Don’t Miss These Tips for May
in your Desert Container Garden

  • Prevent tipping pots in the wind
  • An easy-care summer pot design
  • Your May Checklist
  • Rose Care in the heat


Windy City – No Not Chicago

     Tips to safeguard your HOT Potted Garden 

I love watching wind farms! There is something graceful and mesmerizing about them. They are indicative of the strong winds we consistently have in our communities. As weather systems come through bringing high winds, we find those areas of our homes that create a wind tunnel threatening our potted garden.


3 Ways to protect your pots from the winds tipping factor.

  1. A pot with a broad base is your best solution to pots blowing over in our high winds. Place vase-shaped containers in protected patio corners or near a protected front door. The pot pictures to the left is not safe in windy areas!
  2. Plant tall plants in well ‘seated’ pots. Pots, as described in #1 above are your best solution to any tree form, tall shrubs or grasses. Thick canopies of these types of plants will act as a sail in strong winds, so they are best suited to ‘grounded pots.”  This pot is 32″ wide by 18” tall giving it a low broad base.
  3. If high winds are in the forecast, water your pots in well. The added water weight will give your pot much more ballast when challenged by windy conditions.

Worry-Free Summer Desert Pot Design – Just add water

Looking for a gorgeous, colorful flower pot for the long summer? Plant a healthy combination of heat-loving plants and enjoy it all summer long.

Here is a grouping that will stand up to a full summer of heat. The 28” pot pictured above shows off with overflowing Vinca in red and white, White Summer Snaps (Angelonia) with a Silver Queen Euonymus shrub planted as a permanent structure in the center of the pot.

Get the full article and summer and winter design recipes for this pot when you join The Seriously Potted.

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May’s Checklist

Don’t forget to fertilize your citrus this month!

Roses – Not to Worry

It’s getting hot, but it can be sweltering if you’re a rose bush.  Although roses grow beautifully in the desert, this heat takes its toll.  Don’t expect your roses to bloom in the middle of the summer and remember to cut the amount of fertilizer in half from June through August.  This practice allows your rose bushes to rest during the heat of the summer.

Here are a few hints to maintain beautiful rose plants over the next few months:

  • Water, water, water!!! Be sure the water gets down to the roots.  If possible, submerge the container in a bucket of water to saturate the soil. Once well-watered return the container to its original location.
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch!!!  Mulching with an organic mulch like straw, compost, chipped bark, western ground cedar, or pine needles helps keep the soil cool and retain moisture.
  • Use the hose on the gentle or mist spray nozzle setting to sprinkle your plants several times a day for added moisture and insect control.
  • Do not prune the leaves.  The leaves help shade the canes and hold moisture.  Deadhead if you like but the spent flowers add a touch of shade too!
  • You might use shade cloth during the worst heat of the day.  The fabric keeps the sun off, the heat down, and the humidity up.

In September return to your regular amount of fertilizer and continue applying these nutrients until November.

Once the monsoon rains begin, your roses will respond to nature’s rain and humidity.

But September is a long ways off. Be mindful of your garden. Enjoy it in the early hours of the morning and again as the sun goes down.

Thanks for reading! Happy Potting!




  1. Nancy Hall on at

    The biggest struggle I have is when I return to Tucson in Fall, my potted plants are plagues by white flies. I have tried marigolds etc that are supposed to repel bugs with no success. Am going to try 6 month insecticide and a new product from Amazon that works like a fertilizer stake but instead kills bugs. What have you tried?

    • Hi Nancy – thanks for writing! I lean towards no products or chemicals and attack with a hose. I jet off the plants as often as possible especially in the summer heat. But if you are gone, unless you have someone watering, that is not going to happen. I am surprised your annuals last all summer without someone attending them – especially marigolds. Perhaps I am missing a point or two of your situation, but…
      Feel free to email me for more convo.
      Stay cool!

  2. Andee on at

    I love your tips! Miss you since you moved away. I always look forward to your w-mails

    • Thanks so much Andee! Maybe you can come to my classes at the Botanical Gardens.
      Try to stay cool and thanks for your comment.

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