U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-01-2008, 05:48 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,838,143 times
Reputation: 1496

Advertisements

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):

http://www.plantanswers.com/12_mos_x...e_Plumbago.jpg

And "Esperanza", aka Yellow Bells, aka tecoma stans:

http://www.plantanswers.com/arcadia_...ecomastans.jpg

And lantana (specifically Lantana camara, New Gold):

http://preferredlandscapetx.com/ee/i...0lantana-3.jpg


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??
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-01-2008, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
28,513 posts, read 21,646,069 times
Reputation: 76848
Possibly overwatering/underwatering, possibly too much fertilization, possibly not enough sun, possibly a soil condition. Any or a combination of all of these situations.
1st they should have 6+ hours of sun. 2nd, drought tolerant plants don't need superbloom fertilization every 2 weeks, 3rd, when watering you must deep water to at least 6" down. Your yellowing on the vinca could be from one of two things, they are either overwatered or a vinca virus, 4th, is your soil hard compacted clay. If so water won't penetrate properly.
Has any chemicals been used around the plants or the soil recently, such as weed killers, paint thinners or any chemical harmful to the soil/plants?
A lot of factors go into growing healthy plants. Pictures help.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2008, 08:29 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,838,143 times
Reputation: 1496
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
Possibly overwatering/underwatering, possibly too much fertilization, possibly not enough sun, possibly a soil condition. Any or a combination of all of these situations.
1st they should have 6+ hours of sun. 2nd, drought tolerant plants don't need superbloom fertilization every 2 weeks, 3rd, when watering you must deep water to at least 6" down. Your yellowing on the vinca could be from one of two things, they are either overwatered or a vinca virus, 4th, is your soil hard compacted clay. If so water won't penetrate properly.
Has any chemicals been used around the plants or the soil recently, such as weed killers, paint thinners or any chemical harmful to the soil/plants?
A lot of factors go into growing healthy plants. Pictures help.

It's a huge process of elimination huh!?

Okay, I'll try and answer some of this, or ask more ??s to narrow it down.

What's the best way to know I've watered 6" down?

Soil: in the raised bed I used several large bags of ordinary "potting soil" on top of the regular soil where I'd removed all the grass and weeds. Then I mulched it all. This is where the lantana and plumbago and vinca are planted. I would say it's a foot deep before it gets to the clay soil that is typical of the area. I am not sure on how this is an issue though because our soil all over here is clay and like I said, the lantana and plumbago and esperanza area ll over town and most are planted just "wherever" in people's yards. I know a lot of folks who just dug a hole and planted, clay and all.

No chemicals anywhere near any of these. I used some weed killer on my brick walk back in March but that was not near these plants at all.

I will try and get pics if possible. Thanks for responding!

The esperanza is green and growing but yes it is planted directly in the yard. I dug a hole and filled the hole with a potting mix though... so...?

Like I said, everything looks green, for the most part... except that one plumbago that is right next to two others that are fine. The vinca issue aside, everything is healthy looking but it's the growth rate and the bloom time that I'm concerned about.

Another dumb question: how exactly do I know how much sun they get without being outside all day? I planted the raised bed where there is no shade, but that one plumbago that is looking the worse is nearer to the steps and the stair rail could be shading it partly in the afternoon...?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
28,513 posts, read 21,646,069 times
Reputation: 76848
Photos would really help. Sometimes it's difficult sitting in a chair miles away trying to picture what is going on.
I use a piece of rebar to measure down. By pushing the rebar into the soil, where it stops or meets resistance is how far the water has penetrated. Put your finger on the rebar at the soil level, pull it out and measure the distance between the finger and the end of the rebar. That's your water depth.
Clay soils vary from yard to yard and within the yard. You can plant 2 plants 2 feet apart and get different results. I plant all my shrubs in holes that are at least 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep. Sometimes even larger. Mix 1/3 sand, 1/3 mulch or organic matter, 1/3 original screened clay soil = optimum growing environment.
Potting soil mixed on top is not beneficial the way you explained how you're doing it. It's probably staying way too wet up topside and not getting correctly down to the lower root zone. Water thoughly, let nearly dry out then water thoroughly etc etc. If necessary, and I always recommend doing so, go to your Garden Center and pick up a "Moisture Meter" for around $5.00. It will tell you exactly when to water any time of the year. Saves time, money and headaches.
Lastly, don't over mother the poor things, let them have some independence and adjust accordingly.
South and west exposures usually give you more daylight than north or east exposures when planted near the residence.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
394 posts, read 1,056,122 times
Reputation: 236
Hey Fierce - I was going to post almost exactly the same questions, but did a search first and found your post on all the same plants I was wondering about + I have a Pride of Barbados which has some yellowing leaves. I only planted my lantana, plumbago and esperenza about hmmm, 4 weeks ago? (maybe 3) and all were full of booms when I planted...now, the ones that I planted in the ground are bloomless...then I have some lantana in pots in front of the house...blooming well although they went through about 2 weeks of no blooms, now they've set blooms and are starting to pop. I also have plumbago in pots and in the ground....and only one plumbago is just now starting to bloom again. Maybe I'm too impatient? I was thinking I should fertilize them although I did use potting soil that had some fertilizer already built in.....the whole thing is a mystery!

I agree....I see the same plants all over the place (San Antonio) and they're completely ignored and look great! What's up with that????
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2013, 11:46 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,876 times
Reputation: 10
I have the same problem. Some of my plants seem to be drying up just after blooming nicely. Should I leave the dry woody stems and roots alone and wait for them to regrow new foliage or count them as dead?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Martindale, TX
5 posts, read 8,318 times
Reputation: 15
I'm between San Antonio and Austin, Tx.

If nothing else works, try re-planting in rather LARGE raised terrace bed with native soil.
Do not be afraid to plant a few feet away from other types of large shrub such as firebush.
Cut back to ground as soon as possible every winter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2014, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Martindale, TX
5 posts, read 8,318 times
Reputation: 15
Hopefully, will post pictures as soon as my Plumbagos, Flamebushes, Pride of Barbados, Esperanza, etc. bloom. It's been a very dry and cold time for my location.
Would like to know if anyone using soaker hoses on Plumbagos, Esperanzas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2014, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Martindale, TX
5 posts, read 8,318 times
Reputation: 15
Sorry about the low quality picture.
Esperanza, Pride of Barbados, Flamebush, lantana, verbena, sage, skyflower, texas lilac, etc.
Terraces hard to water, but worthwhile.

My drought tolerant plants look sad (Esperanza, Plumbago)-terrace.png
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Martindale, TX
5 posts, read 8,318 times
Reputation: 15
Default Spring is here!

Hard at work. Lantanas are going to be beautiful!
Texas lilac spectacular? Hopefully.
Plumbagos took it on the chin, but coming back.
Using alot of river water for irrigation. Maybe really good for shrubs.
Attached Thumbnails
My drought tolerant plants look sad (Esperanza, Plumbago)-030.jpg   My drought tolerant plants look sad (Esperanza, Plumbago)-042.jpg   My drought tolerant plants look sad (Esperanza, Plumbago)-051.jpg  

Last edited by gabysuniga; 04-29-2014 at 10:01 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top