Lavender and Mexican firebush issues
Hi! I'm new to the forum. I have recently begun xeriscape gardening pretty heavily on my own for relaxation. I love it! I'm a stay at home mom of two small children and gardening has really helped me stay centered.
I have been successful with most native and adapted drought tolerant plants until I get to my front yard. First off, I had a lavender plant that was potted in a restaurant size vegetable steamer with many small holes. It was doing fine in there for a long time and then started to look bad so I transplanted it to my front yard on a rocky slope where my rosemary bush was thriving and I think its too late to save it. I stil can't tell if it was bad soil, bad soul drainage ( too much water) or not enough water. Any ideas?
Strangely I had a potted lavender that was thriving in the back yard and I moved to the front yard, not changing its pot or soil and it looks little less happy. Some of the older growth of bigger leaves are a little yellow in hue. The pot it is in has a really tiny hole for drainage. Too much water?
My lavender plants in recycled car tire rubber pots are thriving!
What's worrying me most right now is my newly planted Mexican firebush. I have a rather large potted one that is thriving that I have been using for comparison. The newly planted ones bark halfway down the plant and towards the root is turning a super light, almost white brown. The potted plant's bark looks like the newly planted ones top half, a darker brown. So once again I am thinking is it bad soil? I haven't grown many plants in this spot due to a bad gutter system in the past and sitting water but there hasn't been any rain and I added top soil so the yard would angle down from the foundation for good soil drainage.
I'm starting to worry about everything I have put in the ground in the front yard. It's xeriscape basically so I know the decomposed granite can really heat things up. My skullcap insnt looking too hot either. It's planted on a slope. I thought that they did well on hills.
Sorry to be so long winded! Any advice!? I don't want to lose my Mexican firebush, bottlebrush or my flame acanthus which I thought was different than a Mexican firebush but it is actually the same plant? This plant looks a little different and looks a little unhealthy as well. Please help! Educate me!
Also, one last question. A fly by night landscaper started a job he never finished with these fairly cheap baseball size rocks which look okay I guess. I went to custom rock today and bought a lot more granite and it's larger in size to cover everything. I also bought some limestone boulders to put on the hill to help with erosion. I also bought some Mexican beach pebbles on clearance. Love this rock! Ideas on how to use it? Will all this work to combat erosion help the quality of my soil? Any ideas on how to get rid of all the ants?