One of the few things to upset me in the garden is to see plants dying off. In a shrubby plant’s world there are some real tough plants. The dwarf bottle-brush and the gulf stream nandina hold an ability to laugh at heat. For this plants to be growing in big pots, full sun, and never showing off signs of deterioration is because they must love desert conditions. It is the case for the bottle-brush, been a desert plant in its native Australia.

But rosemary is another situation. These plants will not complain if they were planted in regular garden soil absorbing more water, and not in a medium size pot as I did. Rosemary is an “I don’t forgive you personality.” If you let the soil dry off in the pot for a few days and some branches start to dry-off; the plant may well never recover and die!. The opposite is to have a bad drainage soil. Rosemary roots die this way too.

My rosemary plants began drying-off some branches— One plant more than the other!— They were in full sun in 12” clay pots —Small for Tuscan blue variety— But they been in the back of the garden, is that area where sometimes I don’t want to go watering. The death toll? None yet!, but I had to shop off many branches from one rosemary. Then I moved them to bigger pots where the ixoras were.

Rosemary is now where the Ixoras were before.

Chop off

Ixoras look majestic in summer and fall, blooming all the time. They are tropical luxurious shrubby plants. That is until the cold makes its presence. If you forget to move ixoras indoors once temperatures reach 40 degrees F or less, the plants lose its foliage. They may die below freeze point. My ixoras didn’t die, but in late fall and winter the sun doesn’t shine as much as spring, summer and mid fall. Areas where you get partial sun in spring, summer and fall become less sunny in winter. That makes plants less happy during the season.

Wasn’t easy to move ixoras from bigger to smaller pots. I had to get rid off 30% of the root ball.

Ixora’s roots.

Ixora’s new pots.

I learned a valuable lesson. Plant little shrubs in bigger pots! You’ll do less gardening every year giving thumbs up to that advice. Your plants will be happier too.

Leaf muncher.