What Died In The Heat?

 What died in the heat?  
Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman', for one:
Not as many plants as I expected, but plants I didn't expect.  Arctostaphylos pungens
One of the Cordyline 'Festival Grass'
Terminal also is Teucrium 'Summer Sunshine', which going to be returned because it looked iffy when I bought it.  Teucrium has been such a tough plant I thought it okay to buy in a less than perfect state.  But it wasn't.  It had a one year guarantee, so back it goes.  I've returned very few plants--two, maybe.  One I remember was a Leucadendron 'Ebony' two or three years ago.  I've grown many, many iffy plants successfully.

Just not Teucrium 'Summer Sunshine'
The recently planted Felicia was terminal also.  Still green, but I've killed enough of these to know when it gets that bleached out green color the end is near.  Sigh. 
Many plants had a little or a lot of scorched foliage, but the plant will recover.
 Another Cordyline 'Festival Grass' that did not get any water.  The base of the plant looks fine.
 Aeonium 'Zwartzkop'  will grow out of this in October.
 One of the remaining Coprosmas was badly scorched;  the other was untouched. 
 Just a touch of scorch on the Leucospermum seedling:
 Some of the Dahlias look bad while others are fine.
  Another rose that was particularly damaged.  It's been well established for a decade.  Perhaps the area is too dry.
This is all the damage on Protea 'Sylvia':  two leaf tips.
 Hippeastrums not happy

 Quite a lot of damage on the Syzygium australe hedge.  It has recovered somewhat since we paid to have the back neighbor's palm trees removed, but the lack of winter rain weakened it.  

Update 7/23/2018  I'm seeing the same damage on a lot of Syzygiums in the neighborhood. 

 This Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' is in too much sun.  On the other side of the wall is a Lagerstroemia that will eventually be tall enough to keep the Hydrangea better shaded, but it will take some growth before that happens. 
In the meantime, toast:

Some plants expected to die look fine and dandy, even downright smug. 

Senecio 'Angel Wings', quit calling that Cordyline a wimp!
 A 4" Cuphea 'Vermillions' planted just a day or two before the heat arrived, responded to the heat by doubling  in size. 
 Grevillea 'Superb' put on 2' of fresh new growth and dozens of new flower buds. 
Show off!
 Unexpected was the strength and beauty of Eriogonum fasiculatum var foliolosum, purchased as a 4" Annies Annuals pot just about one year ago.
June 2017: it's under that little scrap of shade cloth on the right:
 It looks as though someone flung a big bucket of popcorn into the air.
 I bought this mainly as a benefit for native bees, butterflies, birds, and honeybees.  The beauty of it was a surprise.  The flowers will age to pink, then in the autumn dry to brown. 
Huh.  How 'bout that? 
 The heat was not a problem for a recently moved Salvia 'Amistad' and a new-this-spring Lantana, 'Cosmic Firestorm'.
 Behind the Salvia, Pittosporum 'Marjorie Channon' made a dramatic, unexpected comeback from the years-long assault of a neighbor's Eucalyptus globulus (now gone), plus the years-long drought.  A chop back and supplemental irrigation worked a miracle.  The other 'Marjorie's don't get as much water and they don't look quite as good.  I have been splashing a little extra water on those in hopes their recovery may advance.
Update 7/23/2018:  Pittosporums drop leaves in sustained hot weather;  probably why they are not recommended for inland Southern California.
 Having read that Callistemon viminalis in habitat receives seasonal flooding,  I do not hesitate to soak 'Little John' and 'Slim' periodically and let them dry out in between soaks.  Both respond to a soak with a burst of fresh new growth. 
110F wasn't an issue:  'Little John' got bigger.
 'Slim' is fattening up:
 Eremophila 'Mingegew Gold' which was until a few months ago dying up on the same slope as the dead 'Festival Grass', is completely recovered and blooming, blooming, blooming in a flat spot, getting the occasional splash of water.  That slope where it was, heat or not, is just too dry.  I need to rethink either the plants or the irrigation. 
The garden suffered, but the grumpiness of the gardener was much worse.  As the heat slowly recedes,  the garden, and the gardener's cheer, will hopefully spring back. 


  1. I'm glad it was not as bad as you feared. Your heat damage looks a lot like the summer drought damage that I see in my own garden at the end of summer when I realize some area of the garden hasn't been getting water when I thought it was. There's always something that I overlook.

    1. I learned not to go out there at peak heat--the plants are at their worst then. It did no good and made the gardener very upset.

      Many plants that looked horrific have recovered completely.

  2. Lady, you said it, grumpiness of the gardener, that is the worst effect of this heat. Can't sleep, too hot, when it's cool enough to sleep I should be out in the garden. I have chosen sleep.

    Most all potted things including sunburned ugly-looking succulents got tossed out this morning. Cut back wilted plants like coneflower. I was finally able to face the devastation. (I had been hiding in the house.) Brown and wilted plants are gone. Some surprises: seedlings just sprouted are in good shape, old time trees and shrubs (camellias, euphorbias) hit badly losing leaves, dropping fruit.

    Think I'll get some of that buckwheat. It looks great. Butterflies, too. Yum-yum.

    1. Sounds like your damage was worse than here. Sorry to hear that. Growing anything in a pot in summer is difficult in a hot climate (for me it is, anyway).

      We got a ceiling fan for our room late last summer, and oh what a dramatic wonderful difference it has made in being able to sleep at night in summer. Worth every cent. Highly recommended! The two things that really made a difference in summer comfort have been exterior solar shades (drops the indoor temps by 10 degrees) and a ceiling fan.

      That buckwheat, wow! I had no idea it would be so pretty. I wonder how it will look this coming winter--if I should shear it or what. Goes back to that "learning a plant" thing.

  3. I feel for your losses. While our heat hasn’t been as intense it has been unusual, as has the month without rain. It breaks my heart to see plants suffering so much, yours and mine.

    1. We're down to around 90F/32C and it was a surprise to see most plants are looking happy again. Bleached out flower and foliage color, but no drooping or further damage. We're more used to heat spells here, just as you are more used to rain.

      I hope you get a cool down and as much rain as your plants need.

  4. I am happy to see that some plants not only survived the inferno but thrived. I can imagine how disheartening it is to have such a heat spell. I hope that is the last of it for this summer.

    1. We're looking at a long stretch of 90F ahead, but the garden seems to be handling it okay with adequate water. Water bill will be dismaying, but at least no hard-line water restrictions this year for the plants. I hope your summer is a good one.

  5. Callistemon 'Slim' is most attractive. Keep gazing at it when other things distress...

    1. It's been such a star performer I'm tempted to plant 'Slim' everywhere, but that's not right either--we plant nuts love variety and experimenting!

  6. Wow, I need to get myself some Eriogonum! The difference between how Salvia 'Amistad' performs in your garden and mine continues to puzzle me. I'm guessing it just doesn't like my soil.

    I'm glad your garden came through the nuclear heatwave reasonably well. I'm still trying to focus on the positives and close my eyes to the ugliness of the negatives. Meanwhile, my lemon tree is behaving like it did following the 2016 heatwave - it's dropping every piece of fruit despite receiving more water than it did 2 years ago.

    1. Baffled about your 'Amistad' experience--it is almost a weed here.

      It was a brutal heat wave! Yes I would try that Eriogonum! Easy, pretty, low water, loves heat, feeds native bees and butterflies...

      Sorry to hear about your lemon tree! Mine has been struggling for years. :(

  7. I'm going to admit, I killed a Ray Hartman last year too and not even in a heat wave, lol. I lost some corn stalks and definitely scorched a LOT of the garden. Stuff I've never seen brown since we moved in 4 years ago. A lot of stress-deciduous action (plumerias, guava, palo verde.) It's been a rough couple of weeks. I'm taking notes on what worked for you, that grevillea is beautiful!

    1. I may try again with 'Ray'. Those blue flowers...sigh. And more heat ahead, hopefully not so extreme. Stay cool in this heat and garden on!

  8. Ouch, but I'm glad to see some of your plants made it through with flying colors. That's the whole point of experimenting, right? I probably need to push the envelope a bit more for heat resistance... Playing it safe is no good either! Best of luck with the rest of summer...

    1. Very good point: playing it too safe is not educational. It's always a learning thing, gardening.

  9. I couldn't believe the intensity of heat in the LA basin and parts of San Diego...yikes, those are Phoenix temperatures, day and night. Except I saw lows of 90-94 in hotter areas, and Phoenix rarely sees that. The plants you documented from dead to fried to happy are really a good lesson. Artcostaphylos pungens not taking the heat is a surprise to me, but then again, where it grows in my region it doesn't ever hit 110-118F.

    1. It was record setting heat, in some places breaking the old record by 10-12 degrees. That is a lot.

      I was very surprised about A. pungens, yes. 'Howard McMinn' at the same size hasn't shown any damage whatsoever. 'Austin Griffiths', though larger, is also undamaged.

    2. TEN degrees more is alarming. Must wreak havoc with wildflowers and wildlife.

    3. I made sure the urn fountain was very full of water for the birds. Ten degrees of record break is indeed very alarming and the previous record was last year.

    4. I love seeing what does well for others in the heart and what doesnt.

      Like you, I planted a new cuphea recently and expected it to die when the heart arrived. It thrived.

      My 'Angel Wings' senecio isn't as nice as yours but it's chugging along.

      I've noticed the most growth in my new abutilons. And the mangaves


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