Southwestern Deserts

June, 2011
Regional Report

Transplant Palms in the Low Desert

Palm roots thrive in warm soil temperatures. Mexican blue palm (Brahea armata) and Mediterranean fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) are well-adapted plants with attractive fan-shaped fronds.

Shade Tomato Plants

When temperatures reach 90 degrees and above, protect plants from intense sun with 50 percent shade cloth.

Transplant Herbs

Mid and high elevation desert gardeners can rev up the herb garden with transplants of chamomile, chives, germander, lavender, lemon balm, mint, oregano, sage, and thyme.

Pinch Back Foliage to Create Bushier Plants

Mid and high elevation desert gardeners can pinch back the tips of new growth on begonias, carnations, chrysanthemums, daisies, petunias, fuchsias, geraniums, impatiens, marguerites, marigolds, petunias, and sedums to promote denser foliage. Use the cuttings to root new plants.

Maintain Bulbs

At mid and high desert elevations, continue watering and fertilizing spring-blooming bulbs, allowing foliage to yellow, brown, and die back on its own. This allows bulbs to store more nutrients and get larger for next year. Mark the position of the bulbs so you know where they are. Then it is okay to remove spent foliage and stop feeding.

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