need advice tonight

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lamblawnscaping, May 13, 2002.

  1. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    About a month ago we planted 170 liriope for a customer. Now he is calling complaining that his liriope don't look good. After looking at them about 15-20% of the leaves are browing and appear to be withering away. I don't think this is something to be especially concerned about, and need to meet with him tomorrow. I have been told that cutting back the plants is the first step to take. My brother had a conversation with him today, which consisted of the customer using the f word about 2 dozen times. I don't exactly know what to do. I like to make customers happy, and in 3 years of business have never had to deal with an irate customer. I really feel like telling him that he paid us to plant his liriope, and we did that, and now it is up to him to take care of them.

    What would you all do? Why do you think the liriope are browning? Is this usual? I have a theory. The liriope were especially bushy when we installed them. I am thinking that the root system has not developed as quickly as the top growth and that is why some of the leaves are browing. Cutting back the top growth should help with this. Does this sound like the right answer to any of you?

    Any input would be appreciated, as this is the first time I have had to deal with something like this, and as much as this guy has pissed me off, I would still like to take good care of the situation.
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Several possiblities for your problems. It has been very dry here until lately. Also, where was this planted? How far west? If the new growth was just starting to expand when we had a couple of very cold nights, it could be cold damage. Is there a lot of dog traffic in the area of the browning plants? Trim off the unsightly growth. Make certain that the customer is watering. It really is hard to kill Liriope. Remind the customer that the plants are warrantied and stand behind your words.
  3. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165


    Thank you for your response.

    The job is in great falls.

    His dog has ripped up several plants, if that answers your question about dog traffic.

    All 170 of the plants seem to be browning evenly.

    They were planted a month ago.

    I know liriope are hard to kill, and that is why I am not especially concerned about the browning leaves. He however seems to think that we should rip them all out and replace them so he dosen't have to wait for them to green up again.

    When asked about watering by my brother he started screaming (literally) about how much rain we have been getting, and that his other plants are ok. His other plants werent just planted.

    The plants are larger than they were when we installed them so they are definately growing.

    As far as cold damage, why would only some of the leaves be effected?

    MWS LAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Don't forget the fertilizer. Another thing would be water drainage. I would prune up the brown leaves, give them plenty of water and fertilizer and the roots will soon catch up. Too much water is not going to hurt them, but if the water is not drainning they will drown out. Beside a plant dig down just to see how moist the ground is. If the soil is dry a layer of mulch would greatly help.
  5. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    .Hmmm if they were bushy did they come from a greenhouse?If so the browning would be just adjusting to the outside temperatures.The other thing that springs to mind is did you fertilise them when you planted ?could be fertiliser burn.It must be some reason like that for all the plants show signs of damage.If a few only were showing signs of browning it could be dogs or similar but for the whole lot to go off its something that upset all of them.The customer hasnt fertilised them?Although it doesnt sound like he'd tell you.All the best with them.
  6. DaddyRabbit

    DaddyRabbit LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 937

    Sounds to me like fertlizer burn and in which case everything will be fine in a couple of months after you've cut back all the brown leaves.:(
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    not sure what some of you mean by "fert burn"...I assume you are not talking about plant starter liquid fert? I use it all the time now and it makes a big difference in my opinion. If they did not get liquid starter I would give them far as lirope goes...I took all mine out at might be hard to kill but it never looks that great...I realize this is what your customer wanted
  8. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    OK, I got to take a look at these plants myself today. The description i gave was second hand from my brother. They are dying back from the tips. The leaves go from normal (green) to a small band of yellow, then to a dark orange red band , then yellow, and then completely white (almost translucent). The customer is at ease after I told him that we plan to prune all damaged leaves, and fertilize with a liquid fert, and that if that didn't work I would rip them out and get him some new ones. He also agreed to about 60 more liriope, and 1500 worth of cut in and mulch. That went alot better than I had expected.

    Does anyone have any different ideas about the problem now that I have given a more detailed description. Thank you to everyone that responed, your advice made me much more comfortable dealing with this customer.

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