Why are the inner leaves of my Arborvitae turning brown?

Why are the inner leaves of my Arborvitae turning brown?Why are the inner leaves (foliage) of my Arborvitae turning brown? 

Simply put, and in my experience, it is just a shedding process that helps the plant shed its old leaves just as any deciduous tree loses its leaves in the fall. Unless the whole bush is turning brown, this inside browning and shedding is very common in the late summer and fall months.

In my pictures here you can see the process of this shedding and this is normal. However, if the whole Arborvitae is browning and losing its leaves, then you have a bigger problem which I will address in other posts.

Arborvitae are very hardy shrubs and once established can be drought tolerant. However, browning leaves on the outside and inside of the shrub can indicate the plant is dying from a lack of water. If the leaves are turning a darker brown or even black, this can be a blight or fungal disease problem and needs further investigation. You also have to watch for bagworms and insect infestations but most plants in any landscape or garden can attract diseases and insects. Either way, you may be able to save the plant in the early stages of decline. Why are the inner leaves of my Arborvitae turning brown?

In my years of experience growing Arborvitae, I have found them to grow in the red clay soil of Virginia and grow during the bouts of drought and unrelentless downpours of springtime rains. I grow them in pots too and find them to give winter interest in the landscape with minimal care and watering.

Thank you for stopping by and if you have a question, contact me and I will try to help you!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 copyrighted material C ReneeWhy are the inner leaves of my Arborvitae turning brown?





Formosa Lily (Lilium formosanum)

Formosa lily, Formosan lily, Lilium formosanumI added the Formosan lily (formerly known as Formosa lily) L. formosanum late last summer at the fall plant sale at the Lewis Ginter botanical garden. As I walked up I could smell the lovely fragrance and stood there inhaling the intoxicating aroma fragrance of the  white trumpet flower. I was in heaven. I thought it was an Easter Lily at first because of the beautiful fragrant white trumpet flower atop the tall stem. The grower told me it was grown from seed this spring and they are easy to grow and love moist but not wet soil in full sun or partial shade here in zone 7.

I knew nothing of the Formosa lily and had to go home and read more about it. I discovered it is native the island of Formosa in Taiwan and it is almost extinct there now! There is contradictory information about the zones with some sources I read say 5-8 and others 6b-9. The Formosan lily blooms late summer and grows upward to 7 feet tall in the south where the growing season is longer. In colder climates of zones 5 and 6 it will bloom early autumn and I highly suggest planting it in full sun.  In the colder zones this is a short lived perennial (or biennial) and so you may want to dig the bulbs up and try to store them in a colder garage or shed where they will not freeze below 10 degrees and plant them early spring. Or let them reseed and see what happens. Either way, only good things come out of letting nature fill your garden with blooms.Formosa lily Lilium formosanum

The Formosa lily is also known as the August lily and spreads by seed or bulbs which need the cold weather of winter in zones 7 & 8 to go dormant and rest. Anyone in zones 9 and up will need to dig up the Formosa lily bulbs and store them in the refrigerator to mimic winter’s cooler weather. I have collected seeds for 2 years now and in my new garden I will sow a backdrop of these fragrant beauties behind all my coneflowers, sedum, and black eyed susans.

This is a great cut flower and it is recommended not too cut too much off the stem because the stems are needed to make food for the bulbs the following year. I never cut down my lily stems and let them die back naturally and let nature do her work. This can be a prolific reseeder in the garden so cutting off the flowers before they dry and release the seeds may help contain them.

Seeds from 1 Formosa lily bloom

Seeds from 1 Formosa lily bloom

Oh shoot I forgot to state my point: one flower produces a ton of seeds! Holy moly I could not believe how many seeds came out of the brown dried up flower head. I do not have pictures of the mature Formosa lily because mine is in pot and old sent up a 3 1/2″ foot stem with 1 bloom. I hope next year I will be able to share more pictures as I cultivate a new garden. You can google more information about the Formosa lily and as I grow this lovely fragrant flower I will share more.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have the Formosa Lily I would love to hear from you on any tips. Gardening is a learning experience and one that I love to share!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 copyrighted material C Renee

I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a gardenI am a gardener without a garden and have been since spring (2016) when I dug up my flower beds and sold hundreds of plants. I dug up and potted up many plants to create mulched boring beds that would be easy for someone to manage. I am a gardener without a garden

Why? Because I have to sell my house and move on. Move on and hope that I can find a new home with lots of space for hundreds of plants and my fur babies. Move on to start my life not only as an empty nester but as a divorcee with 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a love of all things green and beautiful. I have to do this with a not so realistic price tag.I am a gardener without a garden

This is not what I had imagined when I turned 50 back in February when I counted down the days for my youngest son to graduate high school and I dreamt of the day I would find my dream home in the country and return to the country life my husband and I had talked about for years. The dream of a horse, donkey, and a cow eating in the pasture. A red barn with a tractor parked inside. A veggie garden and beautiful flower beds filled with all the colors of the rainbow. The perfect setting as I gaze out my window- to be inspired to write that book and fill my life with peace and joy. I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a garden and I have struggled with the sadness. It is a sadness that has consumed me at times. I have not been to a garden center since last fall and I can barely walk through the garden center at my local home stores without feeling a sense of loss and twinge of grief because I cannot buy a plant and enjoy the beauty of the blooms in my garden…because I do not have any flower gardens.I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a garden and I struggle every day to feel in touch with nature. I have even shed tears over my thoughts about just letting go of my houseplants and other tropical garden plants. Letting go and not bringing them in and just letting go of the idea of gardening and nurturing my green thumb. But then I remember that some of them are from my dad’s funeral over 17 years ago and I just cannot let go of the connection.

I am a gardener without a garden

Google pic prior to 2008 sorry for the picture quality but it shows the shade and landscaping

My gardens were cultivated from red clay dirt that was so barren weeds did not even grow. The yard was shaded from more than 18 Oak Trees on less than a 1/4 acre plot. I had a few Oaks taken out and had the tree guy limb these beautiful 30-50 Oaks up to the canopy allowing the sun to finally hit the ground. For 8 years gardening was my therapy for my unhappiness and burying the denial of a marriage that had been troubled from the very start. The bees, blooms, butterflies, and beauty that exploded in my gardens made me happy.

I am a gardener without a garden

Some are in pots but the majority are crowded sitting on the ground

I am a gardener without a garden. Therapy of dirt under the nails, the smell of a flower, and the buzz of a bee as it lands next to you in the garden. I miss that. I am pouring my heart out because anyone who tends a garden- flower or vegetable- knows the joy that gardening can bring to your soul. The first bloom of the season, watching a butterfly flutter from flower to flower, or the first tomato you pick off the vine…there is nothing so special as those moments in nature.

I am a gardener without a garden

This is the opposite side of the above picture. Just one area where I have plants ‘stashed’

The Iris, hostas, and many assorted perennials in pots or sitting closely woven together in an area in the dappled shade waiting for their new home…since July my (15 or more varieties of) Iris have been scattered about on top of the ground just waiting to be planted. The ferns, hostas, and even heuchera are just happily crowded back there in the back of my yard hidden from view. I even have some phlox, coneflowers, and hydrangeas mixed in. I have packets of seeds waiting to be sown…dsc_0267

I continue to house hunt and dream about my new home on the edge of a small town with room for a veggie garden, orchard, tons of flower beds, greenhouse, chicken coop, barn, and a workshop. It has been quite exhausting putting aside the past and moving forward stuck in my house which is not a home without my flower gardens. Is this my dream? Am I still a gardener? It is very difficult for me to pass a garden center and not think about what I am…I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a garden.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my story. Check out my other blog The Garden Frog Boutique too.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

copyrighted 2016 C Renee Cumberworth

I am a gardener without a garden

Sweet Autumn Clematis Gone Wild

Sweet Autumn Clematis gone wildSweet Autumn Clematis gone wild in many areas overtaking and overpowering native and non native plants, trees, and structures. In my subdivision (SE Virginia) the Sweet Autumn Clematis has overtaken many wooded areas climbing over and choking out the native Virgin’s Bower and other native trees and bushes such as Red Cedar and small Redbud trees.Sweet Autumn Clematis Gone Wild, Clematis terniflora, leaf identification

How can you tell the difference between Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) and native Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana) The leaves- Sweet Autumn Clematis has leaves with smooth edges while the Virgin’s Bower has toothed or jagged edges. Both of these vines bloom late summer through fall in zones 5-9, in sun to part shade, and will grow upwards of 30′. Sweet Autumn Clematis is fast growing, agressive, and a prolific reseeder!Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora, invasive vine

Sweet Autumn Clematis has such delicate beautiful white blooms and it is hard to imagine that such a delicate looking vine could choke out and kill the native Red Cedar it climbed up and entwined in its embrace. It is a beautiful vine but it has had deadly consquences in the wild. If you choose to plant this vine, just know that the seeds will float and reseed in neighboring flower beds and wooded areas. If this vine likes the conditions, you will be pulling and destroying to keep it from smothering your beautiful ornamental bushes, trees, and flowers. Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora, invasive vine, fall bloomer

Planting a garden is more than digging a hole and watering. It is about working with nature and being mindful of what you choose to grow and enjoy. Research before you buy and remember if the tag says “fast growing” this is a warning that it may have invasive tendencies.

Thanks for stopping by and soon I will update and create a new kind of blog here at the TheGardenFrog.me. Have a great day in the garden!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 C Renee Fuller