You may think the formally pruned sage shrubs in the photo above, look okay besides being a bit on the large side.
But, what you don’t see is a large amount of dead branches inside. In reality, these shrubs are covered in a very thin layer of growth.
Here is an example of old Cassia (Senna nemophila) shrubs that have only been pruned formally. You can see that there are more dead areas than live growth.
So, how do you go about severely pruning old, overgrown shrubs back?
First of all – don’t do this during cooler months because it will take your shrubs a very long time to grow back. In addition, it can make frost-tender shrubs more susceptible to frost damage. Wait until spring for pruning back summer-flowering shrubs such as bougainvillea, sage, oleanders, etc.
You need a good pair of loppers and sometimes a pruning saw and you are ready to go. Simply prune your shrub back until there is only about 1 – 2 ft left.
Hedge trimmers can help if you use them to remove the outer part of the shrub and then you can get your loppers inside to prune off larger branches toward the base.
Below, are photos of ‘Rio Bravo’ Sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’) shrubs that started out overgrown, were pruned back severely, and grew back.
Pruned back to 1 ft.
This is the ugly stage. But you need to go through this ‘awkward’ stage to achieve beautiful, healthy shrubs.
I promise that it doesn’t last long…
New growth appears 3 weeks later
8 weeks after pruning.
12 weeks after severe pruning.
You can see that the severe pruning caused the shrub to grow young, new branches that produce beautiful green growth and flowers.
**Although severe renewal pruning keeps your shrubs healthy and attractive – there are a few cases when an old, overgrown shrub won’t grow back. It is doubtful that the Cassia shrubs, above, will survive for long either with or without severe pruning).
This usually indicates that the shrub has declined too much and would not have survived for long even without pruning. If this happens, you are better off replacing your shrub.**
Hand pruners, pruning saw and loppers
A good guideline for severely pruning your shrubs is to do this every 3 years or so. Of course, you can do this every year if you like to help keep your shrubs from outgrowing their space.
I hope that this helps to answer some of your questions.
If you would like to learn more about how to prune shrubs the right way, I invite you to learn more about my popular online shrub pruning workshop.
https://www.azplantlady.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Old-overgrown-Leucophyllum.firstname.lastname@example.org://email@example.com 19:58:002021-01-30 07:58:50Spring Cleaning – Severe Renewal Pruning
Well, cold for this area of the Desert Southwest. Temperatures are predicted to dip into the 20’s for a few days, which is quite cold for zone 9a.
As a result, I am being asked by quite a few people about what they should do to prepare their semi-tropical plants for the cold temperatures.
The best thing you can do is to cover your frost-tender plants. Do this in the evening and don’t uncover them the following day until temperatures are 50 degrees or above. Recover them later in the day if another freeze is expected.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how to protect your plants during a normal winter freeze (30 degrees and above). You do have the choice to protect your plants or not. I mentioned that I only protect my high-profile Lantana near my front entry.
BUT, when temperatures are forecast to fall into the 20’s for a few days, I start pulling out all my old linens, including my kid’s old character bed sheets…
I cover most of my semi-tropical plants including my other lantana, young citrus tree, yellow bells, bougainvillea and pink trumpet vine.
The reason for this is that I don’t want my plants killed to the ground by the frost, which can happen when temperatures dip into the 20’s for a few days.
You see, frost damage can be cumulative with each additional night of freezing temps, creating more damage to plants.
So, if you have frost cloth – use it. If you don’t, then start raiding your linen closet and pull out towels, sheets, tablecloths, etc. Believe it or not, even newspaper can provide some protection. Just anchor it down with rocks to keep it from blowing away. (I once used canned foods from my pantry to anchor frost blankets 😉
What you shouldn’t use is plastic.
Also, if you want to protect your plants – you have do better then this person did…
What they ended up with was plants with green areas, surrounded by brown, crispy frost-damaged growth. You need to cover the entire plant with no gaps.
Watering you plants at dusk also helps because water releases heat into the night.
If you have columnar cacti, then protect the ends using styrofoam cups.
Young citrus trees should also be protected….
So what do you do if you didn’t protect your plants and they look like this afterward?
Relax, first of all. More then likely, it is still alive at the base and will grow back once spring arrives.
Whatever you do, DON’T prune them now! That can damage or even kill your plant. I know it is ugly, but it is only until spring when you can prune all the frost-damaged foliage away.
**Even if you protect your plants from frost, there can still be some frost damage that occurs. It all depends on the severity and duration of the cold. But, covering them increases the chance that they will recover once temperatures warm up in spring.
https://www.azplantlady.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/DSC_0002.firstname.lastname@example.org://email@example.com 20:24:002023-02-16 17:40:31Prepping for a Deep Freeze…
The cold weather has arrived in my neck of the woods with even colder temperatures on their way later this week.
When temperatures dip below 32 degrees, you will find me wearing warm socks, slippers, a sweater, and cardigan when I’m indoors. But, besides me – frost-tender plants are also affected by the cold temperatures.
Have you ever wondered why your plant’s leaves turn brown and crispy after a freeze? Well, ice crystals form on the top of the leaves, which ‘sucks’ out the moisture from the leaf, leaving it brown and crispy.
Many plants handle cold weather just fine and have no problems with frost. However, if you have frost-tender plants, such as bougainvillea, lantana, or yellow bells, you face a choice; Do you leave them unprotected from freezing temperatures and live with the unattractive frost-damaged growth? Or do you protect them when temperatures dip below freezing?
Either choice is fine and is a matter of personal preference. Frost-damaged growth can be pruned back once the last frost of the season has passed (early March where I live). But, if you don’t want to live with brown, crispy plants for a few months, then protecting your plants when temps dip below freezing is necessary.
In the daytime, the sun shines on soil, warming it. At night, the soil releases the warmth from the ground. When you cover your plants – the heat is captured keeping your plants warmer.
Plants aren’t fussy about what type of covering you use (with one exception); old sheets and towels are usually on hand and are easy to use. Burlap and newspaper are also useful as coverings. Cover your frost-tender plants in the evening, making sure that there aren’t any gaps where the heat can escape. You can use large rocks or clothespins to secure them in place. In the day, remove the covers once temperatures have risen above freezing, and allow the sun to warm the soil again.
Don’t keep the coverings on your plants for more than two days in a row without removing them in the day since this can cause water to become trapped underneath, leading to fungal diseases and can cause plants to produce new growth that can be easily damaged by cold.
The best type of frost protection is frost cloth, which is a breathable fabric because it can ‘breathe,’ you can leave the frost cloth on your plants for a longer period. But, use it only when there is a threat of frost. After three days, uncover your plants during the day to allow the sun to reach your plants.
My neighbor made things worse by using plastic as a covering for his citrus trees.
One type of covering that you shouldn’t use is plastic, which transfers the cold to your plants and damages leaves when it touches the plant itself.
In my garden, I only protect my frost-tender trailing lantana which is in a high-profile area next to my entry. The rest of my frost-tender plants, I leave alone until it is time to prune back their frost-damaged growth in spring.
So whether you cover your plants or not, the choice is yours 🙂
For more information on frost protection, check out the following link from the University of Arizona: Frost Protection
https://www.azplantlady.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Frost-Damaged-Lantanafirstname.lastname@example.org://email@example.com 21:25:002021-01-30 10:28:47Frost Protection: To Cover Plants or Not?
Many people tell me that they are tired of their boring, round green shrubs. Often, they are surprised when I tell them that those ‘boring’ green balls would actually flower if given a chance.
So, how do you take those boring green balls and turn them into beautiful, flowering shrubs?
‘Green Cloud’ Texas Sage shrubs
The first step is to rejuvenate your green ‘balls’ by severely pruning them back.
Now I warn you, this is an ugly stage. Your shrubs will look like a bunch of sticks poking out of the ground.
Red Bird-of-Paradise shrubs, newly pruned.
This is best done at certain times of the year, depending on what type of flowering shrub you have. For example, if you severely prune summer-flowering shrubs back in December, you will have to wait a long time for them to leaf out, once the weather warms.
I pruned the ‘Rio Bravo’ Sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’) shrub below in March and by early April, it had already begun to produce new branches.
‘Rio Bravo’ Sage, 1 month after severely pruning.
So, when should you prune your shrubs?
Here is a list of some of the most common shrubs in the low desert and when they should be pruned. (If you live in the high desert, you can adjust the timing by a month or so later.)
Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea species) – March
Red Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) – March
Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) – March
Cassia species (Senna species) – May (once flowering is finished)
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) – June
Valentine Bush (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’) – May
Texas Sage (Leucophyllum species) – March
Oleander (Nerium oleander) – May or June
Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans) – March
Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) – March or April
If you look closely at the list above, you can see that in most cases these shrubs are either pruned once they have finished flowering OR just after the danger of frost is over in the spring.
The reward for your efforts is a beautiful, flowering shrub like the ‘Green Cloud’ Texas Sage, below.
‘Green Cloud’ Texas Sage
If your shrub is getting a bit large later in the year, you can prune it using hand pruners and removing no more then 1/3 of the growth. Just be careful not to use hedge-trimmers.
So, do you have to prune your flowering shrubs severely every year?
As long as your shrub is attractive and not outgrowing its space, you can save severe pruning for every 3 years or so, which will remove older branches and cause new ones to grow in their place. This is what I do in my own garden.
Want to learn about pruning flowering shrubs the right way? I invite you to check out my popular online pruning workshop. I’ll teach you how to maintain beautiful flowering shrubs by pruning twice a year or less.
https://www.azplantlady.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Boringfirstname.lastname@example.org://email@example.com 11:28:002021-02-13 10:11:18Turn Your Boring Green ‘Ball’ Into a Beautiful, Flowering Shrub
My last post dealt with the loss of one of our beautiful ‘Desert Museum’ palo verde trees. So now we are faced with the question of which type of tree should we choose to replace the one that I lost? We worked hard the past couple of days to remove the fallen tree and now have a bare space to fill.
I have lived in my home (and garden) for over ten years. As our houseome was being built, we designed the surrounding garden. I enjoyed deciding which trees I would choose to grace our desert garden with not only beauty but shade in the summer months. I honestly do not understand people who don’t plant trees in the garden – especially in desert climates. They not only provide wonderful shade in the summer months but also add a lot of value to your property.
*This blog contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission with no additional cost to you.
Desert Museum Palo Verde (Parkinsonia hybrid ‘Desert Museum’)
I loved my palo verde tree that fell…..I have two others just like it, including the one pictured above. There is much to like about these trees beside the beautiful green trunks – they are fast growing, thornless, evergreen and yellow flowers in the spring. The only drawbacks are that there is litter from the fallen flowers in spring, which means that it should not be planted by a pool. The fallen flowers do not bother me at all – I rather enjoy the carpet of yellow.
But, even with all of the wonderful attributes of this tree, I have decided to select another type of tree as it’s the replacement. Why may you ask? Well, because they grow quickly, I do have to prune them quite a bit. I do not mind pruning, but pruning three of these trees each year was becoming much more of a chore.
Another reason is that in addition to being a horticulturist, I am also a certified arborist and I do love trees and have grown many different kinds in the landscapes that I managed. Right now, I have 14 trees (8 different types) growing in my front, back and side gardens. I would enjoy adding another kind of tree to my plant palette.
So, here comes the fun part…which one to choose?
Desert Fern (Lysiloma thornberi, Lysiloma watsonii var. thornberi, Lysiloma microphylla var. thornberi)
One of my favorite things about the desert fern is the beautiful, fern-like leaves – hence its common name.
Another plus is that is a native, desert tree and is thornless. The leaves turn a slight maroon color in the winter in our zone 8b climate. In colder winters the leaves may drop altogether. Although what I would call a medium sized tree, it typically grows from 15 – 45 feet high and wide.
One drawback is that it does produce brown seed pods, which some people do not like, but I have no problem with them at all.
*I do have a desert fern tree already, and although another one would look great in my newly bare area, I think I will try to choose a different type of tree.
Sweet Acacia(Acacia farnesiana, Acacia smallii)
In the springtime, air is perfumed with the fragrance of the bright yellow puffball flowers of the sweet acacia. When not in flower, the tiny, dark green leaves are easier to see.
Although found in other areas of the United States, it is also native to the southwest. The mature size is approximately 25 feet high and wide. In areas with mild winters, the leaves will remain on the tree. Dark brown seedpods are produced once flowering has finished.
Some drawbacks to consider are the thorns having to be careful when pruning is necessary (requiring gloves and long sleeves). Now, I am more of a “Do as I say” person rather than a “Do as I do” person. I always wear gloves when I prune, but I rarely wear long sleeves in the summer months. As a result, I have some small scratch scars on my forearms from pruning sweet acacia in the past.
Although I love the beauty, size and the springtime fragrance of this tree, I don’t think I want to accrue any more scars on my arms 😉
Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Believe it or not, oak trees do very well in our desert climate. Southern live oak, cork oak, and holly oak are all found in the suburban landscape. Southern live oak is the most prevalent, however.
There is little not to love about these trees – they are thornless, have evergreen foliage, are tolerant of full and reflected sun making this tree very low-maintenance. In non-desert climates, they can reach heights of up to 40 – 60 ft., but will not grow that large in the desert. In the landscape areas that I managed, they were a favorite because there was so little maintenance required.
I may be crazy, but this tree seems a little boring to me. I don’t know why. I spent my teenage years growing up in the town of Thousand Oaks, California and the hillsides are dotted with large, specimen oak trees. The oak trees that I see growing in our area do not resemble the ones from my childhood, so maybe that is the reason that I do not have any in my garden. But, I would wholeheartedly recommend this tree to anyone who wants a lovely, low-maintenance tree.
Bottle Tree (Brachychiton populneus)
Some of you may be surprised to know that many of our trees and shrubs are grown in our arid climate are native to Australia. The bottle tree is one of them. First of all, I love the shape of the leaves and how the sun reflects off of them in a gentle breeze. I also like the slightly pendulous way that the branches hang down. Evergreen in areas with mild winters and a smooth trunk make it an asset in the garden. Its mature size of 30 – 45 feet high and 30 feet wide, makes it suitable for narrower spaces.
As a child, growing up in Los Angeles, we had one in our front garden. My sister and I used to pretend that the little flowers were ‘fairy caps and the flowers were soon followed by large, brown seedpods.
The pods themselves are quite cool looking, and my mother would use them in making wreaths out of seedpods. But what I most remember about the seedpods is getting some of the ‘fuzz’ from the inside stuck on my bare feet, and it hurt. I think that is maybe why I do not have this tree in my garden. But, many people I know who have a bottle tree love them.
**One note of caution, this tree is quite susceptible to Texas (Cotton) root rot (a fungal disease that infects the roots). So if you know of cases of Texas root rot in your neighborhood, I would advise growing another type of tree.
Palo Blanco (Acacia willardiana)
If you have not already noticed already, I am somewhat biased about certain types of trees. This one is one of my favorite smaller trees. The word ‘palo blanco; means “white stick” in Spanish and refers to the white trunk of this tree – considered to be one of its most attractive assets.
The bark peels off in papery sheets. Palo blanco trees look great when planted near each other in groups of 3 or 5 where their distinctive tree trunks can be shown off.
I also like the bright green foliage of the trees and their tiny leaflets. In winter, the leaves do fall from the desert native, but they are so small and do not create much litter.
When mature, it reaches a height of 15 – 20 feet and spreads to 10 feet wide which makes it suitable for a patio tree or other small area. Maintenance is minimal, only requiring a small amount of pruning.
Tiny flowers grace the tree in spring, followed by decorative seed pods.
Excellent book about what to do in the garden and when
I like these trees so much that I have three of them. They are growing against my west-facing garden wall and do great in the reflected sun. But, I will probably choose something else for my bare area since I would like a tree that is a little larger for that area.
Indian Rosewood / Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo)
It’s hard to beat the sissoo tree for fast growth and shade. However, they ARENT recommended for average size residential landscapes. The photo of the tree above was taken four years after it was planted from a 15-gallon container and it rapidly grew even larger – soon, it had to be removed due to its invasive roots. This tree made its debut in the Phoenix area about 15 years ago and rapidly became quite popular for its lush green beauty. However, as sissoo trees have been grown in the southwest landscape for several years, problems have begun to crop up. They have invasive root systems that cause problems with sidewalks, patio decks, pools, and block walls. Also, their mature size is so big that they dwarf the landscapes they have been planted in.
Shallow watering often causes the roots to grow along the surface.
Sissoo trees are best used in large outdoor areas such as parks.
Olive (Olea europaea)
Olive trees are also an option. Most are multi-trunk with beautiful olive green leaves. They are evergreen and thornless. Regular fruiting olives are no longer sold in many cities due to their highly allergenic pollen. Thankfully, there is a non-fruiting cultivar called ‘Swan Hill,’ which is available.
Reaching a mature size of 20 – 30 feet high and wide, olive trees make excellent shade trees and are slow-growing. Some olive trees have fallen prey to some creative pruning.
Not quite my taste and I would like a tree that will not take too long to grow, so let’s press on to other trees.
Texas Ebony (Ebenopsis/Pithecellobium flexicaule)
Texas ebony is an excellent choice for those who like a dense, dark green canopy of leaves. Native to both Texas and Mexico, this tree does very well in the Arizona desert. Everything about this tree is dark – the green leaves the dark brown trunk.
This evergreen tree, has thorns and large brown seedpods. Texas ebony grows slowly to about 15 – 30 feet high and 15 – 20 feet wide.
This is a favorite tree with my clients, but again, I am looking for a tree that grows more quickly.
Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)
An excellent tree for those who like lush, green trees that lose their leaves in winter.
Chinese pistache grows to 25 – 25 feet high and wide and has some welcome surprises.
It is one of the few trees in our area that produces a rich fall color. Female trees produce clusters of little berries in the fall.
I like this tree, but I want to see more trees before I decide…..
Cascalote (Caesalpinia cacalaco)
Another tree that also provides beautiful color in fall and winter is the cascalote. Plumes of yellow flowers start to appear in November and stay through December. At maturity, they reach approximately 15 feet tall and wide.
I love the clusters of small round leaves that are evergreen.
Now I am not a fan of thorns, but the thorns on this tree are almost pretty. But, you want to plant this tree away from pedestrian areas. You can remove the thorns if you like, which is what I have done in the past. However, there is now a thornless variety, called ‘Smoothie.’
The first flowers of the season begin to open. I bought my first one on a field trip with my Plant Identification college class to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. I brought it home and planted it in a container because we were renting a house at the time, waiting for our new home to be built. Later, I planted it in our front garden, and I look forward to the beautiful yellow flowers in the fall.
Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis)
Believe it or not, some pine trees also do well in the desert. I love the sound of the wind as it blows through pine trees. Aleppo, Canary Island (Pinus canariensis) and mondel pines (Pinus eldarica) are all found in suburban areas of the lower desert areas of the southwest.
Depending on the species, they grow anywhere from 30 – 60 feet tall and most should not be planted in a residential landscape unless there is ample room for growth. They can suffer from soils and water with high amounts of salts.
Pine trees offer heavy shade that will prevent most grasses from growing underneath. Pine needles litter the ground as well. But did you know that pine needles make an excellent mulch? As they break down, they help to acidify our alkaline soils. And so, if you have a neighbor with pine trees, offer to rake some pine needles up to put in your garden. Your neighbor will be so happy 🙂
I am pretty sure that I will not plant a pine tree because I have memories of many hours spent nursing along many pine trees growing on golf courses that were irrigated with reclaimed water. Most of the pine trees did not do well with the high level of salts in the effluent water.
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
A summer favorite is the desert willow tree. Beautiful, willow-shaped leaves and flowers brighten up the summer garden. It can grow anywhere from 8 – 30 feet high and wide. Available in both single and multi-trunk, I prefer the beauty of the multi-trunk shape.
You will find this tree growing in parks, roadside plantings as well as in residential landscapes. Its small-medium size makes it suitable for smaller areas. It does lose its leaves in winter and forms narrow seed capsules. While not the prettiest tree in winter, the flowers produced spring through fall make it more than worth it and there are new (almost seedless) varieties such as ‘Bubba’ and ‘Timeless Beauty’ that produce little to no seedpods.
That is why I have four currently growing in my garden.
I would still like to find something different, that I do not currently have growing in my garden.
I need to continue looking at possible tree choices. (You can check out my second post of possible tree selections, here 🙂
P.S. Do you have more questions about choosing a tree for your landscape? I share my experience as a horticulturist and certified arborist and profile my top 20 along with all of their characteristics in my mini-course “How to Select the Right Tree for Your Desert Garden”.
The time has finally arrived! Summer temperatures are but a memory and fall is here!
Every year we wait for the end of summer so we can start adding plants in the garden. The only question is what plants will I add?
The possibilities are endless…
Purple Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violaceae)
The signs that fall in the desert may not be as evident as in other parts of the county, yet they are here. Elongating shadows, cooler evening temperatures along with increased plant growth and flowering are clear signs that the heat of summer is fading and cooler temperatures are on their way.
Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)
October and November are the best months in which to plant most types of plants in the desert. The reason for this is that plants use the cooler weather in which to grow a healthy root system so that by the time that the summer arrives, they are ready to handle the stress of the intense heat.
Parry’s Penstemon (Penstemon parryi)
Most trees, shrubs, perennials, and succulents can be planted now. Stay away from planting palms, bougainvillea, lantana and other plants that suffer frost damage during the winter months. They do best when planted in the spring.
Chaparral Sage (Salvia clevelandii)
As in all climates, be sure to plant correctly. Dig a hole three times as wide as the root ball but no more profound than the root ball. This will allow the roots to grow outwards more quickly.
When growing native plants, you do not need to add any amendments to the hole as this can cause the roots to just stay in place, enjoying the nutrient-rich soil, instead of venturing out into the regular soil. If you do decide to add amendments to the soil, be sure to incorporate them well with the existing soil.
Newly installed plants will initially require more water than established plants, so be sure to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
https://www.azplantlady.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Purple_Lilac_Vine_Hardenbergia_violaceaeFeb92C20102C12-33PM.firstname.lastname@example.org://email@example.com 01:56:002021-03-24 08:15:50Fall is Here! Time to Start Planting!
Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) brings a unique “cottage-garden” feel to the desert plant palette along with some surprises. In spring a flush of beautiful flowers are produced that will cause people to stop in their tracks. After that, globe mallow will bloom off and on throughout the summer and fall.
This shrubby, perennial is native to the Southwestern areas of North America where it is found growing along washes and rocky slopes. They grow quickly and reach approximately 3 ft. X 3 ft. in size. Globe mallow is cold hardy to about 20 degrees F.
Although most globe mallow plants produce orange flowers, they are available in other colors including pink, purple, white, red and shades in between. At the nursery, you will usually see the orange flowered variety available. However, some growers are beginning to stock selections of globe mallow in different colors. But buyer beware; unless specially marked or blooming, you don’t know exactly what color flower you will end up with make sure if you want a certain color to check for mark.
Often, the surprise occurs after you plant them and wait to see what color the flowers will be. I bought four globe mallow, out of bloom, for my garden and ended up with one red, two pink and one white. For those who do not like surprises in the garden, you can wait and buy them in bloom in the spring.
USES: Globe mallow attracts hummingbirds as well as butterflies. They serve as a colorful backdrop for small perennials or small cacti. Consider planting with any of the following plants for a colorful desert flower garden – penstemon, desert marigold, ruellia, and blackfoot daisy. This beautiful but tough plant does best in full sun and performs well in areas with hot, reflected heat. Do not plant in shady areas as this will cause them to grow leggy.
Globe mallow do self-seed, and the seedlings can be moved and transplanted in the fall if desired. They are used frequently for re-vegetation purposes because they grow readily from seed.
MAINTENANCE: This pretty perennial is very low-maintenance. No fertilizer or amendments to the soil are required. Prune once a year to approximately 6 inches to 1 ft. after it has finished blooming in late spring/early summer, which will help to prevent them from self-seeding, maximize future blooming and minimize unproductive, woody growth. Globe mallow is not the type of plant to repeatedly shear into a formal shape. When pruning, wear gloves and long sleeves since the tiny hairs on the leaves can be irritating to some as well as an eye irritant.
Once established, globe mallow is quite drought-tolerant, but will require supplemental irrigation for the best appearance and flowering. My globe mallow plants are connected to my drip-irrigation system and do very well when watered three to four times a month, spring through fall.
ADDITIONAL FACTS: Historically, globe mallow were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes such as treating diarrhea, sore throats, eye diseases as well as skin disorders. Their roots were used for upset stomachs and poultices were made for treating swollen joints and broken bones.