are all as upright as they should be. If they aren't then give them some extra water and watch them straighten up. It might be a good idea for you to get a moisture meter for the ground so you can measure the water retention of the soil.

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Old 10-16-2020, 09:03 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Too late to edit above post about your location - I noticed afterwards that you did say in your first post that you're located in Atlanta.

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Old 10-17-2020, 07:20 AM
 
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Great, thank you!! That’s what I figured and it’s good to hear that affirmed by someone with more experience.

The plants were floppy when the contractor planted them. He didn’t comment on why they looked that way and, after lots of Googling, I decided to prune them which is why I didn’t do so until August. They have grown back firm and upright and did so quickly, unlike the trouble Powis Castle I originally posted about. I struggle with how much to water them as I’ve been told they don’t like a lot of water, but water regularly until established. I wish I knew what regular meant and how long it takes for plants to become established.

I have never heard of a moisture meter, but will get one for sure!

Any thoughts on the thuja’s stress?
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:40 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meh0428 View Post
Great, thank you!! That’s what I figured and it’s good to hear that affirmed by someone with more experience.

The plants were floppy when the contractor planted them. He didn’t comment on why they looked that way and, after lots of Googling, I decided to prune them which is why I didn’t do so until August. They have grown back firm and upright and did so quickly, unlike the trouble Powis Castle I originally posted about. I struggle with how much to water them as I’ve been told they don’t like a lot of water, but water regularly until established. I wish I knew what regular meant and how long it takes for plants to become established.

I have never heard of a moisture meter, but will get one for sure!

Any thoughts on the thuja’s stress?
As a general rule of thumb I like to give perennials a full year to develop a well established root system in their new location.

A moisture meter can be especially helpful for you to determine how much water each plant uses so you'll discover what individual plants need in the way of regular watering. Another general rule of thumb I go by is if the soil is not soggy wet and not bone-dust dry but kept just moderately damp and crumbly to the touch but will hold shape if a handful is squeezed into a ball in your hand then everyone in the garden is happy.

I think it may be better to see pictures of the thuja and its location before conjecturing about the thuja's possible stressors and the black flagging. Maybe you could start a different thread about the thuja with pictures and a description of how much sun exposure it gets and what kind of thuja it is.

.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:09 PM
 
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Thank you for the detailed explanations! I’m proud to say I’ve ordered my moisture meter and will be looking forward to Spring with hopes that my Powis Castle thrives!

I will take pics of the thuja and start a new thread. I hope you’ll be able to chime in. Thanks again!
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:08 AM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meh0428 View Post
Thank you for the detailed explanations! I’m proud to say I’ve ordered my moisture meter and will be looking forward to Spring with hopes that my Powis Castle thrives!

I will take pics of the thuja and start a new thread. I hope you’ll be able to chime in. Thanks again!
You're welcome. And welcome to the forum too. Good luck with that sulking artemisia.

.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:35 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
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Thujas are thirsty trees. If it wasn’t watered properly when it was installed, it could look crummy or die. If it gets too bad, ask your landscaper to replace it.

If watering wasn’t the problem, look closely at the dead foliage for bagworms. I’m in Athens and have found them on several troubled thuja. If you find them, clean up all of the debris, and spray it with an approved insecticide. You’ll have to find that info yourself.

As far as Powis Castle goes, sometimes they die from pruning too hard. I learned that the hard way. They tend to look bad when they get overgrown. I rarely use that plant anymore. Just throw away the dead one and try something else.
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