There are many plants to choose from when landscaping your home. But which will perform best in Las Vegas? How and where should they be grown in your yard?
Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.
It’s a good idea in our climate to delay the final pruning of wine grapes and table grapes until freezing, dry and windy weather has passed.
Final pruning of fruit trees for less-experienced pruners is best delayed until flowers appear. It’s a lot easier to see where fruit will be produced when actual flowers are seen.
When an ornamental shrub is pruned, the end result shouldn’t be obvious. The end result, just like a good haircut, should be a plant growing in its natural form. Pruning plants this way is a lot less work and done much less often.
This winter, the valley hasn’t had any freezing temperatures at lower elevations. But let’s not forget about chilling injury (damage occurring somewhere around 50 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit) in new growth and fruits of tropical plants like tomatoes.
The bottle tree you are buying from the nursery — Brachychiton populneum — is not really a bottle tree at all. The true bottle tree (B. ruprestis) is very different from the nursery version because its trunk is truly shaped like a bottle. I
There is a trend of growing plants that take a lot of care to flourish in the desert. These include tropical or subtropical plants. Some of these plants grow better in the desert than others.
The gardening trend seen most often now in Southern Nevada is growing “exotic” plants, those plants that don’t naturally grow here or are difficult to grow here. But these exotic plants require more effort and money on our part to ensure their good health.
Roses are a good choice for our Las Vegas climate and soils if kept healthy. If they are not healthy, they suffer in intense sunlight, summer heat and soil problems.
Cactuses and other succulents are as varied in their needs as different types of landscape trees and shrubs. We can’t help but think of a cactus as just a cactus, but they are not all the same and shouldn’t be treated the same way.
Most leaf drop of deciduous trees and shrubs occurs by mid-December. Some plants will start dropping leaves as early as the second week of November while others drop leaves later. But of course, much of that depends on the weather and tree health.
Desert climates like Southern Nevada have low humidity, so plant diseases aren’t frequently seen unless we do a poor job choosing plants for the landscape spots, planting, watering or managing them.