Eriobotrya japonica aka ‘Gold Nugget’ Loquat

I fell in love with this random find. Turned out they were loquats and easy to find locally

So I grabbed 3 at Houston Garden Center. I put one in a full afternoon sun, some what damp place ( my neighbor over waters), 2 in full afternoon sun in a bit drier location. The first doesn’t look so good the others are putting out new leaves. I’ll let the first one sit a couple of weeks just in case.

The tag says:
Full sun
15′-20 spread
15′-20′ tall
drought tolerant
hardy to 10’F, but will drop flowers/fruit at 32’F
fertilize in Feb with time release fertilizer

A bit of digging says they are quite prolificate, producing dozens of yellow/orange fruit but usually only fruit every few years in Houston

More details and photos as I learn about them and they grow…

Full sun does not mean full sun in Houston. So far morning sun through mid day is working out well. The ones that received all day full sun shriveled up. Moderate water, not nearly as drought tolerant as expected. They will require a good soaking at least once a week in dry times.

Nov 2020

Olive Tree

Just home from the store and plopped into the ground (late summer 2019)…

Native to Middle East
Evergreen
Drought resistant

I know little about them yet. I planted it in a spot that gets morning and mid afternoon sun. Despite the lack of rain it seems to be settling in okay. I’ve been watering heavily this week, I’ll taper that off and we’ll see how it does. This is truly drought tolerant and can handle full sun morning through afternoon, it only receives a bit of shade mid day.

… a few months later after its first pruning…

Properly pruned olive tree

Pruning trees
– remove dead branches
– remove the weaker of any branches rubbing up against another branch
– remove inside branches so all branches get plenty of light
Later as the tree grows we’ll trim down its height, suckers, and branches the grow straight up, they seem to sap the strength from other limbs

It’s been pruned again, it’s happily growing like a weed.

Nov 2020

Carissa Macrocarpa Natal Plum Shrub

Natal Plum Shrub
Natal Plum Shrub
Natal Plum Shrub

Native to South Africa
White flowers
Thorns
Fruits in summer to fall
Does well in coastal areas, salt tolerant
Propagate by seed or cutting

Attracts night flying insects

These are in pots, receive full afternoon sun and it’s been awfully dry this fall. Still they are happy and even produced a few plumbs.

Vitex agnus-castus aka Chaste Tree

Vitex a couple weeks after planting and a rainstorm
Vitex
Vitex
Vitex

Full Sun
Regular watering, well drained soil, drought tolerant once established
Tree/Shrub, mult trunk, purple flowers
Fast grower up to 25′ tall, more typically tops out at 15′ with a 15′ spread
Deciduous
Native to China, India, cultivated here since mid 1600s
Propagate from cuttings

Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

Used to be known as ‘Monks pepper’, potions from it were supposed to keep monks chaste

This is the first time I’ve grown Vitex and they’ll only been in the ground a week. Just in time for it to stop raining. Of all the plants I put in the last few weeks the Vitex are the only ones that haven’t shown any stress nor have they minded the lack of rain. I have them out in full exposed afternoon sun. Most everything there is wilting. These plants are quite content.

More info as I’ve had them longer…

So far they not only handle full sun in Houston and do better the more sun they receive. They are fast growers the ones in full sun are 3x-4x as large, the ones with a bit of shade are 2x as large as the last set of phones and it’s only been a year.

Keep up with the waterings, leaves shrivel when it’s dry and they don’t get a thorough soaking at least once a week.

Knockout Roses

Just planted Double Pink Knockout Rose, Aug 2019
Filling in nicely Nov 2019
They are more impressive than they appear in this photo
Steadily blooming and filling out – first pruning will be next spring

I’ve seen lots of good press about Knockout Roses, but who pays attention to press releases?

I’ve a front bed that gets full, blazing afternoon sun. I put a few out there and despite general neglect over the summer they did quite well. ( anything that doesn’t die out there I consider a success )

So I bought a whole lot more and lined the front bed. It immediately stopped raining. I’ve been watering them heavily. I’ll start to taper that off this week. They are all alive, the ones in the sunniest locations have dropped some leaves.

More info and photos after I get to know them better.

These are doing well, they were a bit unhappy late summer despite it raining regularly. They do want a good soaking once a week if it hasn’t rained. They are steady growers, not too fast, not too slow.