July in your Hot, Dry Container Garden

Think Positively – You Can Grow Beautiful Pots

Even in the Desert Heat

Summer Low Water Purple and Gold by the Potted Desert


To Do In Your Pots This Month

1. Garden and water in the very early mornings.

Who wants to be out in the heat?

2. Increase watering frequency to be sure pots don’t dry out.

You want your pots to be damp throughout.

3. Deadhead your spent flowers weekly to encourage new buds

Doing this weekly makes it be less of a chore.

4. Avoid pruning plants now that the desert has heated up.

Pruning now leads to sunburn by exposing previously shaded stems.

5. Keep up with bi-weekly pot fertilizing with a water-soluble fertilizer.

Be sure the soil is already damp before applying fertilizer.

Rose in a pot in the desert by The Potted Desert

Special Notes on Roses (From the Rose Society of Tucson)
Water, water, water:

  • As temperatures remain above 100 degrees, water potted roses daily.
  • Newly potted roses may need water twice a day.
  • NEW RECOMMENDATION: Water late in the afternoon after 6 p.m. during this time of year allows for less evaporation
  • Place potted roses in an area that gets afternoon shade

Spray off your roses daily with water

The No.1 enemy of roses during the summer in hot and dry climates are spider mites. Spider mites, which look like small salt-and-pepper particles under leaves, will suck the leaves dry until they turn light brown and fall off. Keeping as much foliage on your plants is crucial to rose health during the summer.

Every morning, spray off your roses with a jet of water supplied by a nozzle attached to your water hose. Make sure you spray underneath the leaves of the plant. By doing this daily, will prevent spider mites from getting started. The added benefit is adding humidity to your garden, which is vital in arid summer conditions.

Do not deadhead or remove dead leaves during the heat.
Every bit of added shade helps.


Too often, homeowners make the mistake of thinking that a monsoon storm means they can cut back on irrigation or hand watering for their pots,
gardens and other plants.

Points to consider:
๏ It has to rain at least one inch to saturate the root ball of your plants (get yourself a rain gauge, so you know how much rain your yard has received)
๏ Pots under a ramada, tree or overhang do not receive enough (if any) rain.
๏ A deep soaking rain (more than 1″) received over a long period of time, like several hours, will only replace one day’s worth of watering.
๏ A missed watering will cause your plants to be stressed, which invites problems including pest invasion and disease.