Native Plants that didn't come back in my garden.

tuben

I was wondering if anyone had issues with Sneeze Weed and Butterfly Weed not coming back. I purchased a few plants of each last year and they didn't come back. The Butterfly Weed went to seed but I have yet to see any signs of it germinating. What did I do wrong?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Where are you??? Please put your zone or area in your name field, It helps to narrow down what your growing season is.

My Butterfly weed isn't up but, but close so don;t rule it out yet. Helenium is also slow.

It seems most of the prairie plants have an aversion to sticking the head up too soon. Must have something to do with getting it burned off by spring fires.

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tuben

I'm in zone 7.


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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

When did you plant the butterfly weed last year? What's the site like? Soil, sun, etc. And how was your winter? Warmer, colder than usual?

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Asclepias tuberosa is a finicky thing in anything but sandy ground. I don't bother with it anymore here in clay country. Helenium-as has been said-is a slow-poke in the spring. It will probably show up following next warm spell. Great plant for wet areas-one of my favorites.

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

My A. tuberosa all seem to be coming back this year, but a couple of them are looking pretty weak. I feel neutral about them at this point. I like the strong flowers in July, a good match for the prairie dropseed and baptisia around them. After that things go downhill. Last year the monarchs appeared to ignore them and headed for the A. incarnata in back. I might dig them out one of these years, or just wait and see if they die out on their own. Fairly rich silty clay loam in full sun.

As far as germination in the ground goes I couldn't say since I cut the seed pods off the A. tuberosa in late summer. I know they need cold stratification. The wrong pattern of cold/warm/dry/wet in late winter and you might not getting any viable seedlings. I am getting a lot of seedlings this year from A. verticillata, none that I can see yet from A. incarnata.

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texasranger2

If I listed all the plants that didn't come back, it'd be a long list indeed. If I listed all the seedlings that failed it'd be even longer. If I listed the ones that up and died seemingly out of the blue for no reason I could fathom, it'd be another list.

"What did I do wrong?" is the wrong question. I say ---Welcome to the fickle world of gardening. Prepare for both failures and successes. If a plant didn't come back, try it again or try something else. Oftentimes plants will move themselves to a different spot and settle in happily 'over there'. Plants call the shots sometimes, we only think we are in charge.

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tuben

Thanks for the feed back guys. My soil is probably too rich for some of these natives since I have been amending it for awhile now. I started to just use EZ Flow which is a pellet compost that has replaced just about every other food in the world for my plants save for Hollytone for the shurbs and Alaska Fish Fertilizer for the flowers, bone meal for the roses and bulb plants. But I have transformed my sand into soil, thus saving on watering.

Texaranger2, your words of wisdom are greatly appreciated. I have many plants that decided that they would rather be in another part of the yard! It is okay by me, but I was hoping to try and help the Butterflies by using more natives for their needs. Seems I may just be wishing for an ecosystem my yard isn't equipped to handle. Or I just have to try again like some have suggested. But I'm just glad I'm not alone in this. That others have had similar problems first hand. Thanks!

Now if I may ask, just what are some of the biggest mistakes any of you have had with your plant choices?

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

This isn't a plant choice mistake, but working in a lot of compost
into a bed where I have prairie natives wasn't the best idea. They grew
like crazy, but also very floppy. I don't fertilize that bed at all now,
just cut everything down in late winter and leave as much of the debris
(mostly grass, which I shred) on the ground to decompose. I pretty much
only use compost now on shady beds.

One thing I noticed with
monarchs is that, while I had milkweed for them to lay eggs on and for
the caterpillars to eat, I didn't have much in the way of nectar for the
adults after they emerged from their cocoons in September. I've added a
lot of later blooming flowers this year: aster, goldenrod, Liatris,
ironweed. And I've put in more summer-blooming composites as well:
Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Coreopsis. Some of these aren't the most
well-behaved or well-formed garden plants, so I have a wilder area out
back for them.

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tuben

I wouldn't call my Liatris late bloomers. They are usually done by the end of July. But Goldenrod I just added to the garden and I hope by how the one plant expanded this year I don't regret it like I did the Ageratum perennial plant I have all over the place now. I just pull it out and more keeps coming back. But I just love it. How does Ironweed grow?

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

I'm guessing you have Liatris spicata, one of the earlier blooming species. It's the one I usually see in nurseries (often the 'Kobold' variety). Out back I have mostly L. pycnostachya, which is more of an August bloomer around here (though maybe not this year when everything seems to be going early).

Goldenrods can be unruly -- they've mostly scared me off until last year. The one I have is Solidago drummondii, cliff goldenrod. I put some way out in back at the top of a stone wall. They lean way over so I'm hoping it has a nice cascading effect. Too early to tell how much it's going to spread.

The most common native ironweed here is Baldwin ironweed. That one is too tall and coarse in my opinion for a residential planting. Great plant for insects but ugly up close when I have seen it. I've planted Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly', a cultivar I heard about from a Roy Diblik book. It's not native to my state, but is in a small area of Oklahoma and Arkansas. I expect it'll be a year or two before I start to get an idea how those do here. I got my seedlings from Bluestone.

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macranthos(Z8B Portland OR)

I've got thousands of asclepias tuberosa seeds to give away if you want some to try again. I just ask for a sase.

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elvis

Same here, a. incarnata as well in pink and white. Post here if interested.

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macranthos(Z8B Portland OR)

Elvis, does the white incarnata come true from seed? If so, I would be interested in some. I have some experience with a white speciosa: only about 2% of seedlings are white...

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elvis

Yes, Macranthos. But! When I said "in pink and white", it's because I tossed all the incarnata pods into the same paper bag. I can tell you that the white plant put out a lot more seed, so odds are greater that you would get seeds from the white, but I can't promise that. In previous years, I stored them separately, but no one was interested, so I just gathered everybody (can't help myself!). I'd be happy to send you a large amount and you could just sow them and see. LMK.

I gathered the white seed from my cousin's garden in Duluth years ago, and mine took 3 years to bloom from seed. Pure white, smells vanilla-like.

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elvis

Say, in planting the new stuff I found at Green Saturday today, I noticed a young A. incarnata (white) growing separately from the mother plant. Must be a 2 year old. Anyway, if you want it, LMK and it's yours.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have a tuberosa that is looking healthy,but I want a bigger clump so I'm getting a second one.I'm going plant it next to the one in the ground and mix in lots of sand and a little compost.I had a tuberosa growing in sand years ago and it was thriving,but I moved it into more of a clay soil and it went downhill from there. I think the seeds would germinate better in Sandy soil also.You know you can grow a lot of natives you desire if you ammend the planting hole and a small surrounding area to meat the soil requirements of the particular plant.Just because the soil in your area is clay doesn't mean you can't grow plants that require sand or lots of organic matter or acidic or alkaline conditions.Just ammend the planting area.Oh and I just found out my variegated Solomon's seal isn't native.It's a Eurasian species, polygonatum odoratum.There are closely related native species like smooth Solomon's seal ,Solomon's plume and false Solomon's seal.I would like to grow some of these in rounded clumps as an alternative to hostas.Trying to go totally native and I'm learning a lot as I discover which plants in my yard are native and which are invaders.The native plants evolved with the native wildlife to give the fauna everything they need.Non-natives rob wildlife.Dug up my name's rocket,purple loosestrife and a dianthus and added them to the compost today.It's a great feeling plus I have a lot of just bought,beautiful natives to replace them and nourish the wildlife.

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