Return to the Perennials Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Ongoing extreme drought plans Re: Perennials

Posted by bettycbowen 7 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 4, 11 at 22:28

Hello, I'm usually on the Oklahoma Gardening side.

I just looked at the drought forecast up to October, and it looks pretty bad for us here, so I'm making some decisions - which plants to keep, which to compost, what to try to bring indoors, etc.

As for my perennial bed: As I was pinching back the Laura Bush petunias today, I wondered if it would aid survival if I cut anything else back. Not everything of course, not roses or baptistes, etc. But tall Phlox? hydrangeas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ongoing extreme drought plans Re: Perennials

Typically, cutting back a plant perennial plant at this time of year will trigger a strong growth response. More top growth would mean a greater water requirement.

Incidentally, a big increase in top growth also reduces your plant's ability to store essential energy (carbon) reserves in the root system as well as drastically stealing the energy your plants need to maintain a strong root system in a very difficult time.

I'm so sorry for the drought conditions. I know first hand how difficult going though such times are.

RE: Ongoing extreme drought plans Re: Perennials

as to which to compost .. well ... the ones that die ... i dont understand why you would kill something that is still alive ... to save it from drought....


RE: Ongoing extreme drought plans Re: Perennials

Mulching with non-decomposing organic matter seems better than pruning to me, at least that's how SoCal often handles our 6-7 months with no rain. You don't want a flush of nitrogen to stimulate new growth during a drought, as Rhizo noted above. So this is one of the rare situations where a few inches of bark or pine needles or clean straw mulch would be better than great, N-rich compost or soils.

When our drought-resistant natives have finished blooming in summer, many of us in SoCal prune some then, but not more than 25-35% or so. Sorry, I don't know your conditions & plants well enough to be of much help

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Perennials Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here