New japanese aralia looks flat, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by villagegreenlandscape, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. villagegreenlandscape

    villagegreenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I've done a couple of installations with japanese aralia and several of them look like someone has let the air out of them. I'm assuming it's a watering issue, but can't tell if it's too much or too little. The plants around them are doing fine. Any ideas?
     
  2. Go to www.forestry-suppliers.com and get a Lincoln moisture meter long enough to check their root zone. I mainly use a 12" for turf but I think the 24" would be better for you. As you well know once that root ball goes dry if it is newly planted you need to pull it up and stick it in a bucket to resaturate it. My experience with Aralias is they tend to be on the thirsty side but like good drainage.
     
  3. Also I don't know when you planted them but that is not a good plant to use in August in Dallas unless in lots of shade.
     
  4. villagegreenlandscape

    villagegreenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    On both properties they are in heavy shade. What puzzled me with the first one was we installed it in early July when we had a month straight of rain, plus the night we finished we had 3" of rain within the space of a couple of hours (not your typical July weather in Dallas) otherwise I would have thought it was lack of water.
     
  5. AUHort1990

    AUHort1990 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    We planted some in a coutryard about 2 years ago. Even though they never saw direct sunlight they struggled that first summer. We had to water them 2 to 3 times per week and some of them still wilted between waterings.

    With that said it could still be overwatering. You might want to dig one up or soil probe next to it just to make sure it isn't sitting in water.
     
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    We get more rain here in Oregon than almost anywhere. Lots of Japanese Aralia (Fatsia Japonica) around here. I have never seen one die or look bad because it got a lot of rain or water. So I doubt that's the issue.

    I would think maybe heat could be part of the problem. As you know, they don't like sun. But even in shade, I would think they could have problems if it was just too hot in general. That, coupled with the lack of regular watering could do what you described. Sure, it may have rained 3" one night. But new plants need regular watering, not just a sparatic rain. And a plant that is sensitive to sun or possibly heat might be a little more sensitive than the others.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  7. villagegreenlandscape

    villagegreenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    You may be right. They both had good watering because I installed the sprinkler system too and used a smart controller but just the heat could have nailed them - although the first set were installed during a relatively mild part of our summer. Hopefully when I replace them in the fall they can establish themselves a little better before next summer. Still, considering I installed one landscape in July and the other in August I'd say four plants out of $30k worth isn't too bad. Thank heavens for smart controllers on sprinkler systems!
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Yes, very good indeed.
     

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