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California Gardening: Heat Tolerant Shrub Suggestions Needed

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Jungleman
Pasadena, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 21, 2009
12:41 AM

Post #6439541

I'm thinking Loquat. I need something with bold leaves that can take afternoon sun in dry, hot summer'd Pasadena. This spot is against a fence, sun from 10 to 5, and it really cooks there. I do have a ton of mulch over the earth, but it is the exposure that is the problem. My Tropical Hibiscus are frying there, my Banana can't bear it, so i need something tropical looking that can really handle the heat. I'm looking for something from 6-10 ft. tall or even a bit taller. All suggestions appreciated!

shelbsyd
Oakley, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 22, 2009
3:28 AM

Post #6445577

There not to tropical looking, but Mock Orange seem to take the heat and drought. I have a row of them on my one fence that are like 8' tall. On my other fence I am planting Mock Orange and Pineapple Guara, which get pretty red flowers. I am going to plant a row of red salvia in front of my Mock Orange and Red Salvia to stick to a tropical look, at least of bold colors. I am going to put Fusion Orange Zinnias in front of the Red Salvia. This is my planting for this coming weekend. Oh and I am going to mix in Nasturiums for little leaves and bold colors of red, orange and yellow. I'll post a picture when I get it all planted.

Another suggestion maybe Honeysuckle. I think they get pretty big and have orange flowers.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

April 23, 2009
1:30 AM

Post #6450020

How do cannas fare there? They certainly have the tropical look, and I can attest to their heat-tolerance! Here they die back in the winter, but where you are they may not.

I love loquat, and mine's evergreen (and heavenly fragrance/blooms in the spring---tho' that leads to messy stuff blowing all over). But IMHO it doesn't have that "tropical" look because the leaves are small.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 23, 2009
2:06 AM

Post #6450233

They're not really shrubs, but how about Phormium or Strelitzia? They have a tropical look and I think they can both take the heat. Plumeria could be nice too, although in 9b the hardiness might be a bit iffy if you get a bad winter.
Jungleman
Pasadena, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 23, 2009
2:09 AM

Post #6450251

Pittosporum would work there very well, though I would use the undulatum species. Cannas do very well there. I have some orange ones, as a matter of fact, right in front of the space I need a good barrier shrub / tree. The loquat leaves are bigger than the Pittosporum, however, so I may indeed go with that. I agree with imapigeon that they don't have a truly tropical look, but it is because they have sort of crinkly leaves, not the glossy, smooth type most tropicals have.
Jungleman
Pasadena, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 23, 2009
2:10 AM

Post #6450261

ecrane3 - I have both along that stretch of sunny border already! Thanks for the good suggestion! :)
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 23, 2009
2:53 PM

Post #6452056

We have Oleanders out in the hot sun (90's and higher) all summer. They take very little watering and can be shaped to any design. The only problem is that their leaves are poisonous. They come in several different colors too.
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

April 23, 2009
10:26 PM

Post #6453909

What about Cape Honeysuckle ( Tecoma capensis)? They are slow to get going but will get 15 feet tall, and with prunning, they don't need support and get very dense. Hummer magnets too.
Jungleman
Pasadena, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2009
12:02 AM

Post #6454254

Ah! Cape Honeysuckle! I forgot about that one. I love it and it has great flowers. I would work for a background shrub. Thanks, OCCAROL, and everyone who has helped me to figure this one out.
crazymary
Lodi, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 24, 2009
12:52 AM

Post #6454513

Grevilleas take an enormous amount of heat and drought and there are some beautiful varieties that grow quite large. Oh, for tropical, how about an edible fig?
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 17, 2009
11:41 PM

Post #6562032

I vote Cannas since they will just go nuts over there in the sun and they will spread and always have color. less boring than some other heat loving possibilities. Roses are always a good bet, though not tropical. I would go cl, roses in back and mix with shorter cannas and tall ones so they don't block out the roses. If you need more drought tollerant plants, you did not say so that is my first best suggestion. There are a lot of types of Malva that flower sort of tropical and take little water and self sow, and have many colors and types, that love sun. Also several Cat mint varieties would be nice with some day lilys and coronation gold yarrow, was suggested to me, with any Nepetas.
SingingWolf
Menifee, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 18, 2009
4:25 AM

Post #6563256

Cannas will freeze back in the winter, but so will the Cape Honeysuckle. Have you thought of Pomegranates? Mine are heat tolerant. They do loose leaves in the winter, and they fruit on the old wood. The birds around here spread them around. Just a thought.
WIB,
SW
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 18, 2009
5:43 AM

Post #6563512

Pasadena does not freeze, like I do in the high desert of Palmdale/Lancaster and my Cannas all came back and spread except the ones in a soggy planter with poor drainage.
Pomegranates do great here too and we are in a tough zone by all standards.
crazymary
Lodi, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 19, 2009
3:55 AM

Post #6568494

Loquats would probably be perfect. I know they grow here and our summer heat is worse than yours. They do beautifully, but are not widely planted. Also, figs do beautifully in the dry hot sun here as well as pomegranates. Those should flourish for you too.
Jungleman
Pasadena, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 19, 2009
4:21 AM

Post #6568572

Wow. What a helpful bunch! Thanks so much to all.

Here's what I decided (so far). I bought a small Cape Honeysuckle, that I will allow to layer as the side branches grow. I also ordered nine Pink Beauty Cannas from Park Seed. I already have one large clump of orange ones that I will divide in the winter next year. I created a meandering line of the pink ones, that weaves through the rest of the plantings of Hibiscus, NZ Flax, yucca gigantea, an Archontophoenix palm, and a problem banana. Once the cannas come in, I can move the banana where it will get some shade - right now, it is just cooking in the sun.

The hibiscus have perked up - it turns out that the upper roots were exposed under the thick bark mulch, so I topdressed around the roots with some peat moss, compost, and steer manure. I also gave them some chelated iron to take care of any chlorosis I may have caused by overwatering.

I'll post some pictures in a couple of days, then again when I get the cannas up and running. I love the leaves - and they really love a hot moist bed. With all my mulching materials, that bed does stay surprisingly moist with a weekly deep watering, and occasional supplemental watering for individual plants.

Again, thanks for all the great ideas!
Jeff
SingingWolf
Menifee, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 19, 2009
4:34 AM

Post #6568610

Can't wait to see the results of your efforts.
WIB,
SW
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 19, 2009
4:42 AM

Post #6568631

Ditto

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