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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Planting shade plants in 100+ weather
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

I was planning on planting some columbines in a barrel and Turk's Cap and Coralberry in my yard, but hadn't counted on the extreme heat this early in the summer. Is it okay to plant these things as long as I am careful to keep them watered, or would it be a waste of my time?

ANSWER:

Extreme heat is no understatement!  We are setting records here in Austin this June.  If you don't already have the plants, I would advise waiting until the Fall to plant your native shade plants.  Fall is prime planting season in Central Texas because the mild weather allows the plants to get established and develop a strong root system during the cooler months and then have a good growing season in Spring to build up energy stores before contending with the extreme stress of our summer heat.  If you can't resist, however, follow the wise instructions given in this recently answered question and your plants will have a shot at limping through the summer.

 


Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana

Malvaviscus arboreus

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus
 

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