The summer heat can be brutal on plants. But you don’t have to lose your flowers to the heat. Take care of your plants to keep them looking great all summer long.
How well your plants survive the summer heat often starts before you even plant. Selecting plants that stand up to full sun and heat is important if you live in a hot climate. Examples are torenia, bee balm and zinnia. If you’re not sure how well a particular plant will hold up in the heat, ask the nursery staff for recommendations.
A layer of mulch does more than make your garden look nice. It helps hold moisture in the soil so the plants don’t dry out as fast in the heat. It also keeps the soil slightly cooler than it would be without the mulch layer. A layer about 3 to 4 inches is generally recommended for mulching.
Adequate water is essential to help your plants survive a hot streak. Water the plants in the morning before it gets too hot. You can make sure more water gets to the roots by using a soaker hose in the garden. Don’t go overboard on the watering, though. You should still follow the watering recommendations for the plant, but you should check more frequently to see if the soil is dried out.
Potted plants are often more susceptible to drying out. The limited amount of soil means that plants can’t hold much reserve water. The heat will dry them out even faster than normal. Check your potted plants frequently to see if they need more water.
If the heat seems to be too much for the plants to handle, give them a little break from the intense afternoon sun with some shade. If you have potted plants, you can simply move the containers to a cooler, shady area. For plants growing directly in the ground, you’ll need to create a shade. One option is to put some tall stakes in the ground and drape a sheet over them to block the sun and heat.