Plants I've Killed More Than Once

For this month's Washington Gardener Magazine reader contest, we asked contestants to submit that name of the garden plant that they've killed at least twice -- not on purpose. Yes, the secret is out, we gardeners are all plant killers. Not just the weeds, but also the plants we aim to grow. Sometimes we neglect them, but sometimes we plant them in the wrong place or at the wrong time of year. Other times, we do everything right, but the plants came to us so damaged they never had a chance. Here are a few connfessions:

~ "Daphne 'Carol Mackie' -- 3 times and you're out!" said Katie Rapp of Gaithersburg, MD. "I also regularly kill Heuchera and Bleeding Hearts in my shade garden."

~ George Graine of Falls Church, VA, has killed Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' (Japanese Blood Grass) more than once.

~ "I have killed (or tried but it died) the Rose Zephirine Drouhin four times," lamented Wendy Bruno of Silver Spring, MD. "Everyone else keeps recommending it and I've got 30-35 other roses, but this one keeps failing. I know one other person who will admit to as many failures with this rose."

~ Carrie Biggs-Adams of Colmar Manor, MD confessed: "More than once I have killed my geraniums in my garden. The first winter, I left them outside (hey I am a native Californian - they just live outside all year long, year in and year out). This winter (when they probably would have survived outside in the mild temps), I potted them, moved them inside made it almost to spring and then killed them when I moved them back outside and it got too hot/dry and they died!"

~ "I have repeatedly killed (not on purpose) cactus," said Madeline Caliendo of Washington, DC. "It is either too much or too little water that I provide. Can never seem to get the right balance."

~ "Lupines!!!" said Joe Schechter of Silver Spring, MD. "I know we're at the southern end of their range, but my wife loves them. So, I've tried growing them at least three times in the last few years and never have much to show for my effort. Even when they come up, I've not ended up with flower spikes. Yikes!"

~ "I seem to have consistently killed Mountain Laurels (Kalmias)," shared Mike Salapka of Rockville, MD. "One very old one that came with the property has survived and bloomed consistently, but new plants that I have added to the garden have had a tough time of it."

The winner of this month's reader contest, chosen at random from among the submitted entries, is Wendy Bruno. She wins a copy of the new book, Cherry Blossoms: The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

So what plants have YOU killed more than once in your efforts to grow them?


Kenneth Moore said…
What *haven't* I killed?

Plectranthus amboinicus, Cuban oregano, is one of my most desired but most killed plant. I am a chronic overwaterer.
Jess said…
Rosemary and Thyme. I planted them in a place that was too wet and then they would look scraggely so I would water them. They were killed with kindness...and water. This year I've put them in a pot and will do my best to neglect them.

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