Making Drought Tolerant Not Look Drought Tolerant

 

Our motto is at the very heart of Colorlicious' landscaping strategy and why we are like no other when it comes to creating lush, spectacular, showcase gardens that use very little water yet are full of beautiful blooms and colors. Through years of research and partnering with local visionary hybridizer Charles Black of Hidden Valley Hibiscus we have created the 1st ever plant and growing system that allows for us to offer stunning green landscapes that are far prettier than most water loving landscapes you will see yet need minuscule amounts of water to attain this look.

Newly planted exotic hibiscus landscaping 2012 - Tustin, Orange County

Newly planted exotic hibiscus landscaping 2012 - Tustin, Orange County

3 yrs of growth with no sprinklers, only a drip system with fertilizer injector

3 yrs of growth with no sprinklers, only a drip system with fertilizer injector

Exotic Hibiscus - The Key Ingredient 

HVH Exotic Hibiscus are a unique breed of hibiscus unlike any other you will find and that is what we use. Charles Black of Hidden Valley Hibiscus has spent over 20 years carefully hybridizing traditional hibiscus with exotic hibiscus to create an entire new gene pool of vigorous, lush, floriferous bushes that produce huge blooms with colors and patterns that are truly breath taking.  Colorlicious has spent the last 6 years working out a growing system that allows these amazing plants to flourish outdoors year round on the Southern California Coastal Plain. The plants we offer greatly reduce the impact on limited water supplies.  Colorlicious is the only commercial landscaper that has rights to use Hidden Valley Hibiscus plants - no other landscaper has access to their plants and without the plants this is not possible.
Established exotic hibiscus thriving with less than 30 minutes of drip irrigated water per week.  No lawn sprinklers or any other irrigated waterings.

Established exotic hibiscus thriving with less than 30 minutes of drip irrigated water per week.  No lawn sprinklers or any other irrigated waterings.

Exotic Hibiscus are the perfect plant for a drought tolerant set up as their root systems are geared for large amounts of air due to their ancestral beginnings in tropical climates with rocky, volcanic soils. The challenge is they have a tight range of suitable climates to grow in outdoors and an even more specific requirements for nutrient intake. Fortunately one of just a couple locations in the continental United States that provides the right climate conditions year round is the Southern California Coastal Plain. Thanks to the Pacific Ocean which regulates our air temperature year round so it never gets too cold or too hot we are in that rare growing zone.  

Zones 10a & 10b - that is where Exotic Hibiscus can grow outdoors year round

Zones 10a & 10b - that is where Exotic Hibiscus can grow outdoors year round

How We Make Our Gardens Drought Tolerant

Fertigation

Colorlicious has spent many years conducting field trials and researching ways to not only successfully grow these amazing plants outdoors but to do it in a way that uses very little water.  Fertigation is the perfect way to accomplish this and the results have exceeded our expectations by a lot.  Fertigation is simply injecting liquid fertilizers directly into the water supply that is being used for a Water Drip Irrigation System.  As simple as this sounds there is a lot of science and technology involved to create a water wise outcome where the plants thrive and look like a tropical paradise while extremely low amounts of water are used.

Fertigation allows for precise amounts of water and feeding to occur targeting very specific areas where plant roots are located so nothing goes to waste.  It really is the optimal way to hydrate and feed a plant at the same time using only what is absolutely necessary and leaving nothing to waste.  This combined with exotic hibiscus' need for a well aerated soil composition leads to a very low use of water - summer or winter.

Soils

We have developed a process by which we use specialized soil mixes that we plant the exotic hibiscus in that enable high levels of air to be present in the soil while still retaining enough moisture for the plants to become very large and abundant with blooms. This in itself is not an easy dynamic to create within a soil environment as it is basically having two opposite states at the same time.  Furthermore our soil mix changes depending on different directions of sun angles, shade, slope gradients and other factors that come into play for each microclimate a property may have.

 

Fertilizers

We then partnered with Hidden Vally Hibiscus to figure out the best mix of fertilizers for the exotic hibiscus. We use a dynamic blend of 4 different fertilizers that varies depending on the season. These fertilizers are custom made for exotic hibiscus so a very precise ratio of elements and trace elements have been formulated to achieve maximum outcomes.  We make our own blends so this is not something available at your local garden nursery.