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Watering roses in a drought
Q. Are my “Belinda’s Dream” and “Katy Road” tough roses going to keep blooming in this drought? How much do I need to water them?
A. A deep watering every two weeks should keep them blooming unless we get a run of 95-degree-Fahrenheit plus days. If we do, they will recover to bloom again in the fall.
Q. I thought firebush was a drought-tolerant shrub. I have to water my firebush in a container every other day.
A. Firebush has considerable drought tolerance in soil, but its capacity is diminished in a container. The range of the fibrous root system is greatly limited. It is worth the water required in a container, however. On my patio, it is the favorite nectar source of the hummingbirds.
Q. Should we remove the mistletoe from our mesquites? It is interesting, but I understand it is a parasite.
A. Mistletoe does penetrate the back of its host trees and intercept moisture and nutrients flowing in the cambium layer, but the overall threat to the tree is minor. Remove it if it is easy to do, but there is no urgency.
Q. We hope you are right about our Bermuda grass. In order to save on the cost of water we are going to let it go dormant. If it begins to rain again, how long should it take to green up again?
A. One week with several days of rain does the job in my yard.
Q. Do deer eat daylilies? We tried iris and you were right; after a few exploratory nibbles, they have left them alone. It would be great to have both iris and daylilies in the bed so there would be a longer bloom period.
A. Deer love daylilies. They pass up snapdragons, paperwhites, daffodils, zinnias, lantanas, and salvias in my landscape.
Q. Is blossom end rot on tomatoes sometimes gray-brown rather than black? The first tomatoes we harvested this year all had the usual scar tissue, but it was this different color.
A. Yes, same problem, calcium deficiency due to a break in the water stream -- different color symptom.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the San Antonio Water System’s project director of regional initiatives and special projects. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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