What’s wrong with this wax myrtle?
We’ve seen a lot of troubled plants this year. Sandy Holland and Rene Martinez’s wax myrtle is about a year old. It hasn’t grown much in that time, but it was green and healthy looking until a month or two ago. Now, all of the leaves on the top half of the tree are brown (but the branches are showing berries). Also, the bottom part that is green appear to be growing from the roots. It gets at least 6 hours of sun every day and they water it twice a week.
While it’s hard to give an exact diagnosis here, I believe this wax myrtle may be receiving too much water, which may also be exacerbated if the soil isn’t draining properly. It appears that this struggling shrub is in a bed with other plants growing very close to it that seem to be doing fine, but that may also be an issue: this shrub really needs its own space.
The good news is the new growth. Wax myrtles do tend to re-sprout easily from the roots, so I’d suggest pruning all the dead growth back to the soil, clearing the space around the base of the shrub, and decreasing the watering significantly. If the shrub continues to struggle, dig it up and check out the roots. And monitor for soil drainage issues, making sure the soil has time to dry out between watering sessions.
Jill Gaskin’s Texas star hibiscus didn’t mind summer’s heat one bit, and bloomed prolifically to prove it. Tony Way is growing a Texas star in a large planter on his patio. It’s doing so well that he needs to move it to a larger container, or to the ground. When is the best time to do that? Andrea DeLong-Amaya, director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, tells us that this hardy plant can be put in the ground anytime here in Central Texas, and will actually be more cold-tolerant in the landscape than in a container, which would leave the roots less insulated. Andrea also notes that in spite of the name “Texas star hibiscus,” this local favorite actually isn’t native to the Lone Star State. It’s indigenous to Florida and the Southeastern U.S.
Sometimes, patience pays off to get spectacular flowers! In Dallas, Charles Woodard grows a night-blooming cereus in a container. It sits outside in warm weather, but for 15 years he’s brought it indoors every winter. This year his diligence paid off with at least seven outstanding flowers! Each opens in the evening and only lasts for one day—but that was enough time to get these great pictures!
But Susan Doss discovered a wren happily chomping into her Euphorbia. Indeed, in dry times thirsty birds and other critters seek a drink from our succulents. Thankfully, this damage doesn’t appear too bad, and I think the plant will easily recover.
Outdoors, gardens aren’t made in a day. Susan Velzy just put the finishing touches on her new garden rooms, but we know, Susan, that a gardener is always growing.
Anna Poole started her gardens six years ago. It took her awhile since she’s got a large backyard and lots of shade. Her first “building” project was a deck for lounging to watch it all. Recently, she’s started putting in pathways to an ever-growing beautiful garden. She’s got sun in front so that’s where she’s planting fragrant roses and other flowers.
In Bulverde, Charlene and Michael Lowe sent a video of migrating hummingbirds flocking to their feeders. They tell us, “After planting many things that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, our garden has been very active!”