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Southwest Regional Reports

Southwest: September Garden To-Do List

Parry’s agave (Agave parryi, Zones 7–10). Photo: Jennifer Benner

Late September is a good time to start planting cacti and agaves (Agave spp. and cvs., Zones 5–11). As the heat dies down and the evenings cool off a bit, these desert gems will begin to grow again.

If your citrus (Citrus spp. and cvs., Zones 9–11) is looking yellowed, don’t fret. Continue deep watering, and as the temperatures lower your citrus will perk right back up.

Silverleaf whiteflies
Silverleaf whiteflies (Bemisia argentifolii). Photo: Stephen Asumus, USDA

Keep an eye out for whiteflies on your lantana (Lantana spp. and cvs., Zones 8–11), justicias (Justicia spp. and cvs., Zones 9–11), and salvias (Salvia spp. and cvs., Zones 5–11). If you notice an infestation, use a soapy water solution or organic insecticidal soap to deter those little buggers.

September is a great month to prune any monsoon-damaged palm leaves. You can also trim up any overgrown desert legumes such as the palo verde (Parkinsonia spp., Zones 9–11) or mesquite trees (Prosopis spp., Zones 6–11).

Sheila Schultz and Laurel Startzel are a mother-daughter duo who founded Denver Dirty Girls Container Gardening while living in Denver, Colorado and have continued their business since moving to Tucson, Arizona.

Mexican palo verde
Overgrown palo verdes, like this Mexican palo verde (Parkinsonia aculeata, Zones 9–11), can be trimmed down. Photo: Dinkum via Wikipedia Commons
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