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Perennials/planting

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,
I live near Charlotte, NC.  The nursery had some gorgeous rudebekia and echinecea so I bought a large plant of each.  I put them in the ground today, kinda cloudy, and I'm watering well.  I read they should be planted or transplanted in spring.  So, do you think they will live to bloom next spring?  Thank you!

ANSWER: Greetings, Lauren!

You are not alone. I purchased, just last week, 3 lovely rudebekia for a friend. Both it and echinacea are easy care, hardy plants even here, in a climate much colder than yours,
surviving our zone 5 winters with ease. You should see them all returning here, with a vengeance, in the spring.

When advice is given as to the appropriate planting time for some perennials, there is an assumption that the plants will be somewhat neglected. Therefore, individuals are instructed to plant them in spring, mostly because of the ample rainfall. But you can plant almost any perennial at any time if you are willing to take the right steps - and you are taking them!

Congratulations on being a very smart gardener. You put your plants in on a cloudy day (ideal) and you are keeping them well watered (again, ideal).

Look for them in the spring!

If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to write again.

Best wishes,

Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Donna,  Thank so much for all your help!  If it doesn't rain, should I water them weekly - or more than that since they are newly planted? THANKS!!!

Answer
Hello again, Lauren!

If it doesn't rain, definitely water them. If there is no rain at all, and it is warm, as much as three times a week would be good. It is always a good idea to have a look at them and see how they are doing. Watch for wilting. If it happens, add water more frequently, but not all at once!

Another part of the equation is the manner in which you water. I like to put a soaker hose around plants and set my timer for 15 minutes. That way they get a good deep soaking, in which case once a week is fine. But if you are watering from a can the plants do not have as much an opportunity to be soaked to their roots, which is why watering from a can should be done more often.

Does this make sense?

Again, please feel free to ask more questions.

Regards,

Donna

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Donna Mack

Expertise

I am a Master Gardener through the University of Illinois Extension.I can answer questions about pest control, especially voles, rabbits, chipmunks and slugs, and have done so on Dave's Garden Watchdog under the name DonnaMack since 2002. I have a lot of expertise with ornamental grass, hardy roses and old garden roses, minor bulbs such as ornigothalem, chionodoxa and allium as well as most types of lilies. I am knowledgeable about organic methods and I grow perennials, annuals and vegetables from seed.

Experience

I have been gardening since 1998 and have raised roses, peonies, annuals and perennials (the latter two from seed), and numerous shrubs and trees, many of which I have planted. I am familiar with many organic techniques and use as many as I can but know the chemical solutions, which are most benign and how to use them. I LOVE gardening, and I get great satisfaction with helping others so that they reach the state of joy that gardening can bring to those inclined to it.

Organizations
The American Lily Society

Publications
I have numerous entries in Garden Watchdog under the name DonnaMack. I write three to four columns a year for the Kane County Chronicle.

Education/Credentials
I successfully completed the University of Illinois Master Gardening Program in March of 2013. I did this to augment extensive self study through books (I've probably read 100) and an arts degree, which helps with aesthetics. I am purely an amateur, but one who studies, reads, and documents extensively. My gardening log began in 2000, and has hundreds of entries, so that I can use my successes and failures to assist other gardeners.

Awards and Honors
The University of Illinois created a Team with Work Award for master gardeners who work together to create what they regard as an outstanding project. I won this award as part of a group that created "The Idea Garden", which suggests plants for home growers to attempt to grow. My personal contribution was salvias - ornamental and culinary hardy and tender perennials, which I grew from seed and tended through the season.

Past/Present Clients
I am currently overseeing and performing the maintenance of two large English style gardens in a suburb of Chicago, and recently acquired the management and redesign of a large estate garden(2015.)

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