Thursday, May 20, 2010

My balcony plans are dying. Could you tell me why?

My balcony plans are dying. Could you tell me why? I planted them from seeds.

They are wild flowers. The leaves are dry at the edges, like burned.

I removed one to see what's wrong and it has dried out, dark stem, next to the root.

The soil is fine, I don't think I overwater them.

Maybe I put to much cow manure and they are burned? Or is it a bug? They where

OK while they where growing for the last two months.

My balcony plans are dying. Could you tell me why?
Cow manure is exactly that.. CRAP! if you are going to grow plants in pots, use POTTING SOIL. It is made to maintain proper pH balance, maintain proper moisture levels and have airspace needed for proper plant growth. manure doesn't have that.

you probably have an ammonia build-up from the manure and it has burnt the plants.. I'd suggest dumping the soil in an earth based garden and tilling it in. in the ground it will be better..

you need to buy a quality potting soil (not the cheap stuff) to refill your planter and start fresh.. use fertilizer to feed, not manure. sorry.
Reply:They do sould like they are overwatered and burned. You have to be very careful when using cow manure. The manure must be aged and must be in a proper ratio with the rest of your soil. Too much cow manure does burn the plants particularly if not aged. Unaged manure should never touch the plant but should be totally incorporated into the soil. Wildflowers are also not happy in a pot. That is why they are wildflowers. Trying to tame wildflowers will often cause them to die. Every wildflower has a particular environment in which it wants to grow. For example, trillium wants to grow in shade. Jack in the pulpit, shade. columbine part shade, etc. If I knew the wildflowers I could help you more.
Reply:I don't know were you live but besides all the other answers it could be frost damage.
Reply:Sounds like they are terminal. Containerized plants dry out quicker than those planted in the ground. The smaller the container, the more quickly it will dry out. When the soil pulls away from the pot = seriously dry and compacted. Aerate (poke holes in the soil) and water. Good test for watering: lift the pot, Light = dry, aerate and water. Heavy = wet, allow to dry out.

The manure you mentioned, composted? store bought? mixed with regular potting soil? I prefer MiracleGro potting mix. You can put an inch of dry dead leaves in the bottom of the pot to keep soil in plus leaves will provide organic material for the plant. I have had no disease problems using leaves.

Try again with a new batch of seeds. Good luck
Reply:burn from overfertilising is possible, but if they were fine for a couple of months, less likely unless you just applied it--you wouldnt need much for containers, and do make sure its composted...

balcony plants are exposed and subjected to more wind than most ground plants, so they are subject to drying fast--maybe yours just got too dry or too hot?

try to learn about the species and what they need---if your balcony is shady, grow woodland flowers, but make sure they stay moist--a double planter with insulation between (at the minimum) is always good for balconies, to keep soil temps from fluctuating and over heating, and a thick mulch to keep in moisture--that doesnt mean they want to be soggy, only bog plants want to be waterlogged--most others need well drained soil..

if your space is hot and sunny, grow plants that can take heat and drying, but still keep the roots insulated--some plants are adapted to hot dry crevices, but many others like to send their roots to cooler damper places..

FINALLY--you need to check into the life cycle of your plants--unlike commercial annual flowers, which are bred to flower all season, many wildflowers have a specific, often short season, after which they naturally dry up--maybe yours are just finished??


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