First casualty of the season

When overwintering so many plants indoors (in garage or basement), there are always some that don't make it through to spring.

My first casualty of this winter is unfortunately a plant that I was very excited about, and so was babying it quite a bit -- until I wasn't.


It's my Tetrapanax papyrifer, and appears to have died from too little water.

It arrived as a trade plant from Loree as a teeny tiny thing. She didn't think it would survive but it did, and in fact looked like it was going to continue growing all winter under my grow lights.

Then while I was rearranging things I temporarily moved it onto one of the dry shelves...

...those that I ignore for weeks at a time since they contain plants that want to stay on the dry side.

Somebody that has more experience with this plant might tell me that it's just dormant, but my plant skills tell me that's not true -- it's dead.

So it appears that I'll be looking for another one of these come spring. Drat. I always feel bad when my actions (or lack of) causes a plant to die.

Where there is death there is also new life though... the mint stolons that were crisscrossing the canna clump I dug out recently have broken dormancy. They'll soon be supplying us with fresh peppermint leaves for our winter teas. Yum! (Peppermint is probably my favorite herbal tea.)

The purple fountain grass divisions that I waited so long to plant -- having just potted them up a week ago -- are springing back already:

Watching these grasses grow is one of my favorite winter gardening pastimes!

That's the thing about gardeners: we're eternal optimists, with the ability to easily forget about the failures and focus on the successes.


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outlawgardener  – (January 12, 2016 at 9:06 AM)  

Gardeners are a resilient lot. Sorry about your loss but happy for all the new growth going on.

Mark and Gaz  – (January 12, 2016 at 11:07 AM)  

I wonder if that Tetrapanax will still resprout? If some of rhizome under the soil surface is still ok it might surprise you later :)

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (January 12, 2016 at 5:13 PM)  

I miss the mint I use to grow. Thank you for the reminder. I have seeds to start looking for.

Renee  – (January 12, 2016 at 9:04 PM)  

I'm always in awe of how much you can grow over the winter with your lights. Best of luck with the Tetrapanax!

Charlie@Seattle Trekker  – (January 13, 2016 at 12:08 AM)  

No matter how good you are in the garden there are always mistakes, it is the sad outcome of imperfection.

danger garden  – (January 13, 2016 at 12:16 AM)  

Since it won't cost anything to hang on to it why not see if Mark and Gaz might be on to something? I lost a not hardy Callistemon that was in the SP greenhouse during our cold snap...same thing, I let it get too dry.

Alan  – (January 13, 2016 at 7:31 AM)  

It seems quite dead but I will water and wait and hope. Wonder if Peter still has that one put aside for me in his greenhouse?

Denise  – (January 21, 2016 at 2:21 PM)  

Any runners I spot this spring I'll earmark for you -- this is an overly generous plant, so you'll probably have no trouble getting another if this one doesn't make it.

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