Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Gardening
Last month I wrote about perennials that would be good for those hot, dry locations. This month I will touch on a few woody plants that can exist comfortably in those same conditions.
Read Part 1
Many woody plants once well established can handle short periods of drier weather and extreme heat, however they may show signs of stress like wilted or scorched foliage and in extreme cases small portions of the plant may die back.
Keep in mind that during periods of drought or longer than normal periods without rain, your plants must be given supplemental water to keep them healthy and in some cases alive. This summer is a prime example of an extended dry period. Are these unusual weather conditions perhaps a glimpse of future weather patterns?
Who knows BC may look like this in 20 years...
As you read about the plants mentioned please take note as to where they are native to, this gives you an indication as to what conditions they are normally subject to and what they will tolerate.
A group of evergreen shrubs native to southern North America (Arizona, Texas, Mexico), grown primarily for their abundant and fragrant flowers which resemble orange blossoms. Their glossy leaves makes them attractive shrubs in their own right with some forms having finger-like (C. x 'Aztec Pearl') or golden foliage (C. ternata 'Sundance'). Plant in very well-drained sites in full sun to light shade. Being broad-leaf evergreens they will benefit by being planted in a sheltered location which will protect them from winter winds.
Height: 1-3m Spread: 1-3m Zone: 7
ROSE OF SHARON
Native to much of Asia and often planted in areas where the summers are hot, they have become a staple in many gardens around the world. Plants grow in an upright vase-shape and have dark green foliage, flowering lasts from mid-summer through early fall. Flowers are single or double and can be solid or a combination of white, red, pink, purple or lavender. Hibiscus do best in full sun and will tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as they have good drainage.
Height: 2-3m Spread: 2m Zone: 5
Native to Asia, Europe and north Africa this group of shrubs contains both deciduous and evergreen forms. Mainly grown for their scented flowers some cultivars like Daphne odora 'Rebecca' (what a great name!!!) have very attractive foliage as well. Many of the smaller forms like D. x m. 'Lawrence Crocker' make excellent rock garden specimens and Daphne tangutica has beautiful orange-red berries from summer into fall. All Daphne must have excellent drainage and prefer full sun to light shade. In general the larger the leaf the more shade tolerant the plant (but the least tolerant of drought).
Evergreen shrubs native to dry, rocky soils of the Mediterranean with attractive single flowers in white, purple and pink. We are lucky that our BC climate is mild enough to grow these wonderful plants but to thrive they must have sharply drained, rocky soil (hence the common name) in a sunny location that offers some shelter or winter protection. A recent introduction C. x hybridus 'Mickie' gives that added feature of very attractive dark green leaves heavily edged in bright gold; 'Mickie' has single white flowers. Zone: 7
Here are a few more heat lovers:
- Albizia julibrissin (tender)
- Carpenteria californica
- Corokia (tender)
- Crinodendron (tender)
- Eucalyptus (tender)
- Grevillea (tender)
- Hebe (tender)
- Nandina d. 'Filamentosa'
- Phormium (tender)
- Prunus lusitanica
- Rhus typhina
- Sophora prostrata
If you want more information or are interested in adding some of these heat-loving plants to your garden give us a call at 604.882.1201 or visit Art's Nursery in person. We're open year round and carry a great selection of plants. Please call ahead to confirm availability if you are looking for specific varieties.