Tag Archives: Hot climate

Rev Up Your Pots While It’s Still Hot

Massive Petunias Thrive While It's Still Hot

We plant summer flowers in our desert pots in late April. At least those of you who are willing to wait that long. Over the years I have harped on this. Wait! 

You are expecting the flowers you plant in the spring to last until late October, which is six months. Half a year is long for these plants to consistently to thrive and provide you with constant blooms. Their demise will make you crankier in the incessant heat of this hot and dry season.  

That is until the monsoons come. And with these unpredictable storms, comes humidity. Now, the northerners would say, “pish tosh, get over yourselves.” But the monsoon and accompanying humidity will jack up the temperatures even more. And when we’re accustomed to humidity levels under 15% eighty percent of the year, we struggle with the heavy air added to the relentless heat.  

L to R: Pot of Lettuce Yellow and Burgundy Pansies with a center Snapdragon, Grassy Sedge and Cordyline Burgundy Pansies, Dusty Miller and Heavenly Bamboo

If we’re feeling like this, don’t you think your plants have a similar experience?

Don’t wait for winter flowers 

During monsoon season, some of your plants take off while others are on their last hurrah. The perfect time to trim some things back is during monsoon season. Watch the forecast because pruning is best to do when you see you are going to have cloudy afternoons. If you look at the 10-day outlook and it shows another dry spell, hold off until the dewpoint rises and the clouds start to build again. 

If you have some plants that are dead, don’t hesitate to throw them into your compost pile. Unless they look sickly that is, rather than dead. If there is any chance they have a disease, throw them into the garbage. 

Enter Shoulder Season 

Hot and dry climates usually have two seasons, hot and chilly. Respectively, summer and winter. Tropical climates can only site one season unless you count warm, hot, cool. But don’t take me away from our discussion on the desert climate. 

There is a period between summer and winter and vice versa, where fall and spring come in. I don’t know where I first heard this, but I call these, Shoulder Seasons. They ride on the edges of summer and winter similar to the shoulder on the side of the road.  

Sometimes you blink and miss these lovely temperatures, but typically your plants see them as a full season of at least six weeks.

Nighttime temperatures dictate the length of fall and spring’s shoulder seasons.  

Hang On Now – this is important 

Nighttime temperatures – Summer into Winter

You want the night temps to get down into the ’50s before you plant winter flowers,  

Especially Pansies, Violas, Lobelia and Ornamental Kale. And, you want the night temperatures to stay low consistently. I mention these four annual flowers as the worse to plant early because the first three, Pansies, Violas and Lobelia will stretch and get leggy plus when the night temps don’t cool off the way they need, they get weak and spindly. Planting earlier than I recommend is not setting them up to thrive through a long and chilly winter in the desert.  

White and Red Ornamental Kale with Rose Pansies

Kale, planted in the heat, will bolt. Bolting means it sends up its flower long before it is time and once it does, you might as well toss it. Remember, plants bloom to create seed which creates flowers (the bolting ugliness in Kale.) Annuals are ‘done’ after they spread their seeds. They have completed their job.  Kale bolting at the end of the season

Don’t be lulled into thinking that you are out of the (hot) woods when you see a night or two forecasted at 59F. That’s not enough. I can guarantee in the middle desert, that Indian Summer will come with a vengeance and you will be back into the ’90s for 7 to 10 days. 

Therefore, I always recommend to homeowners to wait to plant your winter flowers in the last week of October or even in November.  

But I Can’t Wait Until October! 

I hear you! I often feel the same in August and September. And, when I go to the nursery, I find nothing. Very disappointing. As I list in my book, “Getting Potted in the Desert,” as soon as the growers have them ready, these flowers and more will be in delivered to the nurseries.

Want to know my three top picks for shoulder season plants? 

Garden View out French doors

 

Sign up for the Potted View and receive a personal email with my three favorite Shoulder Season Annuals.

Plus, I’ll send you my Top Ten Tips to Container Garden Success in the Desert. 

 

 

 

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June Checklist for your Hot Container Garden

Late Summer Potted Garden with Crepe Myrtle

Tips for June in your Hot Garden Pots

Post On Your Fridge!


Extra Tips as June Starts Topping 100°F

Signs of Stress and Sunburn

Stress will be evident by wilting. Make sure the plants are getting enough water in the early morning hours. If you see wilted leaves in the afternoon, don’t rush out with the hose – check to see if the soil is still damp. If it is, it is heat wilt. Plants with broad flat leaves are more apt to experience this afternoon stress in sunny areas in the summer. Using the mist setting on your hose nozzle, mist water on the leaves (make sure the hose water is not hot) and they should recover by morning.

If the plant is still wilted in the morning before watering, it might be root bound. If the plant(s) has been in the pot for a few years, this is the logical conclusion. If it is a new plant, did you clean out all old roots at the bottom of the pot before planting?

Root Bound Soil or Plants

Now is not the time to change out the soil in the pots. It will add too much stress to the already stressed plant. Try to dig around the outside of the root ball and remove anything easy to pull out – old soil and even some roots. Add fresh soil and keep the pot well watered until fall when it is safe to repot the plant.

“Blast” Your Plants

I always teach people in my classes to jet spray their plants as often as possible. Read this post to learn why I insist on this habit and why it’s not so scary to do.

Happy Potting!

Thank you for sharing on your social media! ~~~~~  Marylee

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Still Time to Get Potted for the Holidays!

Eding a Driveway with more than a railing

Sample Text

Potted – in your container gardens that is!

Last Minute Ideas for your pots

Plant annuals under or around your potted permanent plants.
  • Go to the nursery and choose flowers that go with your holiday color scheme.
  • Choose from the list below or get help from your local nursery staff
  • Plant these plants right into the soil, adding a little time release fertilizer (scant handful)
  • Water in after planting.
For your Sun Plantings, add Red and White Annuals such as:
  • Petunias
  • Stock
  • Million Bells
  • Dianthus – try the newer variety of Amazon or other super tall Dianthus
  • Nemesia
  • Diaiscia
  • Geraniums (part shade too)
  • Snapdragons (Whites and Burgundy – no red)
  • Pansies and Viola (Whites and Burgundy – no red)

Shade Plantings – Red and White Annuals:
  • Primrose and Cyclamen are your best bets in full shade.
  • Geraniums best in morning or filtered sun
  • Poinsettias are of course wonderful and with all the new varieties, you have more choices than only red.
  • Paper Whites, and Amaryllis are great nursery plants that you can use in pots during the holidays.
  • If there is a dip in temperatures to 40° or below, you will want to bring tender tropical plants inside.

If you only have a little time

Simply place a potted plant (or several) on top of the soil of the larger plant and dress it with potted ivy, garland, pine boughs, lights and anything else you have on hand to finish it off. This is a great way to use those tender nursery plants that you might have to bring inside.
Pots on your patio or near your front door are a great place to add candles (maybe the flameless variety) inside chimneys among the plantings. This would be a great addition when you are expecting guests.
No matter how much or how little you do, allow your child’s eye the freedom to create the look you want for the holidays. I know I have kept within the traditional red and white color spectrum but if you want to work with blues, all whites, gold’s or silver’s – look to those colors when you visit the nursery. I know you will find something that just tickles you.

Read More…

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July in your Hot, Dry Container Garden

Think Positively – You Can Grow Beautiful Pots even in the hot summer

Summer Potted Desert Flowers

Want more tips in your email box? Sign up for free updates and receive your own copy of Top Tips to Successful Desert Pots.

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.

 

Special notes on roses (From the Rose Society of Tucson)Healthy rose blooms (2)

Water, water, water: 

  • As temperatures remain above 100 degrees, water potted roses daily.
  • New potted roses may need water twice a day
  • NEW RECOMMENDATION: Water late in the afternoon after 6 p.m. during this time of year which 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. YMake sure you spray underneath the leaves of the plant. By doing this daily, this 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.

 

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Getting Potted In
The De
sert Book

Marylee Pangman shares her wealth of information gained from 20 + years creating successful Potted Gardens in the Desert