Friday, January 11, 2013

Sustainable Plants For 2013

It was a summer to remember that summer of 2012, fried leaves, wilting flowers and the actual disappearance of foliage above ground level.

Astilbe along north side fried even with sufficient water.

How soon we forget and become so excited about all of the new plant introductions for the coming season.

I am trying to keep my focus on the plants that did well despite the intense heat and lack of rain.  Water is not always the answer in high temperatures, no matter how much water I gave my astilbies on the north side they could not take the heat.

One of the best Heucheras in the heat was Peach Flambe.
Heucherellas actually do even better in the heat - Sweet Tea.
Heucherella Stoplight

Hydrangeas are also not heat resistant, except for Limelight, and maybe some others, that suffered neither leaf or flower damage.  I guess I could include Hydrangea Unique in this category also, both large hydrangeas.  The smaller newer varieties suffered, i.e., Endless Summer, Starlight.

Hydrangea Little Lime
Hydrangea Let's Dance Starlight
Flowers wilted and leaves browned during the heat.
Hydrangea Limelight
Hydrangea Unique
 If you are willing to water there are many plants that will reward you with wonderful blooms even in 100 degree temperatures.
Clematis Hagley Hybrid
All of the clematis did well with sufficient water.
Orienpet Lavon Lilies
Lilies do not shy away from the heat and so easy to grow!
Phlox Bubblegum
Phlox will reward you all summer if you deadhead.
Daylily Mary Todd
Daylily Arnie's Choice
There are many other choices of heat resistant perennials but these are just some of the plants that worked for me. 
Grasses are great in the heat but if not watered will flop.  My Panicum Northwind in the alley garden began to bend over last summer from drought not heat.  It is among many drought resistant plants like sedums, nepeta, agastache and centranthus, so I put a drip system back there mainly for the grasses.
Alley Garden
Some extra pruning this spring will keep the growth more compact.
Coleus Redhead, Dichondra Silver Falls and Cordyline
Annuals that will take the heat
Agave, Purslane and Croton
Supertunia Bubblegum
One of the annuals of the year
I am not looking forward to a summer like last year, but based on this winter I'm ready if it comes!