Another Rose versus Drought-Resistant Shrub?

ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)January 7, 2014

I've finally taken out Souvenir de Germain de St. Pierre, a tea rose that after more than three years still has insubstantial flowers that go limp in the heat almost immediately. It's in a difficult position with morning shade and afternoon sun and I'm wondering what to put in its place. I'd considered Wild Edric but am actually looking for something taller to shade the French door behind it from the hot afternoon sun. Whatever I decide on should be 5-6 feet tall and about 5 feet wide.

Can anyone suggest a flowering, drought-resistant and tough shrub that would meet the above criteria? There are columnar junipers and then lavender crape myrtles flanking this area. Thanks for any advice.

Ingrid

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Evenie

There are a few cultivars of Oleander that are "dwarf" and should stay in that size range. I used to have a beautiful peach one that bloomed at the same time as the crepes here in New Orleans. Oleanders need no irrigation here and are planted on the side of the interstate, but I don't know if they are so drought tolerant as to survive in your climate. Perhaps that would be an option?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 3:59PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Evenie, oleanders are seen everywhere here and wouldn't be "special enough" to be planted along with roses. I've noticed the ones around here are now suffering with the poor winter rainfall.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Evenie

Well poo, that's kind of a tough one Ingrid. You might check out what they are growing at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens in South Africa for ideas. Perhaps a protea?

Here is a link that might be useful: Kirstenbosch

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:11PM
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catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14

I don't usually care for buddleias as most go ratty and rampant here, but this variety, Ellen's Blue, is tidy, dwarf, continuously-blooming the entire summer and fall, and has an unbelievably luscious, strong scent that wafts. I can vouch for it being attractive to butterflies; it draws many to the garden when in bloom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ellen's Blue buddleia

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:26PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Calothamnus villousus, if you can find it. Metrosideros 'Springfire'. Or a Grevillea. All are hummingbird magnets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grevilleas for Southern California

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

If I were you, I would contact the Thoedore Payne foundation and see if they have a list of recommended plants for your area and soil type and then pick from their list.

Here is a link that might be useful: native plants

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:32PM
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Campanula UK Z8

What about rockrose - cistus and the closely related halimium, tuberarium and helianthemums. These shrubs vary from very small to quite enormous (truly vague and useless, I know) with colours ranging from pale yellow to deepest magenta. More importantly, many of them are protected from extreme heat and drought by leaves coated with aromatic oils, especially the white with basal blotch, C.ladanifer. True, the flowers only last a day but there are heaps of them and quite a few can be trimmed into neat shapes (similar to santolina or artemisia) and have quite delicious foliage too.
As a genus, I have a lot of respect for indigofera.....in fact, I adore legumes of all types. I only have a couple of these but they have an innate grace.
I know salvia is common as muck, but I have a couple of dozen shrubby types, mainly microphylla/jamensis/greggii and hybrids between but what fabulous plants they are - the colours are astonishing - from creamy palest yellows, through to deepest of blues and purples, with corals, peaches and many shades of red....which never overpower or shout......as well as flowering for months and months.
Maybe Convolvulous Cneorum.
Eryngoes - there are a couple of eryngiums which would possibly cope with your conditions - not exactly flowering shrubs but quite startling architectural plants, especially the enormous E.pandanifolium. I agree that buddleja is an outstanding genus - have you looked at either B.alternifolia and the graceful silvery B.lindleyana.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:57PM
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Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z9a @ 2800 ft.

Texas Ranger / Texas Sage. There are many varieties; some have lavender, pink, white or purple flowers. Some have green foliage whereas others have blue-green foliage. It creates a really nice shrub. There is one cultivar that has leaves like rosemary.

They are drought tolerant, can take full sun here, put on a great show, and are pretty fuss free too. The only prima donnas in my yard are roses, as they require my attention; not the gardeners. It could fit in nicely with your landscape.

Lynn

Here's a link: http://www.azlca.com/uploads/documents/a-16_love_those_leucophyllums.pdf

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Maybe take a look at ceanothus? They are native to California and are very drought tolerant (very much summer water can kill them). Many prefer full sun too. They come in lots of sizes, from groundcovers to small/moderate sized trees. Some will rebloom. Excellent for wildlife.

Or perhaps a manzanita? Also California native, drought tolerant, and usually sun loving. Huge variety in sizes, growth habit and rate.

I would check out the Las Pilitas Nursery catalog online and browse. It is chock full of useful information and includes plenty of pictures too.

Melissa

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:54PM
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catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14

Hey, Campanula, I grew Buddleia alternifolia argentea in Massachusetts! That was a nice one (looks like it was about 6' x 5' in the photo of that garden hanging by my desk), though with a shorter bloom period than B. davidii would have (I grew B. alternifolia in MA because B. davidii wasn't likely to be hardy there and, on second though, everything had a shorter bloom period in MA).

One problem with growing CA natives in a spot where one wants a well-foliated plant during the summer (as your specs seem to imply, Ingrid), is that most do not want to be watered during the summer (or won't live long if they are) and many need to be dormant then. Some, like manzanita or Rhus, won't look like dead sticks in that situation but others do. Ceanothus hangs on to at least some leaves though the larger-leaved varieties can look very "thin" (so the types with small, hardened leaves might be better, as well as being deer-resistant); Salvia clevelandii and the like look really shriveled, usually, if grown "right". My daughter, every year, asks me why I'm leaving that "dead" plant up in the corner. It's not dead, it's a dormant Ribes speciosum and it needs to rest over the summer with no water. (This one took me 3 tries to establish and is drop-dead beautiful, so whatever it wants, it gets.)

Grevilleas are plants that do stay evergreen and reasonable-looking with no water whatsoever.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:26PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Thank you for your many suggestions. I have two of those ugly, messy, half-dead looking butterfly bushes, especially gross because not enough winter rain, so I immediately fell in love with Ellen's Blue. Unfortunately it looks too similar to the crape myrtles that are almost next to it and is not quite tall enough to be a sun barrier for the computer room. I have to find a place for one of those somewhere, though, because it sounds like the perfect plant and is sooo cute.

I've looked at all the other suggestions and for various reasons none of them seem quite right. It took me a while to figure out that what I really, really wanted was another rose! I have an order for Mutabilis from Chamblee's and looked for another rose that I could add to my order that might be suitable. I know, no rose is suitable for morning shade/afternoon sun in a hot climate. Nevertheless, I came up with these names: Belinda's Dream, Duchesse de Brabant, Eglantyne, Heritage and Sharifa Asma. Other than having a strong desire to tell me I'm crazy, are there any other comments? I will be receiving Reine de Violette for which I thought I had a perfect spot until I remembered that location is really the only one at all suitable for Annie Laurie McDowell, should she ever decide to grow up. I don't suppose anyone would support the idea of planting RdV in morning shade/afternoon sun? Hm, didn't really think so.....

Ingrid

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:03PM
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roseseek

Oleanders are pretty much a dead issue in SoCal now that the Glassy Wing Sharpshooter is spreading the Oleander Leaf Scorch disease, which is the oleander version of the grape Pierce's Disease. Kim

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:37PM
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melissa_thefarm(NItaly)

'Sharifa Asma' is an excellent rose, but it doesn't get that tall for me, about 4' x 3'. The plant is happy, not struggling.
My conditions are too different from yours for me to be able to offer advice, but I hope you find the perfect plant!
Melissa

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:21AM
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ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

Maybe a Cotinus kept in check by regular pruning? The foliage is more striking on younger wood anyway I believe. Similar to the Manzanita suggestion (which I like) perhaps a potted compact Arbutus or some other small tree kept even smaller by potting would do nicely. I'm not sure if there are suitably sized cultivars, but I think a Banksia would be a great drought-tolerant, unique focal point. If you didn't like the idea of protea then that probably isn't for you though.

There are so many interesting native and drought tolerant plants. I've been in love with Salvia Spathacea of late, but I doubt think that's what the doctor ordered in this case.

Jay

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:38AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I have grown four Eglantyne roses in two different locations, and in our hot, sunny, dry summers, I don't think the blooms do well--they fry easily. Evelyn and Golden Celebration do best in heat and sun with Princess Alexandra of Kent looking like it can take it, too, even though she's less than two years old. How about trying good old snowball viburnum? That is one tough plant, but it would probably be too big. It is totally no care (except raking up spent blooms in spring; goes very quickly), and gets way less water than my roses. Diane

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:16AM
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mohavemaria


This is cordia boissieri, Texas Olive, that will handle western exposure, is extremely drought resistant, and flowers most of the summer. I love those big furry leaves so well I would grow it just for those.

It is more a small tree than shrub but it gets nipped back by frost so it is only reaching treelike proportions for me after ten years. It's relative cordia parvifolia is smaller leaved, smaller flowered, and more shrub like. That one blooms every morning all summer long although the white crepe paper looking blooms dry off by late afternoon.

Both these are incredibly tough in our hot Las Vegas yard but lose their leaves in winter here.

Maria

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:40AM
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Campanula UK Z8

'what I really, really wanted was another rose'

Blow me, what a surprise!

Well, Ingrid, if you are going to persist (and you obviously are) then how about a foray slightly outside your comfort zone with a few natives and wildlings. Top of my list (because it is a useless dud in England) would be either version, single or double of R.hemisphaerica. This is a rose which laughs at heat and DEMANDS drought. Primula, although bone hardy, will also do rather well, as would any of the other ecae derived roses such as Golden Chersonese or Helen Knight. And what about the little Sacramento rose, (also tricky in England, but not for lack of trying) - the gooseberry leaved Stella mirifica.....and the dainty R.minutifolia and finally, your very own, but none the worse for that, R.californica (the plena version would be up your street). Finally, I strongly suggest you investigate some of the new hulthemias about - these are tough, healthy and vigorous roses - their Persian ancestry has given them a great resistance to drought and heat, with added vigour. What's not to like.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:44AM
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rosefolly

Mutabilis thrives on being watered once every three weeks at the one of the demonstration gardens run by the local Master Gardeners here in Santa Clara County. Of course it has to be watered more frequently while being established.

Rosefolly

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:31PM
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cath41(6a)

If you want a rose, you could put up a trellis with the rose on the house side of it. The trellis would partially block the hot western sun.

Cath

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:10PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

Apparently not easy to find these days, but you might consider Cherino - bred from Mutabilis and Carefree Beauty. I'm not sure how their climate compares to yours, but others in California have praised it. A quote for Cass on HMFRoses : "Chireno is not grown nearly enough. It excels in the landscape, it has no disease, it is hardy, and it has no prickles!" Chamblees used to sell it, so perhaps they still have a mother plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cherino on HMFRoses

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:02PM
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roseseek

Dapple Dawn and Red Coat were both the size you request in my old Newhall garden, Ingrid. Red Coat resembled a red, bush Mermaid. It was always stunning. Kim

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:11PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

What about a pride of Madeira? Or the smaller Santa Barbara version of Mexican sage? Or iris, fortnight lily, or some type of flax grass? Kangaroo paw, cactus or agave?

I understand the desire for one look and how hard it can be to have to try and pick from plants you don't like just because of the gardening conditions

Or maybe a change in your irrigation system would be enough to save the water needed for the plant you really want, another rose

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:01PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

I can't tell you how grateful l am to all of you for your excellent suggestions, of which I've carefully considered each and every one. It would take too much space to explain why none of them are ideal for my situation, although some of them come pretty close. I have come to a decision now, and that is Belinda's Dream. This bed is pink to lavender so the color fits, I wanted fragrance, which it has, and this rose will grow tall enough to shade the French door. It's also a good cut rose, of which I have precious few. Chamblee's carries it so I just had to add it on to my order with them for Mutabilis. It takes the sun well and is very disease-resistant. It's not too large and unruly and won't need much pruning to keep it to its allotted space. I don't think it's a water hog. I have one already so I pretty well know what to expect, and I do really like the flowers.

The fact that so many of you pitched in to advise me is heart-warming. Diane and Maria, thank you for the beautiful pictures. I've never seen a snowball bush here and wonder if it needs more winter chill than we can give it, especially now. I'm keeping the cordia in mind and several other tough plants mentioned here as companions for Mutabilis that will serve to screen out the neighbor's home near the studio.

Ingrid

Ingrid

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:34PM
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roseseek

You should easily be able to grow viburnum there, Ingrid. There is a huge old one at The Homestead Acre in Chatsworth Park South, Chatsworth which has been there for much of the past century. Pixie Treasures in Yorba Linda (Prospect Ave) had a huge one which visitors would stand and admire, often accompanied with, "Gee! I WISH those would GROW here!" Usually followed with, "Duh! HELLO!" as it WAS growing quite beautifully there. Neither location got tremendous "winter chill". There are even fragrant, blush pink versions of that Viburnum. I had a fragrant pink one here which was one of the earliest casualties to the blamed gopher. There are several other species of Viburnum which are often grown all over SoCal for hedging and landscape use. There are also a number of Indian Hawthorne varieties which could easily suit the need (except for fragrant, cut roses). Kim

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:48PM
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catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14

My mom in Santa Rosa has had a plant of that snowball viburnum for, easily, 50 years. Neglect seems to suit it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:24PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

That's interesting to know about viburnum in Socal, Kim. After I posted my photo, I immediately thought about winter chill, so it's nice to know it can be grown widely. It is a native plant to the US, I believe, and I have grown it for maybe 25 years (this one is 10 years old), and it's just about the most carefree shrub I grow. More carefree than my ninebarks and elderberry which are pretty bulletproof around here. Boxwood is as nearly indestructible here, and the deer hate it. The deer seem to hate the snowball, too. Diane

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Hmm seems I might have to make a stop at the Green Thumb Nursery in Ventura....thanks Kim... :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:06PM
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roseseek

You're welcome, Kippy! If you'll be near a Lowe's, check out this one, too. It's exploding in a five gallon can out back now. A whole $9.98 plus tax in a paper pot. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Raspberry Kiss (Eyes on You)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:37PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Unfair! I have wanted Eyes on You since I saw it on HMF a while back, and thought--why can't we buy this up here in the hinterlands? We get the absolute dregs at the big box stores around here. Several of the Eyeconics are available at my favorite nursery, but they're a lot more than $9.98. Diane

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:01PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Good thing Lowe's is in Ventura too! I don't know much about the hulthemia's, but they sound like good choices for dry areas

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:05PM
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roseseek

Perhaps Hulthemias might be good for "dry areas", but these are only "Hulthemias" due to the "blotch", the red petal base. Otherwise, they are pretty much garden roses, with all that infers. It's pretty obvious Eyes on You is a budded rose, and from the looks of the roots, it's pretty certain it's on Huey, so though it's a fun looking rose, it's not going to be a Cal. Native candidate.

Diane, these are planted in what appears to be xerimulch with a sooty "soil" mixed in. The pulp pots are about a two gallon size with a plastic POP liner, like a traditional "body bag" packaging, only around the pulp pot. They're pretty heavy and too large for a large Priority box, unfortunately. Any plans on another visit back down to your friends in Valencia this year? Or, if you want to take your chances with a bare rooted, potted plant which is already developing roots and pushing growth buds....Kim

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:42PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Maybe I've just never noticed them, but I really don't remember ever seeing a snowball bush around here. I'm keeping my eyes peeled this spring to see if I can spot any. I really like the idea of a pale pink one.

I'm going to bookmark this thread because I don't want to lose the info about all these desirable shrubs. As time goes on and some of my roses fail for one reason or another I'll be replacing at least some of them for very water-thrifty plants.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 1:19AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens)

Since Grevilleas were mentioned, I'd like to point out that most kinds of Grevilleas, even if grafted on more tolerant stock like G. robusta, dislike alkaline soil and soil with high phosphorus content so if you have either it might not be a good idea. It is also not a good idea to plant a Grevillea near plants, like roses, that will be fertilized regularly.

Nik

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 1:55AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens)

Since Grevilleas were mentioned, I'd like to point out that most kinds of Grevilleas, even if grafted on more tolerant stock like G. robusta, dislike alkaline soil and soil with high phosphorus content so if you have either it might not be a good idea. It is also not a good idea to plant a Grevillea near plants, like roses, that will be fertilized regularly.

Nik

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:07AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Ingrid,

Monrovia Nursery has a link where you can find local garden centers that have ordered plants from them, that is how I found places in Ventura that had the Snowball bush

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 10:52AM
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lavender_lass(4b)

I love butterfly bushes! We have to be careful where we plant them, so they don't get too cold over the winter. I can't imagine seeing them growing wild! LOL

Most of mine are lavender and they look beautiful July-September. They also keep the yellow jackets away from the walks, since I plant the butterfly bushes in the back, behind the roses to protect them. So, yellow jackets love them...and deer don't. It's a great shrub in our area :)

I hope Belinda's Dream is everything you hope for...it sounds lovely!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 12:15PM
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kittymoonbeam

The California forum is a good place to ask about shrubs. I'd go for a sturdy trellis with a grape. It's more water but you get the delicious grapes and they will stand the heat and provide shade too. The heat will make them extra sweet and they don't need fancy soil.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 1:19PM
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