Historic Medicinal Garden plant consultation

Asked May 16, 2017, 12:40 PM EDT

Dear Extension Service, Last year my husband and I planted a period medicinal garden at the Pry House (General McClellan's headquarters) near Antietam. This is a volunteer project through the Civil War medicine museum in Frederick. We are novice gardeners. We purchased perennial plants in the spring last year and this year they're coming back. The first plant pictured with the large leaves (Bears Foot, Smallanthus uvedalius) looked fine last week (and last year was thriving) but this week it has brown leaves that are crumbling. Could it be frost damage? The other plant photographed (Pulsatilla, Anemone pulsatilla) has yellowing on the tips of the leaves. The same plant next to it doesn't have any yellowing. The third picture shows you an overview the garden and the Pry house late last fall. Volunteers try to water every other day or third day when there is no rain, and we physically weed, clean, and monitor on Monday evenings. These plants are in 10 inch cedar raised beds. We have used garden soil amended with peat moss. We have topped the beds with Leafgro and protect some of the plants from animals with metal caging. We appreciate any insights and recommendations you have. Thank you, Lisa Romano and Greg Susla 301 401 1115

Washington County Maryland

1 Response

Thanks for your question. I was on vacation, so it's taking me a few days to get back to everyone. Thanks for your patience.
Yes, that definitely looks like frost damage on your bear's foot. The anemone's tips are a bit more curious. This may be a nip of frost as well or an indication of too little or too much water which manifests itself in yellow leaf tips. Keep watering regularly and keep an eye on the plant. If it worsens, bring me a sample. The best watering is a deep watering once a week rather than light watering more often. Raised beds may need watered twice a week. Good luck with your gardens.