JULY.....JULY..... JULY ..... What can be said except it's hot and probably
humid. Although the humidity is uncomfortable for people, plants are
happier especially when or if summer rains occur. These conditions make it
easy to overwater some plants. If soil is staying wet around and into the
root area and surrounding soil is also wet don't water. Observe plants.
Wilted leaves, dry soil - plant needs water. Wilted leaves, wet soil -
something else is wrong. Monsoon storms can produce damaging winds.
Fast growing and top heavy trees like
Acacia (Acacia salicina)
Wattle Acacia (Acacia saligna)
can be lightly thinned out and long, heavy branches cut back to reduce wind
resistance. When pruning during all summer months be careful not to expose
major limbs or trunk to sun as burning can occur. Make sure young trees
are firmly staked.
If we have had no rain, native plants in their natural environment or without
supplemental water become semi to totally dormant. Penstemons that were so
gorgeous last spring are reduced to shriveled clumps with dried seed stalks
which have possible use in dry arrangements.
Brittle Bush, Bursage, Buckwheat,
Fairy Duster, Wolfberry
may actually look dead.
take on a yellow cast.
summer months Palo Verde
Beetles (Prionus sp.)
make themselves evident. Some years there are lots some years few.
These huge (to 4") beetles emerge at night from holes mostly beneath
native Palo Verde Trees.
For at least a couple of years, the larval stage of this borer has been
feeding on tree roots thus weakening the root system. Branches may
die back and greatly damaged trees may blow over. What can be
done?...probably very little. The
holes under the trees are exit
holes of the adult beetle whose larval stage has already done the damage.
The adults mate, lay eggs in the soil then die. The eggs hatch and
the tiny larvae make their way down into the root system of the tree.
To effect control at this point, one would have to spread large amounts of
insecticides under trees on a regular basis, an environmentally
native plant for desert gardens is
a dense grayish
leaved shrub to 6 or more feet tall and wide. Slow
growing when young and very drought resistant once established , this
versatile plant can be used as a single specimen, kept trimmed as a hedge
if necessary or left to create a natural barrier. They have no
plants produce an edible nut (fairly bitter) that has many commercial uses
as it contains an oil similar to sperm whale oil. Nuts are dark
brown and ripen in July and August. Since male and female flowers
are borne on separate plants you must have both sexes if you want a nut
crop. Without fruit, flowers or their remnants it is impossible to
tell male from female plants.
are notorious for rotting out during hot, humid weather. We don't
think there is much you can do about this except to avoid over watering.
Dispose of dead and dying plants. There are usually a couple of
hardy individuals that seem immune to the problem and may survive.
Fungicides may or may not help.