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Maintaining Plants in newly landscaped yard

My signicant other and I just finished having our yard landscaped. We live in California hardiness zone 10Some of our plants are not doing well. All the dusty millers have died except for one behind a tree. We lost one artichoke plant, and may lose a second. We just planted in May.

Is water the root cause? We just cut down to 6 minutes per day from 8. We were going to cut down more but our landscaper said that our plants were too new.

Front Yard

1 feijoa pineapple guava tree
9 acacia cousin itt
5 dasylirion mexican grass
8 achillea yarrow terracotta
1 camellia japonica
GC dymondia

6 anigozanthos kangaroo paw orange
4 pennisetum sky rocket fountain grass
1 asparagus fern
GC dymondia future change

Pool Area

Side of Garage
3 agave attenuata
3 anigozanthos dwarf kangaroo paw yellow
4 euphorbia sticks on fire
GC sedum angelina stonecrop

Behind Garage
4 anigozanthos kangaroo paw orange
1 tecomaria cape honeysuckle (orange upright)
1 colocasia black magic elephant ear
3 heuchera coral bells pale orange
GC sedum angelina stonecrop
carex pansa

Pool Corner
1 agave variegated
2 anigozanthos kangaroo paw orange
GC sedum angelina stonecrop
carex pansa

Fire Pit Area
1 cordyline bauer's dracaena w/ trunk
1 cordyline in same color w/o trunk
GC sedum blue spruce stonecrop

Back Yard

Side of House
1 agave attenuata
1 phormium guardsman
3 pennisetum sky rocket fountain grass
GC sedum angelina stonecrop

Behind House
6 anigozanthos kangaroo paw orange/red
4 achillea yarrow terracotta
4 pennisetum sky rocket fountain grass
future GC
carex pansa

Left of Fountain
3 rosamarinus tuscan blue rosemary (upright)
1 echium pride of madeira
5 lambs ears
6 dusty miller
future vine
GC elfin thyme

Fountain Focal Point
2 phormium guardsman
4 dusty miller
future vine
GC elfin thyme

Right of Fountain
4 loropetalam burgundy plum delight chinese fringe
3 duranta
2 oleander
5 dusty miller
future vine
GC elfin thyme

South End
4 cynara artichoke
~5 pennisetum sky rocket fountain grass
~8 lambs ears
GC elfin thyme future more
carex pansa

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Pictures? I don't think people can tell you anything about how your plants are doing or what they need without seeing some pictures.

But I can say this - even drought tolerant plants need regular water in the beginning while they are getting established. And that should be deep watering, to encourage them to grow deeper roots. So there's a good chance they are not getting enough water.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Pictures would help. Close ups of distressed plants and distance photos of the entire bed. When taking photos of distressed plants include pictures of the under side of the leaves. List the plants in each photo.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3233
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:15 am
Location: Oregon

I bet they are not getting enough water, as you live in CA I would consider plants that do not need much water only. And yes new plants need more water, their roots are not spread out yet.

Posts: 14100
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

It is best to establish new plants is in the cooler months in the fall or early Spring. Planting in May, you will get larger plants but they will need adequate water for the first year. Mulching helps but only after you have worked a good amount of organic matter into the soil and the soil has been deeply watered. What kind of sprinkler system do you have?

If you have an overhead system time of day and wind will matter. A drip system would put the water right where you need it and you will have less evaporation but you still would want to run the system long enough to soak deeply. Drip systems typically run longer times because the volume delivered is much lower than an overhead system.

I agree, you probably have not watered enough and the plants do not have sufficient root mass developed yet. When you water, you need to water deep. poke your finger or a stick or a trowel into the soil and see how far down the soil is wet. If you water deeply it should reach 4-6 inches deep. Deeper watering will encourage the plants to send roots down deeper and deep roots tolerate drought better than shallow roots. Cutting the watering times down actually encourage shallow rooting which will make the plants more susceptible to drought.

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