Saturday, June 26, 2010


Today, like everyday in June, is hot. This month for gardeners is fairly easy, BUT we need to make sure our plants are getting enough water and sometimes protection from the sun. It is quite common to see leaf scald on many plants and it can be frustrating to watch happen, but the leaves on the older plants always come back again by the end of the summer or beginning of fall. I hate losing plants....this is the month that tells you what needs more water, less water....and what just won't grow. My surprise this year has been the caladiums. They have done super well and I am definitely going to purchase more of them for next year. However, with every success comes are my latest failures and why.....

At the ramada, I planted several Algerian Ivies. However they are in an area that is regularly watered and placed with tropicals that are doing very well. Verdict. It is a vine that cannot be overwatered nor placed in bright sun. While it didn't get the bright sun and did well in the shade; the water for the tropicals is what has made this vine collapse. The Algerian Ivy will be replaced with a Confederate Jasmin or Carolina Jasmin....vines which can take a bit more water.

The planting wells. I have noticed that again because of watering and in this case...lack of sunlight....the following will be replaced with more shade resistant plants that can tolerate wet soil. Colocasia esculenta, the greek urn plant, and fatsia needed more light. They were taken out of the planters and put into pots in hopes of saving them. I have several of the same specimens around on the grounds and they are doing well, but I have realized that they need more light and drier soil. I have transferred the hostas to the planter soil in hopes that perhaps they will do better in the wet and shady spot. They haven't bushed out into a healthy plant. Another planter has the same issue and the castor, elephant ears and canna plants are not doing well due to the sunlight factor. Finally, a boxwood was moved into a pot after not receiving enough sunlight due to tropicals blocking the light.

As with all things, I have taken several of the same plant and moved them around the property to see if they would do better in one spot or the other. While I am disappointed with several of the areas, I am encouraged that they grow in the other places. Again, this just means one thing...."The right plant for the right spot."

During these hot days, we begin to see the moisture creep in and everyone starts to feel the humidity. The plants will perk up again once the summer rains or monsoon begin. It appears to be about 2 weeks away. During these next several months, Mother Nature will provide our thirsty desert with the water needed to keep our Sonoran desert green and beautiful. While June is hot and the gardner must water, July and August will provide dangerous weather conditions that challenge us in different ways.....wind, torrential downpour, and lightening cause trees to lose their limbs, catch fire, or tip over which can be very dangerous causing hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of damage. That is why pruning in early Spring is so important....and why proper pruning is a must....there is nothing worse than a beautiful tree blown down to the ground.

For now, I go out at night or the early morning to water. And I currently am putting in more palms and catsclaw vine....but that's it. It takes a lot to establish a tree....and dig a hole:) Until next time....happy gardening from Tucson.

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