California fuchsias (Zauschneria "Calistoga") brown in middle

26 September 2015

I have a couple of California fuchsias (Zauschneria californica
"Calistoga") that are healthy and blooming but have gone woody and
leafless in the middle (see photos). I planted them last spring, so it's
not that they weren't pruned. Can you help me figure out what's wrong
and how to correct it?

- They were planted near an oak, so getting about five hours of hot
sun during the summer. Too little sun? Competing with oak roots?
Lavenders and a Jerusalem sage in same spot are fine. (As you'll see in
photo, I just potted them up until replanting.)

- Drought stress? Or too much water?

are sending out lots of lateral shoots for new growth. This seems like
the sign of a healthy plant, but is it also a message of discontent if
the main plant is so blasted in the middle? Please help!

Comments (7)

  • WoodsTea 6a MO

    What zone are you in? I would think that is a plant that would prefer full sun and very well drained soil. My guess would be that the soil is too wet and that some of the roots are rotting.

    You might also consider asking in the Garden Clinic forum.

  • misslisamham

    Thanks! I'm in 10a. You might be right that it's too much water, even though that seems odd this year and time of year. Curious what others think.

  • PRO
    Rachel's Landscape Design

    I agree with WoodsTea that it is probably too much water. I have mine in the hellstrip and I never water them and they are so happy. I know that in Oregon, where it freezes, the stems protect the plant throughout the winter so it is important to leave at least 3" of stem until the last hard freeze.

  • texasranger2

    Agree, too much water. It would rather be in the ground where the drainage is faster. It looks pot bound. Around here, those black plastic pots can get really hot in summer steam cooking the roots.

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

    This is a very deep-rooted plant that spreads by rhizomes. It needs to be cut to the ground as the dry season ends and the foliage dries out. It comes back afresh with winter rains from the roots, to grow and bloom the following summer. It will look ratty at the end of the dry season, no matter how happy it is.

    See: Epilobium care

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Mmm, not a plant which is generally happy in a pot tbh - likes a gritty scree bed where it can root deeply beneath stones, crevices - a classic arroyo sort of plant.