Why Did Itt Die?

I put Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' out of its misery.  What a beauty it was when I got it, just about four years ago, in March 2011:
 photo AcaciaCousinItt7397.jpg
Poor 'Cousin Itt' slowly and inexorably declined.  Why?  I meditated upon the root system after I yanked it out of the ground. There were a couple of healthy roots running just under the surface of the soil, indicated by the red arrows:
 photo itt7635_zpscyse6xs1.jpg 
Everything else appeared to be dried up...insufficient water?  The instructions said sun and sharp drainage.  Cold was not a problem--we've been above 50F most nights for several years.  I gave the Cousin sun and sharp drainage, and regular water, although maybe not enough of it.  The soil is light, fluffy, but nutritious.  Or did the original commercial grower misgrow Itt in the first place?  After four years, I think it is my responsibility.
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Arrrgggghhhh!  I had four years to help Itt, and somehow I didn't.
 photo itt7636_zpsjwsie4wl.jpg 
Not everything dies despite my poor care.  I've given Opuntia microdaysis nothing but glances for years.  I think I watered it once, maybe.   
Opuntia almost exactly two years ago:
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It's grown, as has the 'Blue Glow' Agave next to it.   
 photo itt7602_zpsuowxnx0h.jpg
Perhaps it's trying to make me feel less blue about 'Cousin Itt'.  The Opuntia is sprouting flower buds for the first time.  
At least I'm not a total failure.   Do I try 'Cousin Itt' again, maybe in a pot?  Oh dear no, not a pot.  Maybe I won't try 'Cousin Itt' again, for Itt's own sake.  

Comments

  1. Acacia 'Cousin Itt' seems to have a reputation for being finicky. Shame yours didn't do well but I reckon worth trying again. And loving the wavy pads of the Opuntia!

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    1. When a plant is finicky the triumph of growing it well is all the more satisfying.

      You remind me that yes there is a variant of that Opuntia that has wavy pads--this may or may not be that one--or partially that one. At any rate, I haven't killed it.

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  2. Don't beat yourself up! I myself have been asking the same question around here, after another large number of deaths, including natives that have been in the ground for well over a year or year and a half. Two grevilleas and a banksia. It's heartbreaking. After 4 years you would think Itt could handle a bit less water as it's well and truly established.

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    1. I just hate it when it's a mystery I can't solve. Blatent stupidity on my part is so much easier to accept.

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  3. It's frustrating when a plant dies due to something you did or did not do, and equally frustrating when they die for no apparent reason. Sometimes I try again with the same plant, but usually I try something new. Just find something wonderful that will make you forget Cousin It!

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    Replies
    1. You've just given me a great excuse to buy another plant, you know.

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  4. Try Itt, you'll like Itt. I will not try Itt in a pot, I do not like Itt when Itt rots... I just got one myself to try not to kill so I think you should too!

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  5. Oh no! I have 8 'Cousin Itt' but none as mature as the one you lost - I hope 4 years doesn't constitute old age for the plant. All mine are in the ground and all receive at least partial shade. I tried one in a pot and, although it looked good for 6 months or so, it went into decline after that and it's now in the ground and looking better.

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    1. I think they will do much better for you there by the sea by the sea. It wasn't old age I don't think.

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  6. I have three 'Cousin Itt', planted in a large shallow bowl from 4-inch pots, and they haven't grown much. They look OK but I want to see growth. Otherwise what's the point? I have yet to see a large, healthy specimen of 'Cousin Itt'.

    I'm sorry yours bit the dust. How frustrating.

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    1. I am wondering if it likes cooler conditions, but there isn't much to be found as far as information.

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  7. I don't think you did anything wrong or neglected Cousin Itt dear Hoover, Acacias are renowned for dying for no reason. Four years is a good, it is very disappointing when a plant dies, I would just buy another one.
    xoxoxo ♡

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