susanb92

Ninebark Amber Jubilee issues

susanb92
June 28, 2019

We purchased an Amber Jubilee Ninebark last year, planted it in a barrel, and it died. Beautiful plant, so we bought another one..and I don’t want to kill another one.


The issue is when new leaves come out they look OK for a day or two, then begin to get dry brown edges. Eventually the leaf dies. No signs of mealy bugs or powdery mildew. The plant is very sparse and has never leafed out completely.. It is planted in a barrel in part-sun. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?



Comments (9)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    the most important thing in a pot.. is the media... what kind do you have ...


    any many more important facts.. including a pic.. would be very helpful



    where are you.. why the barrel ... how big.. how do you water ... etc ...


    ken

    susanb92 thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • susanb92

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for your reply! Ninebark is in a half whiskey barrel, planted in 50% top soil and 50% potting soil mix, watered every other day...drainage seems to be good. We are in SW Colorado,..zone 5a...at this time of year windy, hot and dry. Elevation 7000 ft.

    Plant is in a barrel because the soil is so bad in our planting area...takes lots of time with a digging bar to plant a large plant...Ninebark is a 5 gallon. I will attempt a photo when the light is better.

    Your ideas will be appreciated!

    Susan



  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    no tree needs water every other day ...

    in proper media... a tree wants a sip of water. .and then near drying ... with all excess out the bottom ... near drying is the key ...

    improper media...can be worked around.. by you figuring out.. how it all works in your pot ... take a tablespoon or small hand trowel.. and dig down 3 to 6 inches.. AND FIND OUT ... and then water accordingly ....

    except for the transplant ... trees in large pots.. can more or less rely on ma nature ... especially if the pot itself is protected from the sun ... so it doesnt get hot.. trees dont like hot roots ... put some other pots or something on the sun side for such protection ...

    on some level.. you are loving it to death.. by watering too much ... the digging i suggested is to figure out.. when its actually getting dry ...

    you could probably do a lot better than garden topsoil in that pot ... a good media.. is a water management system.. garden soil is mother earth ... the two dont equate ... but again.. you can figure it out ...

    on some level.. i like benign neglect with trees and shrubs in pots... water it in at planting.. then forget about it ... nature should provide what it needs... except in times of drought ... it is not a water loving perennial or annual... its a tree/shrub ...

    many around here.. like al's gritty mix in pots.. should you be able to get it thru summer.. you might want to repot it in fall or next spring ... using a better media ... do NOT do such now ...

    and the hardest thing with pots.. in the cold north ... is how to deal with them in winter ... you better figure that out also ... how did you deal with it last winter ...

    ken

    susanb92 thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    "no tree needs water every other day ..."

    "in proper media... a tree wants a sip of water. .and then near drying ... with al excess out the bottom ... near drying is the key ..."

    Not sure how much experience ken has with growing trees and shrubs in a container long term, but neither of his previous statements is correct! In a container setting, it is quite possible that watering every other day or even daily is necessary. It will depend on the size of the plant relative to the container and how long it has been growing there as well as the weather. Higher quality, faster draining potting soils - what is most desireable for long term container culture - often dictate a need for more frequent irrigation.

    And when you water anything grown in a container, you water until it flows freely out the drainage holes........no "sips". The soil and the root mass should be fully hydrated with every irrigation. And then allowed to drain fully. And how dry the soil mix soil should be allowed to get in between waterings will depend on the tree or shrub. Some require a consistently moist soil while others will tolerate drier conditions. You just cannot make blanket generalities and expect to succeed!!

    How these issues are affecting your ninebark is hard to say. There are a couple of concerns that come immediately to mind with your posts. The first is using garden or topsoil as part of the potting media. This is never recommended as it is too dense and too fine a particle size to allow for adequate porosity and fast drainage. Even most commercial bagged potting mixes fail in this regard. If you were to dig down to the lower levels of that whiskey barrel, you would find a thick layer of mucky, permanently wet soil, or what is known as the perched water table. How high the PWT is governs how well the plant roots will grow and the likelihood that they may be affected by root rots. This is an inevitable occurence with any container situation - part of the physics of container gardening - but the quality and texture of the potting soil can be used to control the height of the PWT. You want to minimize this as much as possible and the best way to do that is by developing a potting mix that is highly durable and of adequate texture and porosity. I'd suggest you do some reading in the Container Gardening forum to gain some knowledge specific to this situation, in particular a long running thread authored by our resident contaier gardening guru, Al (tapla): Trees in Containers.

    The second issue is how this barrel gets overwintered. Very few plants of any kind will tolerate a zone 5 winter in a container. There is just insufficient soil mass around their roots - the most cold vulnerable part of the plant - to insulate it properly from the winter temperatures. Container grown plants are exposed to much colder temperatures than their ingound cousins. And frozen or partially dead roots will result in stunted topgrowth......if the plant survives at all.


    susanb92 thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • susanb92

    Thanks for your input Gardengal and Ken_Adrian! If the Ninebark survives this summer we’ll get out the digging bar and put it in the ground.

    We grow dwarf conifers in whiskey barrels and so far snow cover has insulated them through the winter. If we have a dry winter we’ll have to punt.

    Thanks again to both of you for your input and expertise.

    Susan

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    Not sure how much experience ken has with growing trees and shrubs in a container long term, but neither of his previous statements is correct!


    ===>>> here we go with the gratuitous insults again ... i am not a nursery man ... but i have grown hundreds of trees in pots .... of course.. she then goes on to basically restate and agree with everything i said ...


    why not just skip the insult ...????


    good luck to you susan .. i wont be revisiting this post ... lifes to short to be irritated by a third party ... when you are trying to help someone ... aka.. the party of the first part ...


    ken


    ps: there is a whole world of difference between a pot in a nursery/big box store ..... on a black top.. and one hidden in a yard ... and you water accordingly ...

    susanb92 thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    "of course.. she then goes on to basically restate and agree with everything i said ..."

    I did not!! I disagree totally with your statements I highlighted. And I'm not sure why you consider criticism an insult. You come out with a great many statements that factually inaccurate.....and it is not just me that points them out. You might consider them to be the learning experience they are, but rather prefer to revisit them ad nauseum despite what many other very skilled horticulturists might say to the contrary!


    susanb92 thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • wayne

    I find that Amber Jubilee is not as vigorous as other ninebarks

    susanb92 thanked wayne
  • susanb92

    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your reply. Amber Jubilee is certainly beautiful, but doesn’t seem to be as tough as other gardeners have described Ninebark in general.

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