Shrubs I’ve Killed

The Absolute Worst Shrubs in my Garden

  • Rhododendrons, the plant I’ve ranted about more than any other. One after the other even the supposedly easy-in-my-area English Roseum types have died on me. I’ve given up on these mountain plants once and for all.
  • Leucothoe, including Leucothoe Florida (solid light green), ‘Rainbow’, and ‘Fort Scarletta’. They’re terribly vulnerable to fungal leafspot, and winter dieback, and don’t like to dry out or be exposed to sun or wind. These picky plants are native to nearby Virginia and south into Georgia and Tennessee, which makes me wonder if in nature they limp along looking really awful.

More Shrubs and Trees I’ve Killed

  • Weeping white spruce (Picea glauca ‘Pendula’) in a pot. I gave it away and its new owner tells me it’s doing better in the ground.
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce do really badly in my area. You see huge parts of them that are dead.
  • Roses — David Austin’s ‘Geoff Hamilton’ and ‘Graham Thomas’. They didn’t die natural deaths but were ripped out after looking horrible for several seasons (there’s more than one way to kill a plant, ya know).
  • I’ve lost a lot of the old dogwoods on my property to anthracnose and even to drought. Sadly, I’ve decided to switch to the more sustainable imports from Asia.