Summer heatwaves can wreak havoc on your precious plants if they’re not properly cared for. When temperatures soar well above normal for extended periods of time, it puts extreme stress on plants that are not used to such harsh conditions. Here are some tips for keeping your houseplants and outdoor garden happy and healthy during a heatwave:
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During heatwaves, summer flowering plants will need more frequent watering to replenish moisture lost through transpiration. However, overwatering can also damage plants. Check the soil before watering; only water when the top 1-2 inches are dry. For container plants, lift the pot to gauge its weight; water when it is noticeably lighter. Water in the morning so the foliage has time to dry out before nightfall.
Intense sunlight can scorch leaves and compact the soil. Move potted plants to shady spots outdoors or indoors near windows with sun exposure for just a few hours daily. Erect temporary shades or umbrellas over outdoor plants to mitigate the harsh midday sun. Tropical and shade-loving plants will especially appreciate relief from the hot sun.
Also Read: House Plants that Don’t Need Sun
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Group Plants Together
Placing plants in groupings allows them to create their own microclimate and share resources. Taller plants at the back provide shade for the fronters. Their roots also help maintain consistent soil moisture for neighbors. On hot days, the shared leaf cover’s transpiration creates a slightly cooler oasis for clustered companions. Zinnias, asters, and hibiscus are the best flowers to plant in summer to get that colorful garden you have always dreamed of.
A 2-4 inch layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture while shielding roots from direct sun exposure. Organic mulches like shredded bark, compost, or grass clippings are best. They break down over time, improving soil structure and providing nutrients. Mulching is essential for conserving water during heat waves.
Stifling indoor temperatures and poor ventilation exacerbate heat stress for houseplants. Open windows at night for cross-breeze airflow. During the day, position fans to circulate air but avoid strong direct gusts on the foliage, which can dehydrate leaves quickly. Consider moving summer plants in pots to shadier outdoor spots if conditions allow.
Also Read: How To Care For Indoor Plants?
High heat magnifies the effects of fertilizer burn if the soil is not kept consistently moist. It’s best to halt fertilizing outdoor plants until fall. For indoors, use diluted solutions only every few months rather than weekly during heatwaves. Thirsty plants that flower all summer focus on surviving, not extra growth spurts.
Gradually expose indoor plants to outdoor sun/heat for 1-2 weeks before setting permanently outside during a heatwave. This lets them toughen leaves and adjust slowly to harsh weather versus abrupt changes. Acclimate new additions similarly to avoid sun/heat shock.
Inspect for Pests
Stressed late-summer flowering plants are more susceptible to invaders. Keep a close eye out for signs of sap-sucking insects or fungal/bacterial issues exacerbated by heat and humidity. Isolate and treat immediately according to type upon detection.
With these care strategies, your plants can better endure a heatwave’s torrid temperatures while staying beautiful and hydrated. Consistent monitoring during extremely hot spells gives them the best chance to pull through unscathed until milder weather arrives again.
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