Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Leaf Photinia

These plants have taught me specific examples of failure in the garden and that is why the post begins with their plant name.  This is the second to last in this 6 part series of failures in the garden. On this particular write, I want to share a gardening tactic that I use now thanks to this particular plant. This plant taught me the lesson of experimenting and the failure of not testing exposure.  On the last post, I spoke of plants failing because they were placed in the wrong space.  The 5th write of failure is therefore related indirectly to exposure but addresses the fault of not testing plants in different areas of your garden.  This method can cost a little money because you need to buy at least 3 plants to work your experiments.  I am currently running an experiment on Mondo Grass, but that is for a later post. Basically, you head out to your nursery and buy 3-5  of the same plants.  Place them in different exposures around your house in pots.  Observe them and watch how they grow, burn, or decline.  Move them when you notice the latter issues happen.  My failure during this experimental time was not putting these plants into pots.  Instead I put them into the ground where they died.  Now I place all plants in pots around the garden  before putting them into the soil.
Success with photinia lies in placing them in the northern and eastern exposures, but they do need some nice morning sun.  They do need some water to get established and continual watering throughout the summer.  A lot of people have these beautiful plants in their yards.  Observe which side of the home people place their thriving plants and you'll have a better chance of succeeding with your own attempts. It's all very scientific.  The answer to this failure is patience and observation.
One last note.  I have placed these plants in the failure category because I no longer have them in the garden.  I will revisit them again at a later time as I am redefining the El Presidio gardens, but currently other items have taken more importance and these "failed" plants will have to take a back seat for now.  There is so much thinking that goes into gardening. Until next time, experiment away! 

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