Give Your Potted Flowers a Fighting Chance in your Desert Landscape

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Marylee, The Potted Desert
  • Marylee, The Potted Desert

How many times do we say or hear, “But, it’s a dry heat?” Now that we are in the ‘hot spell’ of the desert valley, albeit for the next four months, we still want our landscape pots filled with flowers and color. I know I do!! This month I will provide you with some tips on how to keep your pots going so that you can enjoy them when you are in town.

This week — make sure your pots are being adequately watered. Depending on when you planted your summer flowers, your roots will be in the top 4”- 6” of soil. So you must be sure when you water, that water is going deep enough.

Shade pots need water every other day or more. Sun pots need water daily. This assumes that you have used large pots (20” or greater) and that you planted summer flowers. These tips do not refer to cactus in pots.

1. Water all pots in the early morning. Spend the coolest part of the day with your pots and your favorite morning beverage.

2. Be sure to let the hot water run from your hose before using it on your plants.

3. Water each pot thoroughly but only if the top two inches of soil is dry. (Go ahead — stick your finger in the dirt.)

4. Use the shower setting on your hose nozzle or a watering can with a shower nozzle.

5. Water the entire area of the soil. It is fine to get the leaves and flowers wet.

6. An average of 30 seconds of the shower setting is usually enough water for a 20”-24” pot. Larger pots need a proportionate increase amount of time.

7. Water should drain out from the bottom drainage holes.

8. If your plants wilt in the late afternoon, check to see that the soil is still moist. If it is, the wilt is heat wilt and not water wilt. They should recover by the next morning. If you would like to give them a misting in the afternoon, they will appreciate it but be sure the water coming out of the hose is cool.

Be mindful of the moisture in the pot throughout the summer as the heat escalates. If your pots are drying out during the day, they may need additional water in the afternoon.

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Marylee is the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Email her with comments and questions at potteddesert@gmail.com.

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