Need Ideas for Colorful Bush plant

Beemer(4a)August 25, 2005

I need to replace a rose bush in the center of my back yard. The new plant will be the centerpiece of an oval raised bed -- and it gets full summer sun. The roses couldn't hack it. I do get frosts in the winter.

It will be surrounded by iceplant and dwarf pink ruella.

Can't plant lantana varieties -- the dogs eat them and throw up all over the place!

Any ideas?

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AzDesertRat(AZ 8b Sunset 12)

How about Duranta or the skyflower? It thrives in full sun and can even be pruned to be a small tree. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It may get tinged by frost, but the sun will not cook it. It may need more water than a traditional "desert" plant, but no more than the rose it was replacing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Duranta

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 4:34PM
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CSemerad(8b PHX)

I've been looking at the bush variety of oleander. There is a brilliant fuchsia colored one that we are going to put in a few of to line the driveway. With pruning they will maintain their bushiness and will grow to 5-9 feet. But they are very poisonous to pets and people!

Here is a link that might be useful: nerium oleander

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 6:24PM
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Both plants above are good choices. The Duranta has a very pretty flower. I am enjoying my Hardy Hibiscus, variety "Moy Grande". Have attached a link about it. One drawback would be it goes dormant in the winter, and you cut it back. But beginning in spring, you have lots of huge red flowers until fall. Takes full sun in our area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moy Grande Hibiscus

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 7:19PM
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frangipaniaz(z9 Az)

Don't plant an oleander unless you're sure that you'll never ever want to change the main plant in that planter... they are indestructible... you can't kill them... I don't recommend oleander to anyone except, well.... nope, I don't recommend it to anyone.... :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 7:46PM
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gemfire(z9/10 AZ)

Another bad thing about oleanders is that they
will grow into you water and sewer pipes and
cause all kinds of problem. They are also
poisonous. If you have dogs that like to
eat plants you must be careful that you don't
put anything out there that is poisonous.
I research any plant that I like to see if its
safe for my dogs. If not it goes in the front
where they can't get it.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 9:02PM
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"Little John" dwarf bottlebrush is one of my favorites. Ours get blasted with sun and still look great and they attract hummingbirds. They grow kind of slow so a 5 gallon may be a better option than a 1 gallon if you are looking for something with a little height right away. They are spectacular when in full bloom. "Green Cloud Sage, Heavenly Cloud Sage," etc.. are also nice in hot areas. I grow a couple different varieties of Indian Laurel Hawthorne and they have pretty blooms. I don't know about full sun though. Texas Mountain Laurel is lovely if you have enough space.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

LOL, you won't like my suggestion, but I'd put an Agave there - a nice, big blue one. Or an octopus agave, mmmm. Very sculptural.

I also like the idea of the Texas Mountain Laurel, but I'd do the 'Silver Peso' cultivar - soft, gray, coin sized leaves and deep purple blooms in the spring. They don't get very big, either.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 12:21AM
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birdlady_in_mesa(z9 AZ)

Don't forget the plethora of Emu bushes! Baker Nursery always has a nice selection. I like mine, the branches and leaves are interesting and when it is in bloom- gorgeous!


    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 12:01AM
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frangipaniaz(z9 Az)

I don't believe I've ever heard of an Emu bush... what does it look like??

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 4:44PM
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birdlady_in_mesa(z9 AZ)

Emu bush are 'eremophila' or 'eremophillia' they grow quite well in the hot sun in a xeric situation. However, if they are in an area that receives water, as long as they are not being overwatered, they do quite well. There are many colors of leaves and flowers, some are prostrate, some are bushes, some (almost all) can be pruned to grow as trees. Here are a couple links, check them out. If you go to Baker Nursery, they are in the front (towards 40th st) on the south side/corner.

Click on the photos for closeups.
highlight the url and paste it into your browser

(scroll down for pics)


Here is a link that might be useful: Emu bush

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 5:34PM
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