Why do plants next to each other perform differently?
I planted a row of Southern wax myrtles along a fence. Only two of the four are still alive. Even though I watered them exactly the same throughout the long, intense summer, the last one in the row burned to a crisp. And then the next one up the row did the same thing. No matter how much I watered those last 2 plants, they simply did not grow as well as the others, and eventually they died.
In this situation, the angle of the sun is the issue. By about 5 p.m. in mid-summer, the first plant in the row was out of direct sunlight. But the last one in the row was in a direct hit of the full late afternoon and evening sun untilalmost 9 p.m. These newly planted, small shrubs just couldn’t take all that intense sun and simply burned to a crisp, almost in front of my eyes.
So if you have a situation where you have multiple of the same plants performing differently in your landscape, the first thing you want to pay attention to is the environment. Look at:
- The angle of the sun at different times of day, and length of sunlight
- Soil drainage
- Proximity to your house
- Proximity to the street
All of these slight changes in a plant’s surroundings can contribute to big differences in plant health.