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grant_in_arizona

June 2015 what looks good/bad/awful in your garden?

grant_in_arizona
7 years ago

Welcome to June! Sure, the days are hot, but the nights sure are lovely. I still throw open all of the windows and doors of the house each morning--it was a lovely 68 F this morning so THAT makes the afternoons tolerable. For now, hah. Actually, I'm a heat lover so I never really complain about the heat.

In any case, we're off to a warm start for the month. What's looking good/bad/awful in your garden?

Here are a couple of good:

Merremia aurea blooming away. Great vigorous vines once established with flowers that open in the sun and stay open all day long. Surprisingly drought tolerant thanks to their big underground tuber. Full crazy hot sun and occasional water keep them happy and blooming.


Here's a first-time-for-me experience that I've seen others mention online this year too; my little Portulacaria afra ("elephant food" or "dinosaur food") is blooming for the first time. I've grown these plants in the Valley for over 15 years now and this is the first time I've ever seen them flower. Not just mine, but lots of them all over the area. Not particularly inspirational looking flowers, LOL, but they DO show the plants are happy:



I love the variegated foliage on this 'Green and Gold Margarita" ornamental sweet potato. I hope you do too.


Okay, YOUR turn...what looks good/bad/awful in your garden this month?

Happy gardening!

Grant

Comments (77)

  • colinhanke
    7 years ago

    Are there any local places you get your armenian cucumber seeds or plants? These pics have inspired me to try

  • iandyaz
    7 years ago

    Hi Colinhanke, I got my Armenian Cucumber seeds from home depot. I didn't find them in the normal seeds area with the folded paper envelopes with seeds, they were with the clear plastic bags (blue labels) on a rack that spins around.

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  • LeslieM peoria az
    7 years ago

    I found them at summer winds


  • ra
    7 years ago

    haven't done an update in a while here. All my plants have been doing quite well especially with the recent rain we got.


    Canna lilies in the front yard have exploded in growth. Here's a shot in the beginning of March

    and here's a few shots today.

    They responded quite well to the new bulb fertilizer that I used on them. I've never used a fertilizer like that in all the years I've been growing these.


    my favorite tree in the yard right now (Ficus Auriculata) growing so fast and taking the heat really well, it's over taken the other one I have in a pot that didn't die back in the winter. This one was a dead stick in the beginning of March.

    one of the Lemon zest mango I have hanging on the tree right now. I can't wait to taste these guys.

    Loads of guavas this year.

    Dwarf Namwah banana

    Asian black sugar canes have all sprouted from the ground and taking off.

    Hong Kong Orchid tree re-bloomed again this year. Very surprising!

    Canna 'President' flower. One of the more longer lasting canna flower spikes. These stay on for at least two weeks on the stalk.


  • calb_gardner
    7 years ago

    My whole yard smells like sweet lemon pudding thank you Texas ebony tree!!

  • grant_in_arizona
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Great updates all. I love how you grouped those canna by color, so fun! The madagascar palm blooms are wonderful too. Not a common sight around here. So fun.


    Merremia aurea is sometimes call "yuca vine" (YOO-kah vine) . Neat dissected leaves on a VERY vigorous heat loving vine. Full crazy sun is perfectly fine for it. It will die back in a chilly winter, but I usually hack it down to 12 inches anyway and it easily regrows by late spring. Neat big yellow blooms like in the pic above. You need two to get seeds if you desire them. Great, vines for sure.

    Passiflora sanguinolenta blooms from mid-spring through late autumn and is a fairly compact grower (for a passion vine, hah). Here's a pic from this morning.


    Good old Echinopsis subdenudata blooms repeatedly all spring/summer/autumn too. Here are a couple of quick pics from this morning. All of mine, in pots or in the ground, generally bloom on the same nights, like last night, hah. Afternoon shade or dappled sun.






    Happy gardening all!

    Grant

  • newtoucan
    7 years ago


    Flowers in June. My Narcissus bulbs and Dahlias are starting to come out too.

  • newtoucan
    7 years ago

    Rameiken - what are the names of the plants you have in the front yard in front of the orange cannas? Very nice. That all came up this year too?

  • ra
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes all of them came up this year. I planted all the rhizomes in ground late Feb.

    All of them are Canna lilies. The ones in the front are the 'Bird of Paradise' variety. They get pretty tall 6+ft in height, very long slender sword like foliage. Small pink flowers (not as showy as the 'Bengal tigers')

    send me an email if you're interested in some.

    raimeiken@gmail.com

  • newtoucan
    7 years ago

    Just gorgeous echonopsis. Love the ocean blue. Where did you get it?

    Raimeiken thanks for the offer. I have my cannas in pots. Do they need a ton of moisture? That's why I kept them in pots. They are the only plants that I can put in certain pots with no drainage. They sure have filled the whole section of your front very well.

  • ra
    7 years ago

    In the summer yes. lots of mulch helps a lot. Very easy to grow. They don't really reach their potential when they're grown in containers. They grow much faster, taller, and blooms faster in ground.

  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    Hi Rameiken, good to see all your tropicals again! Those cannas are perfect, but that Orchid tree, wow! You really have an amazing yard.

    Thanks for the vine info Grant, nice vine, but nowhere to keep it. I have lilac and tangerine vines growing nicely on a trellis, and am afraid to put in another one, in case it takes over. You could probably grow ten different vines together, and they would all look perfect, lol

    Those Sky Flowers are great to grow in the heat Toucan, love those purple blooms, and please post your Dahlias when they bloom.

    Calb, that's a nice tree, not sure if I like the blooms better or the lemon pudding smell you mention,

    Here is a pic of part of the yard, a couple of week-ends ago, the front part in the pic was covered in yellow dots, looks a little bare at the moment. What a mistake to put those in..



  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    Another desert rose, they are the most reliable bloomers in the heat.


  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    A rare bloom from my Trichocereus. Doesn't seem as prolific as the Echinopsis.


  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    One of the plant shelves, good to see that after months of neglect, food, water and fresh soil perk them right up. The portulacas are new, but I always grow them in summer. The house I've been rehabbing for months, is almost finished, it's nice to have more time to get back into gardening!


  • grant_in_arizona
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I love all of the new pics and updates, keep them coming! so fun to see.

    I bought the Ipomoea 'Ocean Blue' many years ago at a nursery/antique store in Orange, California, although Lowes has been carrying it a lot lately too.

    Here's a few things still looking good:

    Huernia keniensis x Stapelia nudiflora is really starting to bloom now. Great easy succulents for partial shade, and pretty, UN-scented flowers:




    Harrisia jusbertii is making occasional flowers now too, as it does all summer/autumn:


    Jerusalem cherries (Solanum pseudocapsicum) fruit are starting to color up as well. They start out with green and white stripes and then turn yellow, orange and finally red. Super durable plants for partial shade (morning sun is fine). Pretty, but toxic fruit (not quite poisonous, but definitely not edible). Propagate from stem cuttings as seedlings are all albino and croak, LOL.


    Petunia exserta, a species type, just laughs at this heat. Here's a self-sown one this morning looking happy and perky.




    Happy gardening all!

    Grant

  • azbolt
    7 years ago

    Finally, dragon fruit season. Flowers starting to bloom, can't wait for the fruit!


  • ra
    7 years ago

    which type are you growing? I've had the white fleshed ones before from an asian store and they tasted like nothing. I've read though that the pink fleshed are suppose to be really sweet and also the yellow ones?


    What's your setup like? I know they're relatively easy to grow, just needs shade in the afternoon and frost protection.

  • azbolt
    7 years ago

    I have several varieties of dragon fruit, I like them all, but some are way better than others. The white Vietnamese have the least flavor. 9S (aka Dark Star) is my favorite, followed closely by Delight, 9S is magenta fleshed and Delight is pink. Alice, is good as well as American Beauty and Halley's Comet. I also have 5S (aka Purple Haze) which is good and an 8S (aka Sugar Dragon, which has not bloomed for me yet). Triangularis and polyrhizus as well, but neither are overly tasty. I don't have any yellow varieties....yet. I just covered all of mine with shade cloth today due to the excessive heat warning this week. I have some in the ground and some in big pots and have found I can control the soil and fertilizer better, thus get more fruit, from the ones in the pots.

    Kevin

  • ra
    7 years ago

    do you have them going up a trelis or wall? And where did you get all your plants from? Online or a local source?

  • colinhanke
    7 years ago


    My giant bird of paradise loves it now that I put it on my back porch in full shade. Before this I had it in the courtyard where only got a couple of hours of sun every day and it did fine until May came. Shout out to grant for responding to my post back then telling me it was probably getting too much sun. The funny thing is the people at Home Depot promised me even after a discussion that the tag which said "full sun" meant it could take Phoenix full sun.


    The queen palms I put in place of the birds of paradise are doing so so. They didn't really like it in my backyard anyways which is where I got them from. I'm hopeful that with some TLC this less intense area will be better for them.



    These little guys hang out in my courtyard while still trying to learn how to fly.


    I think I planted this watermelon a little late. Either way it's growing like crazy. I will keep everyone updated on how it continues to do.


    My new wisteria shoots aren't dying off as quickly since I started spreading out it's waterings. I love how fast it's growing (for right now) but I'm sure once it covers the Pergola and I have to continually trim it back I will hate the upkeep.

    I went to my first Arizona rare fruit growers meeting. I got a seed from an absolutely delicious mango. Hopefully I can get this bad boy to become a tree one day.


    My pineapple palms are really starting to get going now that the temperatures have risen. Well, they are at least growing fast for a pineapple palm.i'm probably too impatient for these trees, but these were the trees that I wanted in my backyard. If anyone has any tips on how to in sure that the trunks of these trees stay uniform in size throughout please let me know.


    This lantana is looking good but I should probably give it a little more water. Some of the flowers are starting to get dried up if you look closely. Last week this thing was almost entirely read with very little green leaves to see because they were so many flowers.


    The first two things I planted when I moved to Arizona year ago were these two pineapples. I planted the tops taken from fruit I bought at the store. It's very satisfying to see these things growing so well.


  • colinhanke
    7 years ago

    PS I'm sorry that all the pictures are sideways. The iPhone doesn't give me a way that I know of to rotate them when I upload them.when I pull them up from my photos they are right side up. Not sure why they are sideways once they get uploaded.

  • ddiverblue
    7 years ago

    What a great thread, Grant! I'm loving all of the beautiful photos you all have posted! I was on this forum years ago, and didn't realize how much I've missed it! I've been traveling a lot, so many of my garden plants are looking sad and neglected this year. I have had some beautiful cacti blooms. Thank goodness, they can stand a bit of neglect! I'll have to dig them out and post them.


  • asudevil311 - zone 9b
    7 years ago

    Here's another pic of how the St Augustine is doing

    Cana lily:


    Society Garlic:


  • asudevil311 - zone 9b
    7 years ago

    Colinhanke, it's weird mine did the same. But what I figured out is if you edit the pic on iPhone, rotate it and save, then edit the pic again and rotate to right side up and save again - it will be right side up on here. Hope that makes sense.

  • azbolt
    7 years ago

    Raimeiken, I've collected dragon fruit cuttings from different places online and local over the years. Some I got at the rare fruit growers meetings and plant sales. I'll have some cuttings to give away this fall, when I prune.

    Kevin

  • Michael O (USDA Z9 San Tan Valley AZ)
    7 years ago

    Wow, great photos all...how do love the heat? I know most of my plants hate it.

    I was busy, just before the heat building some sort of pergola...provide some shade.

    A pic of my Amaryllis Dancing Queen and one of the only cactus in bloom.

    Stay cool everyone, looks like this heat is going to be here for a while.


  • grant_in_arizona
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Awesome new updates all, thanks for sending them! Your giant bird of paradise looks happy, colinhanke! Nice job moving it to shade. The best ones I see around the valley are either on the east sides of buildings or under covered patio or are in dense courtyards. Yours looks nice! If you queen palms don't make it (they look pretty good to me) you can always replace with Mediterranean fan palms. I have one in a large pot and it gets absolutely hideously bone dry when I'm away for work or fun and it bounced back when I give it a drink. Just a thought, although there is something gracious about queen palms!


    Good to see your post ddiverblue! Definitely scrounge up some pics and post them--we want to see! I'm on the road a lot too so my garden has a lot of cacti and succulents, some irrigated citrus, and lots of other plants that love our climate--that's so important to me (growing plants that love it here, not that just tolerate it here). Plus I HATE worrying about the garden when I'm away, LOL. We want your pics!

    Love all of the other updates too. Those dragon fruit blooms are crazy good, and sundevil your pics are so great. Nice happy plants!

    That's a wonderful shade structure, Michael, I love it! Was it from a kit or what? Looks great (and fancy!). Beautiful bloom photos too. So nice!

    I love the heat, Michael so I'll never complain about it, hah, but I'm an early bird too so when I get out in the garden in the morning around 5:00 a.m. it's only 77 F out, so I still get a nice taste of pleasant temps before the blast furnace kicks in for the day.

    Some quick pics from this week:

    'Belem' a selection of our native passion flower, Passiflora foetida. Fun, sweet scented flowers and cool furry foliage:



    Harrisia jusbertii with two blooms from earlier this week. Neat lanky cactus for partial shade. It flowers off and on all summer/autumn. No need to plant where you can enjoy the scent as they smell like rubber gloves to me, hah. Tennis ball to show size.


    Drimiopsis, sometimes called "African hosta" looking green and fresh despite the heat. I've really grown to like these plants over the last few years. Sure they're not flashy, but they ARE green, leafy, and they're happy here


    Variegated "sea hibiscus", Hibiscus tiliaceus keeps growing and growing. It's finally tall enough to see from the street over the wall, hah. It's a gamble here for sure, but it's done great unprotected for five years now. I planted it as a little 6 inch rooted cutting and now it's over 6 feet tall. Hardly a tree, but hey, it's trying, hah! I'm always amazed that the variegation is sun resistant here. Oh, and those are self sown 'Old Fashioned Climbing' petunias in the background--they'll not just survive our summers but will bloom too. GET SOME. :)



    Happy gardening all,

    Grant

  • Michael O (USDA Z9 San Tan Valley AZ)
    7 years ago

    Love that hibiscus Grant...I have one in a pot under the citrus and is growing. Maybe about 2 feet tall. I know what you are talking about 5:00 AM, I am outside watering the garden at that time also.

    That pergola is all designed and constructed by me and my wife, redwood from HD.

  • xiong_mm
    7 years ago

    Wow I enjoyed all those photos especially the before and after photos. Everyone looks to be a pro in this thread and I can't even get my green onions to grow indoor.


    Keep up the good work!

  • joncongaroo
    7 years ago

    My Caper plant (Capparis spinosa) has been blooming steadily for the last month. The flowers only last a day, but seem to put out new ones every day lately.


  • ddiverblue
    7 years ago

    I'm loving all the plant talk and seeing the wonderful plants that can be grown here even with the excessive heat.
    I
    have an old man cactus about 8 years old. It is thigh high on me at
    5'5". It is putting out an offset or pup! I don't know the species, so
    I'd love it if someone can tell me.

    This was the first year for this one to bloom! We got home from a trip just in time to see them.

    I forget what this is, but maybe it's Aloinopsis spathulata? It does very well with some shade and little water.

    This is another one that had some wonderful blooms this season.

    Most of these are under a pergola my husband built. It is covered with shadecloth that has lasted for about 8 years with no replacement! Before we had it, our cacti and succulents burned in summer and froze in winter. Now they're all very happy. :) We spend a lot of time in NM so my other yard plants haven't fared so well. Thank goodness for cacti and succulents!

  • Kathryn Lansden
    7 years ago

    My Celebrity tomatoes are FINALLY getting some color; I picked some this morning and there are still about a dozen green ones on the vine. I planted late (mid-March) so I got lucky with the "not-so-hot" spell in May. My Romas are about done but the cherry and pear tomatoes are still doing their thing.


  • ddiverblue
    7 years ago

    Yum! Congrats on the nice tomatoes! I haven't done any in years because of fighting off the bugs and birds.


  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    Great pictures! Love the pergola, and what a green garden you have Michael! Speaking of green, that St Augustine lawn is something else, I'm thinking lawn chair, bare feet, ice cold something, summer for sure. Blooming cactus, perfect tomatoes, sea hibiscus, lots of really cool stuff this month.

    Xiong, if you have a question on growing anything, just ask, someone on this thread knows the answer.

    Variegated hibiscus blooming away, they love the heat.



  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    Jasmine has been blooming for awhile, perfumes half the patio, love it. Instead of planting lilac and tangerine vines, I should have had a trellis full of these.


  • ddiverblue
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Gorgeous photos, and I want Jasmine! I love the scent, and would definitely love a trellis full!
    I also love your hibiscus. How do you keep the white flies, mealy bugs, and other problems away?

  • Terri Griz
    7 years ago

    Thanks ddiverblue! Jasmine is a great plant to grow here, fine with the heat, just needs shade and water. And that smell makes it a favorite for sure

    I have several varieties of hibiscus growing in the ground or pots, and have none of the problems you mention. Maybe you were growing hibiscus next to plants that attract these pests?

  • ddiverblue
    7 years ago

    I've always had mine in large pots. Getting them into the ground may be the answerr. Mine always had the white flies, which I could get rid of, but mealy bugs finished off most of my Hibiscus. We used to live in the Marshall Islands, and I had over 50 different ones in pots with no problems, but it was much more humid and not as hot.

  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    Yes, try some, this seems to be a good place for growing hibiscus, stores always have a lot of them, and they are easy plants to grow. Marshall Islands, nice! The tropics offer people so many different plants to enjoy. What plant doesn't want to grow in a perfect climate? ;D

  • ddiverblue
    7 years ago

    Yes, it was an incredible experience gardening in the tropics. It took no effort at all, and the watering was all done by the rain. We had over 100 inches a year . :) I will give them another try in the ground. Thanks!


  • 1212dusti
    7 years ago

    Take pictures of your new hibiscus, so we can enjoy them too. I love the tropics and all that rain is what keeps everything so green and beautiful.

  • ra
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here's a couple pics of two of my Mango trees that were planted in ground this early spring.

    They're both doing quite well despite the extreme temps and no extra shading.

    Usually new young tropical fruit trees need sun protection on their first few summers here to get acclimated but these ones don't seem like they need it. They're throwing out new growth all over the place with only minor sun burn on the older leaves.

    Mango 'Lemon Zest'

    Mango 'Coconut cream'

    I threw several good Manila mango seeds in pots and a few are starting to sprout now. I'm going to dig a few deep holes in the ground and transfer these in fall to get their taproots to start growing deep. They'll probably going to grow much better than the grafted ones without taproots.

    Elephant ear fig is doing very well too. No sign of sun burn on these big leaves. I'll plant out a few more of these in the front yard in the fall.

    My Longan tree is doing well too in the heat. Full sun all day and flushing new growth.


    My Shell Gingers are finally starting to take off. These guys really like the heat. I've had them in ground for more than 7 months now, started them from rhizomes. Very slow growing, I was expecting them to grow as fast as my Canna lilies. Afternoon shade is recommended for these guys. The one's I have in full sun all day aren't as good looking as these ones that get afternoon shade. Lots of water and rich organic soil is a must. I can't wait until they get to 7+ft tall and flowering.

    I can't wait for the monsoon rains to roll in! I'm tired of watering every day! LOL

  • Terri Griz
    7 years ago

    Nice Elephant Ear Fig! I've never seen one, but it's a great looking plant. Love the mangos, mine has some fruit this year. Your Shell Gingers are nice, I have a variagated one, will try to remember to post a pic next month. It's around four feet tall, they do love their water, hurry up monsoons!

  • ra
    7 years ago

    what type of mangoes do you have and how old are they? Pics would be nice and the shell gingers too :) have you had the same experience with them? Like the slow growth? Have they frozen back to the ground? I hear they flower the second year, so if they freeze back, then no flowers that year.

  • iandyaz
    7 years ago

    Nice pics Raimeiken, I'm jealous :) How often do you water those mango trees?

  • ra
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    every three days right now in this heat. I could go longer but I don't want to stress them out.

  • grant_in_arizona
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    All of the pics and posts and comments have been so fun! I have total Tropical Envy, hah! Thanks for sharing all of the eye (and stomach) candy!

    Here's my stinky Hoodia gordonii which is blooming this week. Fun, very smelly succulents for sun. I just give it water when DRY and then no water all winter long. From several feet you really can't smell them, from several inches they're just NASTY. Love them! Happy gardening all!


    Plus a pic with two babies from its seed (a 2 year old and a 3 year old) and Wilson the tennis ball to show size.


  • grant_in_arizona
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Thanks, ddvierblue! Glad you like the Stinky Hoodia, hah, and the mosaic bistro table. I bought the table for like 60-70 bucks at a nearby Cost Plus Imports store. I really like it. It's the perfect size for my little patio and the mosaic is fun (and doesn't show filth as much as some tables, HAH!). Happy gardening!