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Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

Posted by Roe12 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 19:37

Hi all,

I'm in major need of help with my garden. I've read tons of articles, watched youtube videos, etc. but all the advice from "experts" seems to differ, so I want to ask you because I'm hoping to save my garden!

My details:
-Southern California
-Clay soil
-North facing garden (sunny 8+ hours/day)
-Magnolia tree canopy provides a small amount shade, however, so some plants underneath don't grow as quickly


Iceberg Roses -
1. I have 10 iceberg rose many times per week do I water them, and how long? I had been doing every other night, but I think it's too much. They're on a drip...should it be 3x/week while it's 80 degrees, 5x/week while it's 90, and every day if it's above 100?
2. How much water per iceberg rose bush, per time? 1 gallon?

Lavender -
1. I have lavender bushes planted, and while they're growing, the flowers are all dead/greyish-brown. Can I prune these plants? I've read not to, but I'd like the purple to come back. If I can prune them, how do I do it gently?
2. How many times per week, and how much water each time, should I be giving the lavender?

Azalea's -
1. I have a few azalea's, but they haven't grown much since being planted 4 years ago. In fact, they've never bloomed. I also watered these every other night, I'm guessing that is too much? Should I take these off the drip and hand water them? Is once per week enough, or more?

And lastly, what TIME of day is best? My neighbor says after sun goes down but before midnight since it's too cold otherwise. Another neighbor says in the morning about 7am.

I am so confused at this point and would like to save this garden. Any advice would be much appreciated!

This post was edited by Roe12 on Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 19:43

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 21:36

water right before sunrise.

shear the lavenders into globes, taking care not to cut back to dead wood. Take off 1-2".

azaleas have small, shallow root systems, so lightly but frequently is the best way to water. They do not like to dry out. You could try some fertilizer, but lightly. Those small, shallow root systems are sensitive. .

Iceberg I do 3x / week mid spring to the beginning of December. 90'sF every other day, 100sF every day. Normal winters I shut off my irrigation. This year 2x per week, just enough. Probably will step it up to 3x in a couple of weeks. A gallon or two at a time is good depending on the size of the plants. Adjust by observing the plants. Do they look good? Are they holding on to their foliage? Are they reblooming well? Mulch will hold in moisture, keep the soil cooler (rose roots like cool soil) and break down into nutrients that enrich the soil. Keep mulch away from the base of the rose by 3"-6"

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

Thank you, @hoovb! This is exactly what I was looking for and will implement this starting now. One more q about the lavender: is it okay to cut back the lavender now that we're in March, or should I wait until fall? I'm afraid if I wait too long that the plant will completely die.

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

Cut Lavender back either before it starts to form blooms or after it has bloomed. If they are really yucky, whack them anytime except when they are blooming.
Azaleas like acidic soil, humidity and afternoon shade, esp in So CA. Live your drip on them, but maybe spritz them in the mornings or evenings (whenever the drip is not on).

It is better to deep water roses, esp in a hot climate. Water more less often, esp now while it is still cooler. This forces the roots to go down, keeps them cooler when it gets hot, makes for greater stability. If you water often on the surface, the roots stay on the surface, dry out more quickly, need water more often. Also, in clay, too much water may accumulate if you water even every other day and you will get root rot. So, I'd water just twice a week until the end of May or until it hits the 90s. Then 3x/wk.

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

Is your clay soil natural, or is it engineered soil in construction within the past twenty or so years? Does it drain well or remain soggy after either heavy watering or rains? If you live along the coast where it's generally more humid and "hot" is in the eighties, the amount and frequency of watering will differ greatly from what would be appropriate if you live in a hotter (nineties to low hundreds), more arid, perhaps even windier inland valley. Don't forget that magnolia is going to suck a lot of water away from those plants within its root zone. Kim

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

The magnolia has surface roots that may spread out 30 feet. I have a magnolia also. When I planted my front yard floribunda garden I had to dig through magnolia and camphor tree roots. Since the drip system doesn't waste water, I run mine several times a week and even after the recent heavy rain the moisture meters never showed more than moderately moist.

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 10:59

My lavenders are pushing out new growth now. So, go ahead now, but in future years do it after a round of bloom (those that repeat) or right after bloom (those that bloom once in spring).

RE: Questions about watering Iceberg roses, Lavender in SoCal

All lavenders are not the same, if you can find a Goodwin Creek Grey mine seem to just keep on blooming non stop. The one that is getting too much water is bigger than the one that is getting less. Mine have spread to the 3 foot size (and yes I planted them thinking they were going to be 2 footers....)

I love the greens and deeper tones of Hidecote, it blooms less so far for me, but I will be adding more of this one. It is also much smaller.

My Munsteads are growing much slower so I really can't tell you much about them.

If you have space and want non stop flowers...Goodwin Creek Grey is a winner.

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