I'm getting really frustrated. Why? Because where I live, South Central Texas (San Antonio, zone 8).... EVERYONE grows these three plants in abundance and with relatively NO work involved.
I'm talking about Plumbago (Leadwort):
And "Esperanza", aka Yellow Bells, aka tecoma stans:
And lantana (specifically Lantana camara, New Gold):
I have 4 plumbago plants, 3 are in a large raised bed along the front of my porch (which is raised)... one is new and still in a little pot because I didn't know where to plant it.
In that same large raised bed I also have 3 lantana, and some vinca.
I have the Esperanza in a sunny corner of the yard and I've had it for about a year and a half now if I remember right. The others in the bed were planted in late spring and are younger. The esperanza is a good 3 feet tall now and otherwise healthy looking... in fact all of these are... just not very many flowers.
My main issue is that they bloom sporadically and the plumbago don't seem to be growing as fast I as I expected. I know they get big and get big fast... but mine are staying pretty small. I had hoped they'd eventually reach the edge of my porch. One plant in particular was actually rather large, my mom gave it to me as a gift, and it started looking awful and half dead and I cut it back quite a bit... which seemed to help it and it recovered somewhat, but it still looks odd and has woody, pokey branches with no blooms mixed in with normal looking branches that bloom.
All over town the esperanza and plumbago are in EVERY yard and business landscape and they are virtually ignored and bloom like MAD, constantly. Mine have periods of blooming then a week or two of nothing. Same with the lantana. I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. The esperanza will be covered but only for a couple days then nothing for a week, when all the others on my street stay full of yellow blossoms ALL the darn time.
Last week my lantana was GLORIOUSLY blooming. Today there is nothing but green.
The one that is doing best with regard to blooming is the little plumbago still in the pot... so could I possibly have a drainage issue? I tried hard to avoid that...but I'm new to all this.
I don't know about that though because the vinca that shares the bed with the others does well for the most part (except today I noticed some yellowing leaves)... it blooms constantly and they've gotten rather large and fat, and I thought their water and drainage requirements were all similar, which is why I planted them together...
I don't think I'm over-watering. I fertilize with a bloom formula every couple of weeks or so. I realize these are all drought resistant plants and treat them accordingly. One of my friends has a huge plumbago she planted in a mailbox planter and left alone, pretty much... it's big and constantly full of flowers.
Is it possible I'm under-watering? I give a good soaking about once a week, sometimes a bit longer apart, depending on how hot and dry it's been. I stick my finger way down in there to see if it's dry before I water. Is that right?
So, I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Oh, they get full sun for at least five or six hours a day, too.....so that's not it, is it? I just want more blooms like everyone else seems to get by doing NOTHING.
Do I need to just ignore them??