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Article: A Plant for Your Garden That Does it All: heptacodium

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Forum: Article: A Plant for Your Garden That Does it AllReplies: 5, Views: 56
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Hinsdale, IL

June 3, 2008
1:30 AM

Post #5043608

i want to like this plant- but...
planted one ,in tree form,last july- it's in a great location,w/good soil,etc etc,.didn't look so great @ end of season,crinckled leaves,etc,it was properly planted & watered all season,& into this year. the "exfoliating bark" has completely exfoliated,& whole tree looks ghosty.
here we are,in june, & it has yet to break dormancy.branches don't snap,they bend,& scratch test shows plenty of green- but this is ridiculous! zone 5 chicago area...have contacted arboretum for input- "be patient" was response- anybody have ideas?it came from a great nursery- have until july to return it,but really hate to dig it out,it's underplanted with lots of good stuff.
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2008
7:50 PM

Post #5047432

Hi Russty--Sorry to hear about your reluctant Heptacodium. Not knowing what's ailing it must be frustrating. I guess the only thing to do at this point is what the arboretum told you to do and if you're not satisfied by July, then it's time to return it.

There's a phenomenon in the field of medicine called "failure to thrive," in which babies are alive but don't gain weight or height. I once grew Baptisia australis (False Indigo), which I had ordered from White Flower Farm. The first year in my garden it did absolutely nothing. No leaves, no flowers. But the stems were still viable. I was told by the WFF staff that it was a case of "failure to thrive," but to be patient (which struck me as somewhat patronizing at the time). Sure enough, the second year it leafed out promptly in the spring and flowered beautifully.

The staff theorized that the plant spent the first year developing an extensive root system at the expense of leaves and flowers. Perhaps that's what's going on with your Heptacodium this spring. Unfortunately, at this point we can only speculate. I wish you the best of luck with your plant. Please let me know the outcome. Best--Larry
Hinsdale, IL

June 4, 2008
6:09 AM

Post #5050366

thanks for the encouragement.
speaking of failure to thrive- out of morbid curiosity,i paged through comments on gonebythewayside gardens.i,too was under the spell of their powerful catalog-& ordered more than i could afford,with promises of quick shipping,freebies,etc.
well- no freebies,& sickly looking bareroot roses,shipped much too late in season ,(& much later than ordered)for success.i did complain about them upon opening them,but unwisely decided to give them benefit of the doubt. nothing survived the winter. of course,my $170 investment is down the drain,they don't give a hang,& no remedy is in sight.
i guess my questions here are- has anybody won against these goons? & can't the unsatisfied amongst us band together & put this company six feet under,where it belongs??i for one would love to see them go belly up!!
& where should i post this for maxx exposure??
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

June 5, 2008
3:04 AM

Post #5055661

I'd start by adding your comments to those of the others you've seen on this site. Then I'd google gardening websites and look for appropriate places to post your displeasure. BTW, I love your renaming of Wayside! :-)
Hinsdale, IL

September 8, 2008
5:12 PM

Post #5524917

update: well, that tree died, replaced it in mid-july. the new one is just starting to bloom.had high hopes of seeing it covered with butterflies,but - it may be a little too late for them? the first tree, also bought in july, was starting to bloom already,& was swarming with butterflies even in the nursery lot-that was cool. hope this one survives,as it is nice to have a tree blooming in september!
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2008
1:10 AM

Post #5526902

Thanks for the update, russty. Our Hepta is in bud but not yet blooming. It's a little late this year (we've had a cold and wet growing season), so it may be a bit late for the monarch migration that passes through here. Best--Larry

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