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Garden roses struggle when temperatures rise

Some plants don’t grow well in rock, and roses are one of them. Nearly all landscape plants in the rose family like soil improvement and a moist environment when planted in desert soils.

Watering cactus too often can lead to plant death

Be careful when putting cactuses on an automatic water or irrigation timer. They are watered so infrequently that it sometimes makes sense to water these plants manually with a hose rather than automating the task.

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No simple way to prevent tree suckers

Some plants grow suckers at the base of the plant and others produce suckers, or new growth, a distance away from the plant. So far, the only practical way to eliminate them is to slice the roots and remove these plants, roots and all.

Italian cypress grows too tall to be used in residential landscapes

Q: I have just about reached my maximum frustration level with my 35 Italian cypresses. Between spraying them down weekly in the summer to keep the mites off and them not standing on their own without staking and guy wires for 2½ years, I am ready to give up. I am thinking about replacing them with 5-gallon dwarf golden arborvitae because they are smaller and easier to spray.

Agave weevils damaging cactuses this time of year

Cactuses, particularly agaves, are rotting and dying from damage by the agave weevil, which that lays its eggs at the base of agave leaves. As their young hatch from the eggs, they burrow into the stem of the agave and all through it, including the roots.

Leaf odor can differentiate bay laurel, Carolina cherry laurel

One easy way to tell the difference between a bay laurel and a Carolina cherry laurel is to crush the leaves and smell the herbal aroma. Bay laurel leaves have a pungent aroma. When you crush the leaves of Carolina cherry laurel, they have an aroma of maraschino cherries rather than herbal.

Bright Angel Trail footpath offers strenuous, positive Grand Canyon experience

Every hiker who has heard of it dreams of walking the Bright Angel Trail, the famous footpath that snakes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon all the way to the Colorado River on the canyon floor, with spectacular scenery almost every step of the way. If you’re going to hike it, May is one of the best months to do so, with average daily highs at 72 degrees on the rim and in the 80s about halfway down, at Indian Garden.

Rings Loop Trail offers an experience that will stick in memory

For an outdoor experience that’s different enough to make long-lasting memories, consider the Rings Loop Trail in the Mojave National Preserve, Calif. Located near the Hole-In-The-Wall campground, the trail is named for the metal rings bolted into the walls of a short, yet steep slot canyon. You will use these rings and bolts to help you climb up or down the slot.

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