Monthly Landscape & Garden Tips (May)

Monthly Landscape & Garden Tips (May)

By Garrett Cleverly on May, 4 2017

Stay up to date

Back to main Blog
Garrett Cleverly

Garrett Cleverly is versed in all native and non native species of plants, trees, succulents, and cacti that grow throughout the southern region. Garrett has a love for gardening and all things outdoors.


Depending on where you live in our region, spring is either in full swing still (we're quite jealous of that) or the spring season is coming to a close and those warmer summer temperatures are starting to creep in. 

Regardless of all that, the month is May is still a great time to plant shade trees if you're planning on having some shade relief this summer, citrus if you'd like a bountiful harvest this fall, and palms in you're hoping for a tropical backyard this summer when you're hosting that epic pool party. If you've been putting the landscape off all year, now is the ideal time to plant. Don't wait until it's too hot. Do it now so your new tree has time to establish a root system.

As always with our monthly landscape and garden tips, our nursery pros have a  few recommendations for you and a few trees, palms, and shrubs you should plant. Enjoy!

  • Watering: The temperature is starting to rise and it's imperative that you keep a close eye on your lawn and how your trees, shrubs, and grass is responding to the heat. Always remember to deep water. Small and short applications are ineffective. Long and slow applications are best as you want the water to penetrate deep into the soil. Not only does this help the tree right away, but it also helps in the long term development of the tree and it can make a tree less susceptible to drought.  For more information on deep watering practices download our water guide help you get a better idea on how to just take care of your landscape.
  • Mulch: A super easy way to keep the soil moist is to apply a layer of mulch around your tree. Adding a few inches of mulch can help keep your soil cool during the warmer summer months and warm during the cooler days. Mulch is available at any Moon Valley Nurseries location
  • Control Your Weeds: Spring weeds should be giving away to summer weeds and there is a way to take care of them before they set. No one wants to pull weeds in triple digits. Moon Valley Nursery stocks all of the things you will need for your weed prevention plan at our locations.
  • Fertilizers: Give your landscape a much-needed boost before the triple digits set in. All of our fertilizers have been specifically crafted for our native soils. We have fertilizers for everything on your landscape. From palms, to fruit and citrus, to flowering trees. In addition, we also have fertilizers that can assist in the material on your landscape that is still recovering from the winter or any stress. These can be purchased at all Moon Valley Nursery locations or online

Below are a few trees our experts recommend planting for this month

desertmuseum.pngMuseum Palo Verde
If you're looking for shade, beauty, and color the Museum Palo Verde is the best option that offers all three. This beautiful tree is a hybrid of different older Palo Verde species that brings out the best qualities in each. This unique combination results in a tree with fuller foliage, large and prolific yellow flowers, and a thornless trunk that has an eye-catching blue-green color that provides a start contrast to just about any landscape. The shade is layered, which at various times throughout the day, the sunlight will penetrate through. This provides two great benefits, as the tree looks light in your yard while providing sunlight to any shrubs you'd like to plant below the massive umbrella shaped canopy. This tree is a fast grower and requires minimal water once established. The bottom line is this: you will love this tree and it will turn heads in the neighborhood. 

lemon-3.pngCitrus trees
The majority of citrus trees produce in the fall, and if you are planning on having a bountiful harvest this fall, then plant today. We offer a wide range of citrus trees at Moon Valley Nurseries: Lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, tangelo, kumquat, and mandarins. Each with their own varieties that have been proven and guaranteed to produce in our climate. Plus, we grow all of our citrus of the best root stock t ensure the highest quality citrus trees for you and your family. No need to buy a small tree and wait 5 years. Purchase one of ours and your tree is already producing! You can view all of our varieties right here

The purple flowers on the Jacaranda can literally be found everywhere right now. Their showy, blue-purple flowers in large-thick clusters is what makes this tree a popular flowering tree for just about any landscape. The Jacaranda loves the full sun and it can handle the cold as well. it's growth pattern is upright, as if it was trying to reach for the stars and the tips of its branches are where the clusters of flowers bloom. The Jacaranda has more of an open canopy creating shade to a large area where shade is desired. We offer single and multi-trunk varieties at Moon Valley Nurseries and this tree is one of the most eye-catching curb appeal trees you cab plant.

elm.pngChinese Elm
The ideal shade tree is the Chinese Elm. Homeowners looking for an attractive picnic tree, hammock, play area, and more will love this good-looking shade provider on their lawn. The mottled bark of this tree resembles camouflage-like patterns that give it a unique and attractive look. Feel free to leave a long lasting memory by engraving your initials into the single trunk. It is fast grower that thrives in the sun and loves to grow in hot areas. Once planted, it will not be too long until you can enjoy the many benefits this tree can bring to your landscape. If you are looking for a massive shade provider that is easy to care for, you will find much to love about this Chinese Elm Tree. Moon Valley Nurseries sells vibrant and healthy, professionally nurtured mature specimens.

live-oak-2.pngLive Oak
You're probably thinking, 'a Southern tree in our region'? The answer is yes and the Southern Live Oak, Quercus virginiana, looks right at home planted in Southwestern landscapes. It is native to the coastal plains of the southeastern U.S and grows at a moderate rate. It is a large evergreen shade tree noted for its beauty and extreme drought tolerance. In fact, the Southern Live Oak was the lone survivor during the recent great Texas drought! Once established it will require low water, just let nature do the rest. This beauty will thrive in your landscape with full sun and little to no special care required.

Magnolia's (Magnolia Little Gem | Magnolia 'D.D. Blanchard' | Southern Magnolia | Teddy Bear Magnolia | Greenback Southern Magnolia | Samuel Sommer Magnolia) are a popular choice our customers at Moon Valley Nurseries. Many are drawn to the magnolia's softball-sized and fragrant white flowers, which are truly breathtaking. The flowers bloom throughout the summer and fall and they attract many of our pollinating friends. Now, the flowers aren't the only thing that makes the Magnolia a popular tree for our region. Many of our customers love the attractive glossy leaves and the Magnolia's ability to produce a thick canopy for summer shade relief. Magnolia are are super easy to grow and they can handle even the hottest of summer days.

If you're looking for a tree that can grow on its own with minimal assistance from you, then the Tipu tree is the one for you. he Tipu tree is one of the most popular trees we offer at Moon Valley Nursery, and it is everywhere in our city. We guarantee you passed one on the way to work today. They are very fast growing trees that have an upright growth pattern creating and providing a large area with shade. These trees are also drought tolerant once established and they can handle even the hottest summer days. It produces a unique show of golden blooms from late spring and into early summer that contrasts beautifully with its feathery green foliage. If you are looking for shade and color, this is your tree.

desertwillow.pngDesert Willow
These trees are blooming all over town and they look amazing right now. Named for its resemblance to Willows, this drought tolerant water-wise tree performs well in any landscape in our region. This hardy tree handles extreme temperature ranges and produces exotic-looking blooms from May to September. This fast grower requires little maintenance and does best with just enough water to keep it green and blooming throughout the warm summer months. Also of note, the Desert Willow comes in a variety of cultivars with remarkable differences in flower color, leaf form, and branching characteristics.

king-palm-4.pngKing Palm
King Palms are some of the best palms to plant around pools, tropical landscapes, or as focal points in front of a home. As the King Palm develops, it produces a great canopy of shade and when it comes to color, the King Palm is one of the best palm varieties for Southern California. The trunk is smooth with a lime-green crown shaft and a brown trunk that shows the growth rings. At the top, dark-green fronds rarely drop below the crown shaft adding a rich color that makes the lime-green crown shaft pop.  


queen-palm-6.pngQueen Palm
Specially grown at Moon Valley Nursery farms, the Piru Queen Palm is unlike other Queen Palms. Our Piru Queen Palms feature thicker and harder trunks, denser and greener fronds, and produce fuller crowns than other Queen Palms. Moon Valley Nurseries Piru Queen Palms can handle hot summers, cold winters, and windy days. The Piru Queen Palm is supported by a narrow trunk which makes it ideal in tight spaces around your pool, but it does require overhead space as the palm grows to statuesque heights.

redyucca.pngRed Yucca
Red Yucca is the standard in any desert landscape requiring color. The long slender leaves form a fountain like rosette and provide a nice structure to an area that needs a sculptural accent. Exceedingly tough and tolerant of heat and cold, red yucca require little if any care or maintenance. Irrigate once every two weeks when mature to maintain appearance. Red to coral blooms form on tall stalks late spring through early fall. Plant in groups for mass effect or mix in with cactus or succulents for a beautiful addition of color.


Bougainvillea can literally be found anywhere in our region and there is a reason why. Their flowers and when these flowers bloom they bloom! Flowers cover the entire plant making it a eye-pleasing sight. At Moon Valley Nurseries we offer three different varieties; bush form, vine form and Torch Glow, which is a more compact variety. Bougainvillea love the heat and are an extremely drought tolerant plant once established. They are heavy bloomers throughout Spring and Fall and produce white, red, pink, red, and purple flowers. 

Hibiscus are medium to large growing shrubs with very lush, dark foliage and beautiful flowers that come in a wide variety of colors. These beautiful flowering plants prefer to be planted in well-prepared garden soil that drains well and need even moisture for their roots. Be careful though as heavy soil tends to suffocate them. We have them available in red, pink, white, and yellow. 



When you are at one of our nurseries, be sure to talk to our experts about ways in which you can get your flowering shrubs to bloom to the max with any of our beneficial fertilizers. While you’re at it, simply follow our flying friends to their favorites and get the planted in your yard today.

Share On:

Submit a Comment

Get the latest tips & advice sent directly in your inbox, stay up to date