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May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Posted by grant_in_arizona USDA Z9 Scottsdale A (My Page) on
Sat, May 3, 14 at 11:16

Hi everyone,

Thank goodness that week of wind is over. How annoying was that??? I am not a fan, lol.

May is such a great time of year in the Valley, isn't it? Warm, beautiful sunny days and still-pleasant nights. I still haven't turned on the A/C and don't plan on doing it any time soon, since my house cools off so nicely at night, and then stays coolish if I seal it up in the morning.

Anyway, what's looking good or bad in your garden?? For me, it's the winter stuff that's starting to look tired: pansies, nasturtiums, and alyssum that looks great since late October are finally starting to get wilty and yellow. I'm letting most of them set seed now to sprout in autumn. I'll rip them out and replace them after I get back from a work trip to New Orleans next week (first time).

As far as what looks good, there are several things, including this fun Arizona rainbow cactus that I've grown for years making its very first bloom (Echinocereus rigidissimus). The flower is huge, almost the size of my open hand, and it lasts for several days which is nice. I was barely able to see/enjoy it as it only opens in direct sunlight and I had lots of early/late work meetings this week and almost didn't get to enjoy it. :

While easy to grow, so nothing to boast about, the hollyhocks are all in perfect shape right now, and most are blooming. They're surprisingly easy here, even without automatic irrigation, and they self-sow nicely too. Plus our low humidity means no rust or other foliar diseases that plague them in humid climates. Here are some uber-light pink ones smack dab in the middle of my back garden:

Several of my Hoodia gordonii plants are starting to bloom too. They make neat biscuit-sized sattelite-dish-shaped blooms in late spring, and then off and on all summer and autumn. They're pollinated by ants and carrion flies, and yes, they really, really smell vile if you get close, especially on a warm spring day, LOL. I think stinky flowers are darn funny, so I love them. From several feet away you can't really smell them, but from 2 feet or closer they're just evil, hahahah. Love them! I've got lots of seedlings from the neat seed pods they produce too. I grow them outside all year of course, so I make sure to give them absolutely no water from Halloween until early April:

Okay, your turn, what looks, or tastes, good/bad/awful in your garden?? Happy gardening! Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my little garden May 2014


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My lawn ... dethatched, thoroughly watered and turning green.

I have a few sprinklers to replace or repair, but the yard cleanup is mostly done.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My new pots with Pentas on the ends and Verbena in the middle.
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Mandevilla Sun Parasol
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Desert Willow
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Hesperaloe in front of Desert Willow
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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Hi Grant, I love the cactus flower, that is awesome, specially since I have two of them in very small pots...something to look forward to.
I do have a question, I noticed that most people use some kind of rock instead of mulch on the top, doesn't it get hot?


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Grant, these two are for you: (I've switched to Chrome as a browser and can't figure how to post from Shutterfly, so two pics follow)

Will this one pop open one of these days?


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

And - what is THIS going to be????


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My apricots look awesome this year...and so good.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Greetings from New Orleans (here for work, but have someone at home/garden taking care of things, so no Garden Worrying this trip, lol). Great new pics and updates! I'll send a longer note with pics when I'm back in town in a couple of days. Love seeing all the great pics and updates! Great looking flower bud, Mary. It'll definitely pop open, as will those two seed pods (sometimes called seed horns by Stapeliad growers). The seeds have fluffy tufts on them and will blow away in the wind, so if you want to save them you can put netting or a rubber band or string on them. Fun stuff! Happy gardening all!


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Those apricots look very yummy Mike. How do you keep the birds off them?

Thanks for the info Grant. Here's some night-blooming something that was in the garden this morning.....love it!


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Mary, I don't...between the birds and my two dogs I am lucky to taste a few a year.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Great pics everyone! Grant and Mary both have amazing blooming cactus and mine have done nothing so far this year. Here is one blooming cactus in the yard, I'm proud of though, lol


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Bougainvillea and yellow Mexican Bird of Paradise line a walkway.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

What are you putting in place of your petunias and pansies.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

I have tried everything to scare birds away, the only thing that works for us is bird netting..just before the fruit ripens we spend a day getting netting over them all. I have used chimes, mylar strips, shiny everything that I could think of to hang, and the birds still will eat everything not netted..


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Durn birds..........!

She popped open today. Not a very good picture. I need to re-position so more light enters the flower, see what's in there. Maybe tomorrow.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Hesperaloes and desert willow

Also the overall yard, because we had all the trees cleaned of deadwood, cleaned out a lot of dead stuff (last couple of years have been hectic), and in general tidied it up.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Looking good: Echinopsis hybrid

Looking bad: Cascalote tree totally defoliated by psyllids


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Wow. Now THAT is red. Nice shot Jon.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, in its future pot.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

I think this is the Rose Quartz Cactus, still in its nursery pot.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Grant, my Arizona Rainbow opened up all the way today...still waiting to be repotted.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Pretty much everything is already looking bad in my garden, lol
Only italian cypresses are still holding on.
I experimented with english ivy but it is getting burned by the sun. I am still thinking wether i should dig it all out and throw it away or leave as is.
I bought 7 rose bushes and all get moldy (?!) and blacken. I think i will throw them all away as well.
Lemon tree gets more and more yellow. Lime started having curly leaves.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Here is a picture of my Banana Trees. They seem to love this heat.


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May 11th

Wow, what great new updates and pics everyone, thanks for sharing them with us all. I learn, and enjoy, so much each time I log in our site. So fun.

Mary, the stapeliad flower is stunning. Was it stinky?? I hope so (folks who know me here know I love stinkers, lol). Really great!

Mike those apricots look luscious! How did they taste? What variety is it?? So envious! Love your AZ Rainbow cactus bloom--congrats! All of your other cacti and succulents look really nice. Great stuff!

Love the hesperaloe and desert willow, Lazy, great combination!

Your saguaro is amazing, dusti, and the bird of paradise/bougie combo is smashing. Durable, happy-here, and vibrant. Great job with that pairing for sure. I need to copy you once I find room, hah!

Awesome pics and combos too, DLG, nice vibrant combinations. So great. Your plants just look perfect. Love the bananas to, MsWillis. Keep us posted on how they do through the summer. I'm envious whenever I see big happy clumps growing around the valley!

I've finally started ripping out the petunias and pansies. I'm replacing them with my summer usuals: vincas, celosia, and annual verbena. Sometimes I mix in some portulaca too. I often convert some of the winter fluffy things into succulent/cacti pots in summer, and then come autumn when I need a place to plant geraniums everything is occupado, so I have to buy pots, and then repeat the cycle, LOL. No wonder I have so many containers, hah!

Stuff that looks bad (as it should this time of year) in my garden: California and Mexican poppies (brown sticks), Shirley poppies (brown bristly sticks), desert bluebells (brown prickly mini bushes), blue gilia (brown sticks) and lupines (brown sticks). Get the idea? LOL. Today and in upcoming days, I pull them out (the price for the beautiful winter/spring blooms) and shake them around the garden, spreading their seeds all over to sprout in autumn and bloom in winter/spring. But areas that were seas of color in winter and spring are haystacks now, LOL. I'm slowly yanking, shaking and composting, but it takes several days and I want to make sure every single plant ripens seed, hah!

Things that look good....

This really nice pink Trichocereus (not Echinopsis) which has been making a flower a day for several days now. I love Echinopsis more than Trichocereus BUT tricho's can tolerate more full sun, so I do grow several in blast furnace locations (most of my echinopsis are in partial shade).

This huuuuuuuuge, no-ID aloe that I've spread all over my garden. It's one of the last to flower in the looooong aloe season (October to almost June) in my little garden:

And maybe this random corner of the garden by one of the three concrete birdbaths. That's a hanging basket of trailing vincas at the left along with a young tangerine (making its first fruit since I planted it as a 2 footer), a spineless prickly pear (Opuntia cacanapa 'Ellisiana' ), and 'Boyce Thompson' butterfly bush (Buddleia).

The weather has just been amazing, hasn't it? We'll see how long it holds up. I still haven't used the air conditioner. YET, LOL. Happy gardening all!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden May 2014


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Vitex tree is at its glorious best at the moment. Looks better 'in person'.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

You guys have great looking gardens! I'm going on my 3rd year of gardening here so I'm still learning a lot.

Here are some interesting hollyhock blooms I had this year.

This post was edited by iAndy on Tue, May 13, 14 at 18:23


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

I'm not sure how you put more than 1 picture per post, but here's one my 14 pumpkins that are changing color today.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

This is my first successful night blooming jasmine from seed. I think I've found they need full shade around this time of the year.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

And for something that looks bad, this is my Michelia Alba that I had out in the sun for a little too long (I'm keeping it in full shade now to be safe).


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Awesome gardens all, and Grant, you show us what perfection should look like, lol! Still no luck from either my Trichocereus or Echinopsis, and they have bloomed in past years. I repotted them a couple of weeks ago, would that have done it? May move my large Trichocereus(Flying Saucer) to full sun, it's in partial shade now. Anyway, here is an Aporphyllum, Edna Bellamy, which is blooming. I'm waiting on bloom from one of my epis, too. At least some cactus are blooming. Mary, I love that beautiful purple tree!


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Have been getting 3-4 of these giant ss100 tomatoes per day from one plant. Tomato plant is 4 feet tall.

Bad I lost all other ss100 tomatoes from the puppies.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My daughter loving her sunflower she planted.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Rest of the good:
Strawberries are growing great in pots.
Pumpkins are taking off.
Armenian cukes are starting to take off
Bush green beans are giving a handful of green beans every couple days.
Lemon seedling taking off in larger pot now.
Just got a Thompson seedless at Wm and its in a pot and starting to take off.
Got an agave pup from grandparents agave and its potted up setting roots well.
Wheat harvested and have a gallon bag full of seed heads and tons of straw.
Jalepeno is starting to produce.

The bad:
Yellow squash got demolished by stink bugs.
Birds ate approximately 60-75% of wheat seeds that the wheat produced.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My ruellia looks horrible! It is very scraggly with some brown leaves. Since it is right in front of my house, I am thinking of digging it up. It's about 2-3 feet tall, full shade in the winter, full sun in the summer.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Zucchini harvested from garden I helped build for my grandparents.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

The plant it came off of. Soda can for size reference.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Easy pick gold zucchini


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Harvested some chokes today, grape vines looking rough with wind and sphinx moth caterpillars eating away at them.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Wow everyone, NICE plants and great photos of them!!!!

Little girl with the sunflower: so cute!! Both of them ;-)

Thanks for the inspiration....


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iAndy/RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

iAndy, those hollyhock blossoms are beautiful.

A friend of mine out east plants dwarf hollyhocks and I was wondering if you might have had any experience with those? (Alcea rosea.)

I bought her some seeds recently for a B'day gift. Ordered from a specialty seed company in CA. When I saw the photo of your hollyhocks, just started wondering if the dwarf variety also could be grown here...

Not to put you on the spot of course!! Just thought you might happen to be familiar with the dwarf ones and how suitable they might be for our climate...

Best wishes,
Kimmey


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Oh, you all are such instigators! I'm already running out of room (at least the parts of the yard with filtered shade), and now I want to buy more plants!

One of the reasons I'm running out of room is due to my plumeria addiction. Cozumel Yellow:


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Monterrey:


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Dwarf Singapore Pink


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Hi Kimmey, I've never tried the dwarf variety but I'd be interested in trying them. I probably won't grow the type I grew this year again because they just got much bigger than I thought they would. The largest plant was around 10' diameter, and I put in in a spot that I had planned on having a 3-4' plant.


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May 18, 2014

Wow, such great amazing updates and pics, so fun! You all are such great gardeners. I'm green with envy (hah) over so many of your plants! Great stuff and all of the fruits and veggies are making me hungry, LOL. Great sunflower, kids,and squash, timber, so fun to see!

Love the artichokes, captain, what sort of irrigation do yours get? Definitely one of my favorite edibles.

I bet the repotting is making the Echinopsis skip blooming, dusti, so maybe next year? Are you sure they're getting enough (but not too much, LOL) sun? LOVE that Aporocactus! Those I kill really quickly for some reason. What conditions do you give yours?

Awesome plumies, Lynne, especially the dwarf one underplanted with hot colored vincas. The whole combination says tropics to me. I love it. Your plumies are waaaaay ahead of mine. Mine all have leafed out and several have nice flower buds emerging, but all are weeks away from opening. Love yours!

Here's a few things looking pretty good right now, an Aloe rudikope, variety 'Little Gem' making a fun off season flower stalk (it usually blooms in autumn and winter):



A nice pink flowered hollyhock that popped up in full hot sun in a not-great location design wise, but one that I've let do its thing:



A fun huernia plant with several flowers open. It's a mutt (er, "hybrid", hah) and I just planted seed from it so I'm curious to see what kinds of flowers the offspring produce:



And finally, one of the few pots of leafy/fluffy stuff I'll do for summer (I do a TON autumn through winter but cut back a bit during Blast Furnace season), a simple hen shaped talavera pot filled with celosia ("cockscomb") and red hybrid verbena. Easy, durable heat lovers for sure.

Happy gardening, keep the updates coming whether you've got pics or not.

Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, May 2014


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Very nice plumeria, PhxLynn! I have a couple of them, they are in the same pot, with a piece of plastic down the middle to keep the roots separate. The one on the left I've had for a couple of years, the one on the right is a new rooted cutting. I've read that coconut peat is good for them, plan to buy some, My addiction is Epiphyllum's, but they hang, so space isn't a problem, lol. I really love seeing all the beautiful plumeria on this site though. Guess we've all been to Hawaii. :)


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Grant, those picts are amazing, just planted some celosia a couple of weeks ago and I love that combination! I give the rattail hybrid some sun at the edge of the patio, it's hanging with the epis and enjoys fish fertilizer and water when it looks thirsty. I always go with the 'less is more' idea, when feeding and watering, easier to do more later than undo, my poor plumeria on the left of the picture would agree..for some reason it's easy to overwater them. I added pearlite and cactus mix to the potting soil, hope that helps.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Thanks Grant and 1212dusty. Although WHY did dusty have to mention Epiphyllums? Someone I recently bought plumeria from also collects epis and I've been scrolling through her pictures with envy...as I contemplate buying some cuttings. Troublemaker. ;) Would love to see pics!


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

have you guys gotten your epiphyllums to bloom?

I had one a few years ago and had it for a couple of years but never bloomed.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by MikeO55 9 - San Tan Valley (My Page) on
    Mon, May 19, 14 at 20:00

PhxLynne,
Love your plumerias, jealous.

Look what I found at Lowe's...looks good. :-)


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Nice! - Lowe's, huh? Going to have to check them out. Do not water at all in winter. Moderate water in summer. Death by water is its usual reason for demise. Ask me how I know!!


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by MikeO55 9 - San Tan Valley (My Page) on
    Tue, May 20, 14 at 13:56

Thanks mary, just got lucky as they just got them in when I was there.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Raimeiken and PhxLynne, glad there are epi lovers here. Only one of mine has buds, and if the heat climbs will probably fall off. After work, I go out on the patio and mist them, to keep them cool, but they will spend July-Sept inside. They are all putting out new growth, even some cuttings I started this spring. I feed them a couple of different blooming foods, and alternate with fish fertilizer, but don't push them for blooms when it gets hot. Good thing I don't live in Florida, you wouldn't see my house for all the exotic tropicals, lol.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My Cara Cara Orange tree is absolutely full of golf ball - sized fruit. It's by far & away the most fruit that held on + the fruit is growing at an unbelievable rate. I've been using lots of coffee grounds & composted manure this year.
I wish I had a pic that would make all the oranges stand out.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

My gardenia is blooming today. Not very much, but it's only a little more than a year old now.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Fri, May 23, 14 at 0:38

Hello! I hope you guys have been well. Most of my plants are looking beautiful with new blooms and growth. I can't post pictures thought because my patio is a mess! We had a First Communion party a week ago and we still haven't organized tables and chairs! We're terrible people...
Well here's my birds nest fern. I don't know why but I love this plant. It's so dramtic and it has a nice color.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Fri, May 23, 14 at 0:40

Here is my Costus barbatus. It's a very exotic plant that requires little care and full shade.


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May 25, 2014

Lots of great new updates and pics, everyone, keep them coming. Love all of your tropicals, cast, plus the adeniums, plumerias, and blood orange pics too. Keep them coming.

I love Epiphyllums too, although the only one I've had long term success with (ten years now) is Epiphyllum 'Curly', a contorted form of E. guatemalense. I bought it as a small cutting and it's become a very large plant the flowers regularly all spring and summer. Unfortunately the flowers are small, sort of a dingy off white, and disorganized, LOL, and they only open for a very few short hours well after midnight. Neat, curly leaves though, and pretty pink fruit. Here's a pic of mine from a week or so ago. Definitely grow it for the foliage, hah!

I posted this on a separate thread too, but here's a quick pic of my Bauhinia galpinii blooming away.

Finally, seedling #9 from my hand-pollination of stapelias (an annoyingly complex hidden lock-and-key mechanism, no dust-some-yellow-pollen-onto-a-stigma kind of thing) opened its first bloom this weekend. You can see traits of each parent: the size and stripes of Stapelia gigantea and the brick red color and some extra fur from S. hirsuta. Nothing fancy, but fun and easy, so why not share it, right?

Happy gardening all!
Grant


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Love that Costus barbatus, and it's on my google list for sure! Grant, your long term lack of success with epis is troubling..you have an amazing knack with plants! That Bauhinia galpinii is another must google! Curly has showed up in a lot of your pictures, glad he's doing well. I do read up on epi care, and Matt's landscape is a great source of info, plus a move out of state may be down the road, so it's not time to worry..yet.

My epi collection has grown, so I'm rearranging plants, and adding some new stands, will post the results next month.

Happy Memorial and Gardening Day everyone!


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

That Costus barbatus looks pretty neat. I had to google it.

Do you have it planted in ground or pot? and how does it handle the summer heat? All this time I thought gingers don't do well here because of the lack of humidity. Now I'd like to try this plant out :)


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

I posted my Banana Plants back on May 9th. Here they are today. I have been taking a weekly picture of them so hopefully I can do a timelapse on them when they Flower and Fruit. If I had a tennis ball I would put it in the base as these are really starting to get tall. They are about 3 1/2 feet tall and were only 3 inches tall when I started in January. The newest leaf has a width of my elbow to my fingers.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by MikeO55 9 - San Tan Valley (My Page) on
    Tue, May 27, 14 at 19:43

Wow, everyone has great plants and they look good.

Grant, love that stapelia, so awesome.

My white Adenium did not stop blooming since I got it from Lowe's.

Some of the Jungle Jack Plumerias started blooming.
Xanadu

Lemon Ice

Diva

This is an Adenium I got of ebay, did not know what is going to look like. It is called White Kiss.

One week left this month, summer heat is here a bit too early I think. Hope everyone stays cool.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by MikeO55 9 - San Tan Valley (My Page) on
    Tue, May 27, 14 at 23:24

The last picture is the Adenium White Kiss, the one before is just a pink one.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Jujubes coming out of dormancy in S.E. AZ. These trees get very little attention since they are part of my Permaculture project. They must be the toughest trees on earth.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Wed, May 28, 14 at 0:09

The costus is in a container in full shade. I got it in Febuary so I don't know how it will do in the summer but a friend who collects tropical plants told me that as long as it's well watered it should do okay. It can't handle our sun and even in March it would become wilted in part sun. It's a cool plant with velvety leaves and interesting flowers.


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Spider plants are growing, flowering, and setting seed like crazy:


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RE: May 2014 what looks good/bad in YOUR garden?

Wow, those Adenium and Plumeria are amazing Mike! I'm so jealous of those beautiful Plumeria blooms! I bought Divine from Lowe's, no blooms yet. Some of my Adeniums are blooming, will post soon.

Let us know how your costus handles the summer, Cast1. I googled your plant, and it's pretty easy to find one.


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