Impatiens, etc., newbie questions
I'd like to plant New Guinea Impatiens, and am in zone 8, S. California high desert. This is a very, very arid environment and summers are hot - 100+ for 3 months, and the winters have a low average of about 20-30F. I'm a rank newbie at gardening, but am also interested in Foxgloves, Mexican Primrose, Daylilies and Coleus. How do you guys think these plants would do for me? I have both full sun and partial sun areas. Thank you!
Impatiens and Coleus are shade-loving annuals. Impatiens sometimes reseed themselves here in Ohio depending on whether or not they are in a protected area and are also heavy drinkers in hot weather. Two good reasons I would not recommend Impatiens in your area. In my opinion as a landscaper, Coleus would not do well in those extreme heat conditions.
Foxglove and Primroses are also shade-loving plants, Foxglove being a biennial (blooms the second year) and Primroses being a Perennial (comes back year after year).
Of the plants you mentioned, I believe that Daylilies are your best bet as at least in Ohio, they thrive under the worst of growing conditions and soil, in sun or part shade. I'd shoot for the vivid darker reds, that hold their color in the heat and sun better than the pale colors or whites.
You need heat and drought tolerant plants. Coneflowers are very drought and heat tolerant for us here, as well as Black-eyed Susans, Coreopsis, and Galardia, all perennials. I suggest doing a search on the internet for drought and heat tolerant plants.
Hope this helps..
8) hi, seaecho! i have always had a soft spot for impatients. the new guinea impatients started showing up around my area maybe about 5 years or so ago. i understand they can tolerate the sun a bit more than the regular ones. from how you describe your area i don't know how they would do, are they selling them at the markets? if push comes to shove, you could always put it in a planter (i've always had very good luck with impatients in planters). one of the best things i like about gardening, is the trial and error part and figuring out what works where...don't worry, mother nature will let you know if you made a good choice. (also, asking alot of questions doesn't hurt either....lol)
Here's a site that has plants that would do well in your climate. Look into the Xeriscape plants.
You're not in Kansas anymore...
The Tucson Desert Wildlife Museum at http://www.desertmuseum.org/ has a whole demo garden targeted at desert landscapes. Why not write to them and see what they suggest?