Sunday, July 21, 2013

Physiological Responses to Transient Waterlogging

Physiological Responses to Transient Waterlogging -- that was the name of one of the academic papers I read in my search for why Red Mexican Bird of Paradise, Esperanza and Duranta are so shy about blooming this year.

Gerbera Daisies are starting to bloom again.
Lirope  is blooming early, I think.

Brenda Beust Smith in the Houston Chronicle 2005 said this:

"Drought-tolerant plants that can't bloom with too-wet roots include antique roses, black-eyed Susans, blue daze, bougainvillea, bulbine, cassia, cestrum, coneflowers, Copper Canyon daisy, coreopsis, coral vine, duranta, gaura, hamelia (hummingbird bush), lantana, fernleaf lavender, oleander, pavonia, pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia), Rangoon creeper, russelia, hardy salvia and thyrallis."  -- she gave no source for this information, but I believe it.

We have well-drained loamy sand as soil that had much compost added so that it holds moisture well in droughts. Water drains away after a heavy rain but many of the plants mentioned originate in drier conditions than those we have now. That theory is borne out by the articles that I read, some of which made my head bizzy when they really got down to the cellular level and used bigger scientific words than I know.

 A good haircut brought back Petunia blooms.
Note Sweet Alyssum at lower left in the above pic
and Sweet William in the lower right corner at right.
Sweet William started last fall refuses to bloom and much of it has root rot.

I am expecting late August to be drier and September is almost always a dry month.

Yellow trailing Lantana is starting to bloom. Pipevine 
Swallowtails enjoy it.

Another hazard of recent thunderstorms, lightning struck this Live Oak, 
stripping bark. Some limbs are already dead. Whether the entire tree dies will
be evident within six months.


  1. We have had a lot of rain this summer. Neither lantana nor coneflower are blooming as prolifically as I would like. I was thinking they needed more sunlight or fertilizer. And now you give me another cause. A lot to think about! I'm glad I got it from you and didn't have to put my nose in one of those heavy, hard to understand books!

  2. I love that term for too much rain!

    We are getting some nice rains too which is very unusual for July here.

    I finally have a Laura Bush petunia blooming....but the color isn't as intense as yours.

    I hope the tree makes it but it looks doubtful.

  3. We're getting our typical dry summer weather. Nearly all of our rain falls from the end of October through July 5. So sorry about that beautiful live oak!

  4. I had several plants root, too. I love the rain but miss the butterflies who hide when it gets so soggy.

  5. Its so difficult to control the water logged factor for hardy flowering plants.
    Now I realise why my bougainvillea don't bloom so much as they suppose to as they are close with my other plants of which I water them daily.

  6. I was thinking your title was a mouthful until I saw where it derived. Good to know about the bougainvillea...they like the "perfect" amount of water to bloom. Last winter, I had them in the greenhouse where they bloomed like crazy, get them out there and its haphazard..I wonder what the difference guess is temperature???

  7. It's so hard to judge how much water is too much, isn't it? Harder yet to control it when faced with the heavy rains you've had. Here, where we had so little rain even during our brief winter rainy season, we have to judge how much to irrigate to keep even our "drought-tolerant" plants alive without seriously depleting our checkbook balances. It makes a good argument for sticking to native plants I guess.

    I hope your live oak makes it. It's sad to lose a tree like that.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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