Roses are almost done...is this the peak?

datura222May 7, 2013

This is my first year gardening here in California. I am not used to having such a lengthy growing season!

I noticed that we are about 2.5 months ahead of where I used to live in Ontario.

I planted quite a few plants in the past year since I have lived here. I am noticing that it seems like things have peaked! The roses are going, but some look like they are almost done.

I can tell that the oleanders will peak soon enough...lavenders are going, as well as the kangaroo paw. But not much else will have any big flushes it seems.

What reliable, drought tolerant plants can I plant to keep some blooms going into June/July/August? I have flowers that are purple, yellow, orange and coral in the garden. I have a lot of variety in foliage which will keep things a little interesting over the long haul I guess...

Usually in Canada we only have about 4 months total of growing time before frosts kill everything back....is it even possible to have perpetual blooming for 8 months out here?

Thanks, and sorry for sounding like such a newbie LOL

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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Yup, this weekend is the end of the peak. I'll be interested to read what people recommend to extend the season. I have daylilies and true lilies that will begin blooming soon, so I recommend them. Canna lilies, and echinacea. I grow reblooming irises as well- they will bloom again in late summer and/or fall.
Renee

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:27PM
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calistoga_al

Here in northern California, most modern roses will bloom again in about six weeks, but the first bloom in always the best. The old roses with only bloom a year are now approaching full bloom here. I often have roses, the modern teas and florabundas in bloom in the fall usually November when we get the first frost. You will love California gardening. Al

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:54PM
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gobluedjm

Salvias and sages are heat and sun lovers. Numerous types are at nurseries and a few common types at the big box stores. They attract hummingbirds.
My polygala sweet pea bushes bloom on and off all year.
For ground cover put in some lantana but if you get frost in winter it will go dormant but comes back with a vengence.
If I can't get color I go for textures or grays that minimizes the solid green some. Lavatera is another bloomer most of the summer but gets cut back in late fall.
Butterfly bushes are another that will flower all summer and attract butterflies and hummers

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:12AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I second the recommendations for salvia and lavanders, they are standbys in my garden. Last summer I noticed a lot of gaura blooming in other people's gardens in the heat of summer, so I plan on adding some to mine this year. I love Santa Barbara Daisies for their long bloom time and how they attract bees and other beneficial insects.

I attached a link to a Sunset article on Mediterranean plants that bloom three seasons out of the year. My little front garden consists of a couple of roses, some ornamental grasses, and then mostly Mediterranean plants, and it looks good most of the year. Usually when one thing stops blooming something else starts, and I like that.

Here is a link that might be useful: sunset article on three season border

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:57AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Or.....especially since you have such a wide, wide range of plants that may be new to you....your new hobby for awhile could be going to nurseries to see new plants and see 'what's in flower now'. Of course, this can be dangerous for the wallet...but with will power and restraint, it can be done.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:19AM
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lgteacher(SCal)

If you deadhead your roses, you can prolong the blooming season. Mine were loaded with flowers a few weeks ago, but they will bloom more throughout the spring, summer and fall if I am diligent about deadheading.
As far as drought tolerant plants go, California fuschia and pineapple sage bloom from mid-summer through fall, although pineapple sage can also bloom in the spring. Cistus is starting to bloom now. For blue, you can choose creeping plumbago or electric blue sage (salvia chamaedryoides). Tagese lemonii - mountain marigold produces lots of bright yellow flowers. It grows into a large shrub fairly rapidly.

You would probably enjoy visiting botanic gardens in your area. Also consult the website bewaterwise.com that is run by the Metropolitan Water District. They have lots of photos of drought tolerant plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drought tolerant planting

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:37PM
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datura222

Do any of you grow tecoma smithii? I am wondering if it would be somewhat hardy here in San Jose (SS 15/ zone 9)? It seems to be a later bloomer.

I should look into some different types of sages...I have some bee's bliss, but it is an early bloomer it seems.

My grouping of Johnson's Aloe seems are constantly blooming, so maybe I will get more of those as well :)

I wonder if some of the late blooming daylilies would work as well? If they bloom in September back home, maybe they would peak here in July? They might not be as drought tolerant as the rest of my garden though...

Thanks for all of the input so far, I really appreciate it!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:09PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

You have tons of salvias to choose from....

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:30PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

The tecoma is hardy to 25-30 degrees. if you're in San Jose, looks as though you'd be Sunset Zone 15 and it should be hardy there, depending on microclimates. Do you have a Sunset Western Garden Book?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:35PM
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datura222

I do have the Sunset book...I read through it before I moved here, and still haven't unpacked all of my boxes LOL I will dig it out and do more looking.

I am almost out of space as it is, but wondered if there were some showstoppers for mid summer for a few empty spots here and there...I will look up the different types of salvias for sure!

I think I am 25-30 degrees, although this winter was pretty harsh and I did lose some succulents that were in an unsheltered location.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:41PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Gaillardia and Rudbeckia will bloom through August, but deadheading required. They will re-seed and move around the garden, okay if you have a cottage look, not so much if you like a tidy, orderly garden. Salvia leucantha, or Mexican Sage, is an easy grow, might be a good starter plant for you, fast results. After a number of years they can get really big, but it's easy to whack back or rip out and start over. I hesitate to recommend this one -- Romneya coulteri, or Matilija poppy. They can be finicky to get started, preferring dry, almost gravelly, disturbed soil, though needing some water to establish; but you'll enjoy the big white poppies with the egg-yolk yellow centers. Fair warning -- it can get out of control after a couple of years, and the stems are quite prickly when you start cutting back. The plant will bloom through summer into September, and you might get a kick out of the huge flowers. Don't let it hang around too long in your garden. 2-3 years is enough, and by then you'll be wanting other things in the garden anyway. Have fun. If you don't make any mistakes, you aren't putting your heart into it. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:16AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

I'm not sure where you are in zone 15, but here in 17 (one of Sunset's bigger zones that I'd wish they would break up), roses pretty much bloom 3-4x year. They're actually evergreen perennials in the right conditions (like my neighbor's front yard, LOL) and are surprisingly drought-tolerant.

If I don't prune my roses back they look bedraggled by February (winter rains bring on rust) but they still bloom.

What they really like is warm days and cool nights, and good air circulation. And of course, lots of food!

For example, I have a Gingersnap tree rose that has taken almost four years to establish (tree roses definitely take longer to get settled, I've found). I haven't ever pruned it back in winter; it's just getting to the point of being strong enough that I think next year (end of Jan 2014) will be its first pruning.

I had roses on it opening up in mid-February. It hit its peak last week and literally looked like fireworks (and I failed to get a picture, sob!). Now the blooms are getting paler and in a couple of weeks will be gone.

Margaret Merrill is about a week behind. Intrigue was two weeks ahead, Double Delight was one week ahead of Gingersnap. But the Delany Sisters is just hitting its stride and will be in full bloom next week.

In 4-6 weeks it will start all over again. And again...and again........!

When the winters are mild the roses hang on until the bearded iris show up again. This is from December 2011:

Depending on your microclimate, you might be able to keep things going longer than you think. Late summer/early fall, before the rains start, is the hardest time for bloom in CA.

You want to look for plants that can take hot soil. That's why heat lovers like lantana, salvia, ceratostigma, plumbago, cannas, euryops, etc., are prized for not only reasonable drought resistance but also loving that late season heat.

It's just a question of how much frost they can take (or get shielded from, depending on where you site a young plant) in our chilly winters. Rain and wind chill have done in a lot of supposed zone 6 and even zone 5 plants in my garden.

If you have room for a big yellow-leafed plant, I can heartily recommend pineapple sage. It's a 4x4'shrub, but it's the only sage to have survived a spot that has killed four different salvias from winter chill, over the past ten years. Beautiful bright yellow leaves, but the spikes are a fiery true red, so I don't know if it will work in your garden. It has really impressed me - I was about to give up on salvias until I planted this one.

This post was edited by jkom51 on Thu, May 9, 13 at 17:11

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Bouganvillea will bloom almost year round, as will mandevilla vines and Strelitzia Reginae. You'll really enjoy the variety of plants you can grow in San Jose with those mild winters and (relatively) cool summers.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:18PM
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tinan

There is ALWAYS something blooming in California! I have lots of different salvias and lavanders and they bloom pretty much nonstop all year long, with a brief break in January.

Your roses are not done, they will bloom 1-3 more times this year if healthy and established!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 1:01AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Your roses will shut down bloom the first couple of summers after planting. Once really established, they can take the heat and the summer flushes can be nearly as good or as good as the spring one. Autumn often produces the best roses of the year. When they are really established, you'll be picking bouquets well into winter.

It can take some getting used to.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 4:08PM
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calistoga_al

In my garden roses, and rose like peonies, bloom in the spring in this order. First the tree peonies, then the modern repeat blooming roses, next the herbaceous peonies and last the heritage bloom only once roses. Of course many other plants also bloom during this period. Al

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:24AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

It is easy to have a garden in bloom year round here in most of the Bay Area, but the winter frost of a zone 15 will tend to make some of the less hardy subtropicals risky without careful siting or covering them. Some virtually everblooming perennials that will give plenty of color in sun all summer into fall might include Alstroemerias such as aurantiaca, Third Harmonic, or dwarfer Princess Series Alstroemerias. Verbenas such as V. bonariensis or V. rigida polaris will bloom all summer into fall. Calandrinia grandiflora will easily bloom from May into October. Salvias come in so many different sizes and colors, but our native Salvia clevelandii can't be beat for both long season of color and fragrance. Another California native to consider might be either some of the Mimulus or Eriogonum grande rubescens. The Zauschneria is also great for late summer bloom with virtually no irrigation needed. Lobelia mexicana is another perennial that can bloom virtually all year long. For winter bloom, be sure to consider Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', Euphorbia characias, Kniphofia 'Winter Cheer'.

I grow the Tecoma x smithii and love the shrub/small tree for the 10 month long bloom season, but it does need space; the selection T. 'Orange Jubilee' is about half the size. If you love Tecoma smithii's orange color, look for Streptosolen jamesonii, but it is a bit frost tender so plant under an overhang on a south or west facing wall.

I'd also suggest you visit the nurseries with great display gardens such as Rosendales in Watsonville or Annie's Annuals in Richmond. Annie's also hasa great website with lots of pictures and cultivation info. Good luck with transitioning to a 12 months a year gardening climate, the sky is the limit, but you may want to stick with more drought tolerant plants as water is only going to keep getting more expensive and may even be rationed again if this winter's dry patch continues for a few years. There are also quite a few hardier succulents that bloom in summer such as Cotyledon orbiculata longifolia, C. macrantha, the Aloe 'Johnson's Hybrid' which you already discovered. More summer blooming aloes might include A. striatula, reitzii, camperi, africana, etc. Check out the succulent selections at Annie's, Succulent Gardens near Watsonville, and do visit all three of our major local botanic gardens such as UC Santa Cruz, US Berkeley, and SFBG in Golden Gate Park. The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek is an incredible resource for both plants and ideas for a more drought tolerant style garden, and the Tilden Botanic Garden here in Berkeley has a fabulous collection of natives.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 12:36PM
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jjjb(9b; ss18-19)

Pls Help!
Instead of deadheading the spent roses after they peaked last week, my gardener did a full scale winter prune ! Chopped them all off to about couple of feet in height. These are established roses. Will they survive this severe a pruning??

What should I do to ensure they live?
All suggestions welcome. Thnx.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:22PM
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calistoga_al

They will be all right. Just continue taking care as usual. Depending on the summer heat where you are the new growth might suffer some from the heat, but the roses will be fine. Al

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:39PM
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jjjb(9b; ss18-19)

thanx Calistoga. I feel better already. Good to know all is not lost with my roses.Ty. Ty.Ty.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:26AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Pls Help!
Instead of deadheading the spent roses after they peaked last week, my gardener did a full scale winter prune ! Chopped them all off to about couple of feet in height. These are established roses. Will they survive this severe a pruning??

What should I do to ensure they live?
All suggestions welcome. Thnx.

What Al said, also tell your gardener not to do that again.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:04PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

I would add that if the gardener did not know better, this is not someone I would trust in my garden...just sayin'...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:25AM
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kittymoonbeam

Tell him you only want the old flowers cut off, and not to remove any stems. I would just break off the old flowers myself and then he won't be tempted to ruin the plants.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 5:20AM
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jjjb(9b; ss18-19)

Thanx for all your comments. For sure, I will ask the gardener to stay away from the roses here onwards.

This is my first year gardening in SoCal. Assuming the gardener hadn't hacked off the stems, in normal circumstances when would the next flush of new blooms be expected?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 6:15PM
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publickman

We've been trying to get rid of our roses, but instead they keep blooming every month of the year. We took a bunch of them out and give them to friends but left several so that we would not have holes. We have to trim them back for paths and the prevent them from blocking views of plants we like better, and it seems that the more we cut them, the more they bloom. They were already in the yards when we bought the house - the woman who live here before us had them all over, but we wanted a very different kind of landscape. I've kept the last three or four that we have because they are prolific bloomers, but I like more variety.

In the summer, I have many brilliant succulents blooming - Golden Chalice vine will bloom all year with huge beautiful flowers (might not handle frost, however), and bougainvilleas will bloom all year, if they grow in your area, although they (like hybiscus) are more prolific in spring and fall.

Here's a bromeliad from my back yard, mid July 2012:

Lars

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 7:11PM
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publickman

For August, you can look forward to seeing Propeller plants in bloom - one of my favorite succulents.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:02PM
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datura222

Thank-you everyone for all of the great ideas!!

So here's what I will get:

Zauschneria, calindrinia (the flower color perfectly matches the mature bougainvillea I have!!! Thanks Bahia), more Johnsons aloe, more succulents (can never have too many really LOL), I want to get the tecoma smithiii, but cannot find it anywhere, more lantana, and some pineapple sage.
I cannot wait to see if my roses rebloom...but I will be patient :)

I wish I could grow bromeliads here...I wish we didn't have frost in San Jose!!

Jkom51: I cannot believe you made that bouquet in December!! Wow, it is beautiful!
Thanks so very much guys!! I really appreciate all of the input :)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 6:48PM
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