Texas Gardening forum: Musings on Natives Coming Back...

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Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
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ricelg
Mar 4, 2018 6:01 PM CST
Today was a good day. Spent most of the afternoon outside tending to plant chores. Wondering how the "emergence" of primarily natives compares to others...Except for a fenced raised bed veggie garden (which is going great!) I built earlier this year, all my stuff pretty much has to be native. The devil's trio of deer, caliche soil and crepe myrtles were my nemesis (my apologies to the many who love deer and crepe myrtles) last year.

The current stars are the Mexican Plum and Salvia Greggii. Full bloom/flowers on both. The plum in particular has been a bee magnet. Big Grin

A plant I almost gave up for dead last year was Texas Betony. 1st year in pretty much full sun it struggled. I was going to either move it or get rid of it. GLAD I didn't...it is so green right new, flush of new growth with blooms coming soon. White and Gregg's Mistflower very healthy and green also. Jerusalem Sages appear to be making flower blooms. Verbena also coming back strong. Buds on the Mountain Laurel. Nothing yet on Anacacho Orchid which surprises me, but I planted it in a spot where it will get more sun when the sun gets higher - my error - I'm guessing that has it "behind"

Butterfly Bush, Coral Honeysuckle and Flame Acanthus have some initial buds/growth so they'll be fine. Firebush/Cigar Plant were late last year so I'm not worried, I think Lantana also. Believe Esperanza and Pride of Barbados are too? The wife really wants that Pride of Barbados to grow, so my status above the cat (but well below the dog and kids) is on the line.

Honestly, the one that has me scratching my head are the Turk's Caps. Are these typically later to come back? I haven't seen any new growth on any of these yet. I don't remember these being late so if they are - hopefully this will eventually serve as a reminder to my future self. Smiling These are key to my landscape renovation/pollinator buffet so this has me mildly anxious.

And apparently I failed on my bluebonnet attempt by the roadside...guess my Texas citizenship will be on probation another year.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Mar 4, 2018 6:11 PM CST
Lantana, Pride of Barbados, and Turks Cap are all late to revive here too - as usual.
Porkpal
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Mar 4, 2018 6:24 PM CST
OK - thanks @porkpal. Sounds like a little more patience on the Turk's Caps.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 4, 2018 9:15 PM CST

Moderator

I snipped some cuttings of pink Turk's Cap in November. Rooted them on the window sill. The ones in ground haven't shown up yet, but I think I'll risk planting a couple of the pinks. It has been warm, but rainy here in Austin. I think winter is gone for us. I raked around some beds out front and see lots of plants coming back from under leaf cover.

I agree with @porkpal, the Pride of Barbados, Lantana, and the Turk's Cap will begin blooming later. I have a mess of yellow yarrow coming up. Have it planted out front, but in the wrong place. I may try moving it before it gets any bigger. Curbside is Augusta Duelberg salvia on one side, and Henry Duelberg on the other side. Everything else is under about three inches of leaves.
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Mar 4, 2018 9:23 PM CST
Yeah - I was lucky. My pink TC last year produced much fruit and I harvested many seeds. I sowed a couple of 6-packs and have had about 25 hardening off. I put 9 in a mass area today, but I have to protect from the deer.
Name: Kim T.
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
TX_hoya
Mar 5, 2018 10:08 AM CST
Make sure you give the pink Turk's cap plenty of room, once it takes off it grows like mad for me. I have to trim it back so I can see other plants around it. It also gets taller than the red one.

Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Mar 6, 2018 9:11 PM CST
@TX_hoya I hear ya! My pink one did grow pretty well last year...until the deer started browsing. Mine got bigger than my "traditional" red one, but not quite as big as my "Big Momma"
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Mar 6, 2018 9:59 PM CST
Sandi — I like that you have the Duelbergs across from each other. That's exactly as they should be.

Noticed today that my Augusta Duelberg has started coming back with a vengeance. Same with the salvia guaranitica. Started seeing a few leaves of Gregg's mist poking up. Bronze fennel is looking good. Surprisingly, I'm seeing a lot of green leaves where the daylilies are planted. Last time I looked I only saw some shriveled up brownish leaves. Japanese maple is getting buds. Oaks are starting to shed catkins. (ack) Carolina Cherry Laurel is starting to bud out but the leaves don't look so good. Hoyas are starting to peek up. Inland Sea Oats are greening up. Agarita is getting buds. Should open soon. Turks cap and lantana are slowpokes. Just a bunch of sticks. But it's only the 1st week of March. And I'm a little further north than some of y'all. But then again, most of y'all were hit by worse weather than up here. So who knows.

Last year I was so lucky to be outside when the cedar waxwings swooped down and stripped all of the berries from my mahonias. If you've never seen cedar waxwings 'at work', just know that they're amazing. Bet it'll be 2 weeks when the berries are ready. And I've heard that the birds have been seen in some of the outlier areas.

Lot of flowering trees in the 'hood. I know many, like Bradford Pears and Dogwoods, don't last long.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Mar 27, 2018 9:15 PM CST
I'm starting to see a little bit of green coming up from my Turks Caps. I have 4 of them (1 huge, 1 small, 1 smaller, and 1 baby) scattered around because they can deal with shade. Anyway, even the 'baby' has a few little leaves starting. It's such a small thing that I had to surround it with those little flags that I think construction workers use. Otherwise I'd never see it. Even so, without much green, I have to look closely.

I think I have a good spot for a pink one but I don't know if it could withstand an annual attack of acorns. Check out what the area looks like this time of year. Ack!

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Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Mar 28, 2018 8:51 AM CST
Yeah - mine is the attack of the oak leaves Smiling Mine did start coming back about a week ago...all appear to have made it through the awful winter. I started a lot from seed - and obviously they are way ahead of my in ground plants right now.

The only ones still not showing growth yet are Esperanza, Pride of Barbados, Firebush, and Cigar Plant.

Guess I'll go back to building the ark...we got 3" last night and coming down again this morning...
Name: Kim T.
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
TX_hoya
Mar 28, 2018 12:54 PM CST
Plants still asleep here: tropical milkweed, pride of barbados, one lantana, a couple passionvines (could be dead). I'm hoping this rain wakes them up!
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Mar 28, 2018 6:50 PM CST
I'm waiting on a duranta that has survived in a big pot for a few years. My milkweed is Jose st peeping out as well as Turks cap.I don't expect my Esperanza to survive so it has until my first day off to show something cause I am off to the nursery first change I get.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Mar 28, 2018 11:19 PM CST
Larry — Sure hope your Esperanza survives.

Here's a few of my surprise return survivors from before the rain. Hope nobody drowned.

This is my Whorled Milkweed. Picture taken on 3/23/18. I was very surprised to see it. And within a few days, it grew a little more. I'm really worried about it getting waterlogged because it's planted in a huge container rather than in my perennial bed.

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I cleverly lost the tag for this Milkweed. Or a squirrel absconded with it. I think it's Swamp Milkweed. Never got very big last year but at least it's returning. Picture taken on 3/21/18.


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Don't think I've seen any of the A. Curassavica. This would be their 3rd year. Maybe they're too pooped to pop.

Even tho I have seeds, I may have to search around for some milkweed to transplant. I saw a map of the Monarch's migration and some are already in Texas. I have some nectar plants that are flowering but I want some milkweed to host any 'babies'. But wait. Maybe that's not a good idea. Will birds eat the caterpillars?

This weekend when I was doing a small bit of cleanup, I saw where something, presumably a hawk, had carried off a White-winged Dove. This is at least the 2nd time, maybe the 3rd. The hawks have been hanging around the 'hood for a number of months now. I haven't seen them but a lot of others have. Apparently the hawks now know my address as a diner because I have bird feeders out. Think they might have gotten some squirrels because a nest that has been in one of my trees for years is gone. Even though I'm not a fan of squirrels, I hate to think of the hawks getting them. Sigh.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Mar 29, 2018 8:41 PM CST
I love hearing about springtime coming to life for all of you. My Turks Cap is just starting new growth so I think it requires warmer soil temperature to break dormancy.

Larry... your comment
A plant I almost gave up for dead last year was Texas Betony. 1st year in pretty much full sun it struggled. I was going to either move it or get rid of it. GLAD I didn't...it is so green right new, flush of new growth with blooms coming soon
made me think of the old saying about perennials.
The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap. Thumbs up
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
Mar 29, 2018 9:22 PM CST
@pod Interesting saying, Kristi. I hadn't heard that...hope its true!

@tx_flower_child LOVE the milkweed pictures. Got some Antelope Horns coming on strong near the road. I've also got a lot of milkweed seeds germinating that I need to pot up tomorrow. Some of which are Whorled and I've never grown them before so kind of exciting.

The rain seems to have really kicked the Turks Cap in for me. They've all come back. Need to keep the deer a way from the little ones and in a few months, hopefully, I'll have some reclamation progress. I've seen lantana coming back too. And the Jerusalem Sages are flowering very nicely...these are really growing on me, although I don't remember the pollinators paying them special attention?
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Apr 25, 2018 9:51 PM CST
My gold lantana was sprouting by Feb, been in full blooms for a month and I am getting ready to trim. My red turks cap grows in shade and just started growing abt 3 wks back. No longer have esperanza, it just took too long to do anything on growing and blooming.
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Snapdragons were slow to bloom, but thats morning sun only there. My clematis and coral vine are there in the pansies, and the clematis are just now sending shoots up an inch. Coral vines climbed out of the ground about 3-4 weeks ago, but moving slow. My parsley is bolting and my 1 bf cat has climbed up to consider next step, so I gave him a roof.

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kitt
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 1, 2018 8:25 PM CST
Haven't been in the garden / yard for at least a week so today was the great reveal. Was very excited to see that my Magnolia is starting to get some large buds and it should be in full bloom in about a week.

Have blooms on my Oakleaf Hydrangeas.

Today I saw the beginning (or end?) of a bloom on my lantana. Also have 2 blooms just starting on my 'black and blue' salvia. My other salvias/sages have been blooming for at least a month or so.

Ferns look really good. Need to go across the street to my neighbor's yard and get some more ferns. Have a 'take as many as you want, dear' standing invitation.

All of my Turks Caps are putting out a lot of growth. And I didn't expect my Fall Asters to be getting so bushy. I need to find a place to move a few plants.

Last night I looked out the window just as 2 squirrels were starting to climb into a pot of tropical milkweed. Boogers. I rapped really hard on the window and scared them off. And yet, today, I saw where 1 of them had knocked an iris rhizome out of its pot. Brought the rhizome inside while I decide what to do with it. I know if I put it back where I had it some squirrel will return.
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
May 3, 2018 7:24 AM CST
@tx_flower_child Do you know what type of ferns? I've got a shady area I'm rehabilitating and I've thought of some ferns...provided A) the deer won't eat them and B) they won't have to be water-coddled.

The only things that haven't come back for me are Plumbago and Pride of Barbados. On the Barbados, fortunately, I had some seeds so there are a couple of seedlings now planted in the area. Not sure how much they will go this year.

Salvia Greggii were the first bloomers. Now Gregg's Mist is starting to join the party. Texas Betony was the big star of the early spring with lots of blooms; I just deadheaded them, as well as the Salvia Coccinea.

Lots of growth on Flame Acanthus and Butterfly Bush but no flowers. Believe that consistent with this time last year.

Was on the back of property yesterday and found 4 little saplings I didn't recognize. Looked them up and I believe they are Texas Yellow Buckeyes, which are apparently native on to here on the very edge of the Edwards Plateau. Will be keeping an eye on them as the grow to see if that is true or if they are red buckeyes.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 4, 2018 1:18 PM CST
Larry - The ferns. Hmm. I call them Southern Wood ferns but have heard others say Southern Dixie ferns. I don't know if there's a difference. My neighbor doesn't know because the ferns have been growing there since the 1950s. Can't help about deer either. We're city dwellers.

Thinking about the ferns is making me wonder where else I might try to transplant some. As soon as the rain stops I'd better hop to it.

Most All of what I plant is what I consider to be grand experiments. One that has worked now maybe needs a 'do over'. I love Inland Sea Oats and had planted a small one that I think I got at a local plant sale or swap. So anyway, the plant is doing well. The problem is that I probably planted it too close to the ferns. Both ferns and Inland Sea Oats can eventually take over a lot of space and there's not too much space between them. Someone has to move. Carefully. Oh, what to do. Maybe wait until fall when they start going dormant.

Anyone have experience or advice to share re transplanting Inland Sea Oats?

I'm glad I have been using the camera on my phone to track the success, or lack there of, of my garden. The automatic date/time stamp makes it so easy. I'd never remember to write everything down. Plus it proves that a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ricelg
May 5, 2018 7:28 AM CST
I transplanted Inland Sea Oats once. Pretty easy and it took to the new location well. The plant was fairly juvenile though...not sure if that would make a difference at all. Don't remember for 100% but pretty sure I did it in early fall.

Great idea on the camera. I should do that more now that the phones have more memory. I'm sure my teenage daughter can help me with the specifics.

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