The rule of thumb is ‘Water during growing season.’ Plants grow in spring and summer as temperatures heat up, and any supplemental water occurs then, right? It is not that simple for dry-climate plants. Some are warm-season growers that push out new growth in spring through fall and go dormant in winter. Others are cool-season… Read More Water when?
Not all low-water plants are created equal. Some are low water, some are very low, and some are almost none. While many grasses, groundcovers, shrubs, and trees are classified as low, succulents are in the sweet spot of very low to almost none. A striking case study is revealed in the 3 stages of our… Read More Get hooked on succulents
Aloes and agaves are admittedly awesome. So are the more unsung heroes of the water wise world such as aeoniums, echeverias, euphorbias, senecio, and graptopetulums. Not to mention graptoverias, crassulas, kalanchoes, and cotyledon. Often pigeonholed for containers, these 10 genera belong on the list of superb garden choices. The past year I planted 40 varieties… Read More Go beyond aloes and agaves
Like most gardeners, “live and let live” was my mantra. Scarce water has mutated that to “live and let die so others can live.” Plants must pass my litmus tests of 1) Does this give sufficient value in return for water used? and 2) Would I buy that for there again? If not, I murmur… Read More Live and let die
All those amazing agave and aloe pups! And the miraculous senecio, echeveria or graptopetalum cuttings! They are so tempting to propagate to extend a bed or add interest elsewhere. After all, they’re offspring of plants you love in your garden. And they’re free! Not so fast. They take water. And space. Space in a new… Read More Fight the ‘freebies’ urge
With a heavy heart, I have come to the conclusion that sedum is not suited for waterwise gardens. Those in my prior gardens, such as Autumn Joy in Vermont, flourished, but ones I planted in Southern California’s dry climate wasted money, water, and time. I failed miserably with 4 varieties – Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, lineare… Read More Now you sedum, now you don’t
Normally needing little if any irrigation, trees are easy to overlook as gardeners adapt to lack of water. Yet trees are inarguably gardens’ most important living elements, and a drought imperils their very existence. Job #1 should be to save trees, not water. Consider trees’ riches. Beyond their natural beauty, they reduce energy use by… Read More Remember the trees