A sudden downturn in the appearance of a couple of newly planted big bluestems prompted me to do a stress test. I’ve been digging up plants and looking at the roots since I was six. A radical act (get it, radical, roots?) to be sure, but really the only way to see if the plant is water-stressed.
Watering with a root-watering tool (essential implement during a drought) didn’t help, so I suspect either that the soilless mix in the rootball got too dry, or I’m under a curse. I like the former idea better.
So the poor plant is sitting in a bucket of water. If the leaves recover, I’ll try to remove even more of the soilless mix and replant it in a place where I can water it more, until next year or the year after. If the leaves don’t recover, well, that’s that.