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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:55 am 
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 7:37 am
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Location: Denton,TEXAS
I've long thought it would be nice to try a desert willow. However, in this area there's more clay than the sandy soil these plants are native to. Have folks had success growing desert willow in this area? Any additional steps to prepare for planting into clay soil?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:45 pm 
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Location: Saginaw,TX
Yes, they do very well here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:54 am
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Location: Dallas,TX
Several years ago I wanted to plant a desert willow and was told that they would do well here in Dallas, as long as they didn't have "wet feet"; however, that doesn't mean they don't want supplemental watering, just that they also need fast draining soil.

We were planning to plant ours in a new large flower bed we were preparing, so it wasn't quite the same as the normal preparation you would make to plant a tree. We heavily ammended the bed with all the organic material that Howard recommends.

I am happy to say that our tree is thriving and is about 20 feet tall now.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 7:37 am
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Location: Denton,TEXAS
Thanks for the info.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I was seriously thinking of pulling up some of my crepe myrtles and replacing them with desert willow or some such. However, now that they are blooming, my enthusiasm for committing mayhem has subsided, for now.

I've got one crepe myrtle that's big (maybe 25' or so), healthy, never topped-off, and covered all over with blooms this time of year. Never really had any problems with powdery mildew either. There's no trees immediately near it, so it's got room to breath. Being tall probably helps there too.

Then I've got some smaller crepe myrtles along two fences, always have been topped-off, densely arranged, and immediately to the South is a neighbor with some big trees so they don't get no where near the air circulation. Consequently, every Spring it's the battle with the powdery mildew. Yes, thanks to this site, I know how to treat the PM when it appears. Nonetheless, every May I wonder if maybe they were just not meant to be there.

Anyway, at least I know the desert willow would do OK. Now just have to figure out where. Maybe if this drought continues the desert willow will be the only thing that survives here, so maybe that'll answer it for me! :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:54 am
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Location: Dallas,TX
Please do remember that even drought tolerant plants need some coddling until they get established, with a pretty developed root system. Most of my plants are perennial, Texas native or adapted plants, and I have made the mistake several times (you'd think I would learn) of underwatering the plants in the early stages.

Also, we always use Howard's recommendation of planting wet to wet.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:37 am 
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 7:37 am
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Location: Denton,TEXAS
Kay Young wrote:
Please do remember that even drought tolerant plants need some coddling until they get established, with a pretty developed root system. Most of my plants are perennial, Texas native or adapted plants, and I have made the mistake several times (you'd think I would learn) of underwatering the plants in the early stages.

Yeah, I'm getting better at that....

Kay Young wrote:
Also, we always use Howard's recommendation of planting wet to wet.

Hmmm... what's that? I must have missed that....


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:54 am
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Location: Dallas,TX
Well, I was looking on Howard's home page to direct you to the right spot where he explains the "wet to wet" planting approach, but I couldn't find it, so I'll give you my recollection. Before planting, I place the plant in a bucket of diluted Garrett Juice. Some people swear by using just seaweed. I prepare the new location the plant is going to, dig the hole, then pour diluted Garrett juice in the hole, flooding it. The hole should be draining nicely. Then I plant the wet plant in the wet hole and backfill with the dirt I took out (which had already been ammended with all Howard's recommendations). Then I pour a little more Garrett juice on the finished planting. It works like a charm.


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