Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blooms in the heat

Work on the rainwater system has ceased for a while. The heat is just too much to get friends out in. Not many of my friends work outside like I do so they might keel over in this heat. I don't want to use them to death. I might need help in the future as well. The garden has needed some mulch added anyway and irrigation to some of the raised beds needs work. It always seems like there is some little something that needs doing. It also seems like there is constant watering as well. I am watering every other day but only do half at a time. Normally I don't water on to the plants, but now I am spraying the plants down as well as giving them a good soaking. The spraying, I think, cools them down. I am definitely going to consider even more natives and heat hardy plants in the future. I think there is a difference between heat hardy and drought hardy. You can always water but you can't do much for the heat. When we have this many days over a hundred and such low humidity, no plant can live up to its potential. However, there are still some blooms here at Draco.

The Shrimp Plants, both maroon and the green, could care less how hot it gets as long as they have a little shade and some water.

The Zinnias that I plant every year do fairly well in the heat but miss a day of watering and they are gone fast.

Another one that blooms through the heat is Society Garlic.

These are the kinds of plants we all need more of. The first is one type of Hummingbird Plant and the next is Mexican Honeysuckle. Neither have had as many blooms this year as in previous years but have had some blooms on them all through the heat.

This Skeleton Leaf Daisy is one of the most heat and drought hardy of all my plants. It is ever green and with its weird looking leaves, looks good with or without blooms.

Although the Passion Flower vines have withstood the heat well, they have not had nearly as many blooms this year as in the past. But that is true of most of the plants.

This next one has been a surprise star performer this year.[pun intended] I have moved this Texas Star Hibiscus several times through the years trying to find the place that it would grow. Last year, while touring the Pond Society Tour, I noticed some people had them growing in their ponds, and with great success I might add. After building a bog pond last winter, I planted it there where its roots would be wet all the time. It has had more blooms by far this year than in any other year. I think it is finally home.

The next three plants were all given to me by customers of mine. In some ways I don't like given plants as they might not be plants you like or plants that don't fit your garden. I always feel obligated to plant it and try to make it grow. When I give plants I always tell the receiver that if they don't like it to simply pass it on, it will find a home sooner or later. The first is an Ice Plant. I only received a sprig. I have a hole in a big rock that I have planted several different plants in without much luck. I stuck the sprig in the hole and it has surprised me by growing well and has had a few blooms.

The next one, a customer that has become a good friend, gave to me. I really didn't want it because I knew that I would have to put it in the greenhouse every winter. My Mother moved truck loads of plants into and out of her greenhouse every fall and spring. I vowed that I would never do that. My vows may not be too reliable though as I really like this plant. It is right out in the blazing sun and requires no more water than any other plant. It is also just stunning to look at. I'm not sure which Plumeria it is but it's a beauty. It has been blooming all summer.

This last one is the strangest of all. It was given to me by the lady at the feed store after Christmas was over. I mentioned how it was so terrible all the Poinsettias were going to die in a week or two because Christmas was over and everybody would just throw them away. She handed hers to me and said "Well go grow it then". I took it home and put it in the greenhouse till winter was over and planted it in a bed. I was so surprised that it really grew well and put on lots of new growth after it nearly died in the green house. The heat doesn't seem to bother it at all and it doesn't seem to need a lot of water either. I was going to read up on how to force bloom it but my dog ran over it yesterday and broke it off at the ground. I will gather all I can this Christmas. I think they will look good in a mass planting even without their blooms. Blooms meaning colored leaves with these.


Tabor said...

So sorry for your heat and drought. We have finally gotten a few days of rain here and the humidity is just kicking in. My zinnias are doing better than I expected since they have some virus shown by their curled leaves. I will have to try the passion flower vine.

katina said...

I read somewhere once that to get the Poinsettias to bloom, they have to have like 12 hours of dark at night or something, and therefore don't normally start blooming until after Christmas. The article I was reading suggested putting them in a closet for the required amount of time to force a bloom.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Bob, I'm really intrigued by your planting of the Texas Star Hibiscus. Mine have been languishing and I wasn't sure why. I'm going to test your theory here on my corner of Katy!

Bonnie said...

Great summer blooms, and you've given me some good ideas for additions to my garden.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

You have lots of nice blooms in spite of this horrible heat. I have always had good luck with Poinsettias outside during the summer, but it will die first cold snap we get. I usually keep mine in pots and bring them in when temps get near 50 at night. They have always bloomed for me in January AFTER the holidays. I never minded, because it is always nice to have a bit of color that time of year.

Annie in Austin said...

Our whole area is a plant laboratory this year, isn't it, Bob? You and MSS of Zanthan Gardens have both noted that some plants seem to have built-in thermostats and when the temperature line is crossed - they die. I'm seeing it in my garden, too - drought resistant plants that are not heat resistant. Or at least not this heat!

I started watering a couple of stressed pepper plants after dark, thinking the same thing as you did about cooling down plant and soil. They made a few blossoms and now a few tiny peppers are developing so maybe it does make a difference.

Hope you get to enjoy that awesome new rain system soon!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

That is a lovely singapore white plumeria you have those are hard to grow here.

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