BEAT THE HEAT
Southern California is experiencing record heat, with local temperatures coming near to desert temperatures in our latest heat wave. This has had some severe effects on some of our beloved plants and is going to necessitate choosing different plants for our gardens in light of this new normal. Here are my thoughts after surveying plant material in the San Gabriel Basin:
Things to seriously consider not using anymore:
Calocedrus decurrens Incense Cedar
Leptopsermum species New Zealand Tea Tree
Liquidambar Sweet Gum
Magnolia grandiflora Southern Magnolia
Magnolia soulangeana Tulip Magnolia
Sequoiah species Redwoods
Rhododendron species Azaleas & Rhodendron
Tree ferns Australian, New Zealand, Tasmanian, etc.
In general, plants from cool maritime and montane climates, including New Zealand plants.
Things to use more carefully:
All shade plants, ferns , etc.
Things that did really well:
Desert Trees and Plants
In general, trees and plants native to our Southern Californian foothills and deserts and trees and plants from Africa, Australia, the Subtropics and the Tropics
What to do to protect existing plants from the heat, given we are in a drought.
- Before any severe heat wave, soak susceptible plants well. Then they can sweat (transpire) & cool off & keep from being desiccated.
- Cover sun tender plants such as ferns, camellias, etc. with shade cloth
- Don’t trim off browned out branches as they give some protection to lower foilage AND the branches may come back as it cools.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch!