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GermanStar



Joined: 17 Jun 2010
Posts: 117
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watered the plant about every other day at first, it was hotter then than it is now, and it never wilted. I have only recently increased watering as a response to severe wilt, which began a couple of weeks ago. It's supposed to cool off some this week, perhaps it will improve. I'll try to cut back. I really thought that by this time, I should be watering less than every other day, rather than more. At least, that was the plan. Even my high water use Fire Bush is now fully acclimated, never needing to be supplemented beyond the twice per week drip regimen.

BTW, I asked a fellow at a nursery about it today, and he felt the issue was my use of exclusive bagged dirt. According to him, the bagged soil is now breaking down, super-heating in the process and cooking the roots. He suspected the process would continue until the plant was dead. I don't buy it, this is the same kind of thing I saw happen in this spot before I swapped the soil out. I'll say this, it is an especially hot location, directly in front of a light-colored south-facing wall.
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1177
Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, south facing walls are the most brutal in August. In August the sun starts to move south again but its still really hot, so its a major cooker. In the middle of summer south facing walls actually get some afternoon shade, so even though its hotter outside, the reflected heat isn't as bad as later in summer.

I don't think its the soil you used. I think you figured it out. Its the exposure this time of year. On my south facing white wall I have two plants which can really tolerate the heat. Oleanders and lantana. Red bird of paradise can stand up to that kind of punishment too. However, keep in mind that Red Bird of paradise goes dormant in the winter.

Here is a page on the site where I list the colorful plants that can really take the heat. Even though oleanders have some negative press (they are poisonous), they are really a great plant for here. Amazingly enough I don't even have my oleander on irrigation! It has made it through the summer and looks great on just rain water.

Also, I have two young kids and nobody has had any problems. Just don't eat the oleander and you are fine. I have trimmed them many times and never had any trouble with skin irritation etc. A lot of the negative oleander press is just a bunch of hysteria as far as I can tell.

http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/heatTolerantLandscapePlants.html
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GermanStar



Joined: 17 Jun 2010
Posts: 117
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're absolutely right, through June and July it was in the shade by 3 PM, now it is in full sun until sundown. Thanks for the suggestions, I have an Oleander in my yard, and have toyed with the idea of removing it, but only because it takes up so much room. But you're right, it's an ideal leafy plant for our climate, as bulletproof as they come. I also have two Red Bird of Paradise, and they are also enormous. Another heat-lover is the Fire Bush, but like the RB of P, it is deciduous, thus an unattractive mass of sticks for 3-4 long months. The Fire Bush I have, is in a far corner of my yard, behind a San Pedro Cactus, gorgeous when green (and orange -- lots of orange), and invisible when dormant (at least that's the plan, that is why it placed it behind the cactus). The poor little thing has also stood up to some brutal rabbit attacks, it is one tough cookie. If it weren't for being deciduous, I would have likely gone for a Fire Bush there in the first place, as it's a more appropriate size for the spot.

As it is, I think I'll give the Yellow Bells a few weeks of less water and see how it goes. If it cooks and dies (or close to it) by Oct 1, I'll pull it and try another Yellow Bells, providing the new plant with more than ample time to acclimate before next August. I'll hang onto the Oleander as a fall back position.
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GermanStar



Joined: 17 Jun 2010
Posts: 117
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, even Oleanders seem to be dying there...


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