July is here and so is the heat that goes along with it. For some places, you may even find that you’re stuck enduring record-breaking heat. Although the heat can really leave you feeling terrible, it can do a pretty good number on your plants too. There are a few things that you can do in order to help keep your plants from dying during all of the heat. These ten tips are budget-friendly and easy to do, so you can embrace the heatwave and hope all of your plants come out of it.
1. Water Deeply
Water is going to be one of the key ways to get your plants to thrive during all of the heat. However, most of us have learned how to water plants from the surface of the soil, which might not be the best idea during such extreme heat. Sure, some water might make it to your plant, but a lot of it will evaporate before it hits the root system, which will deprive your plant of the water it needs. For outdoor plants, you might consider pressing the hose into the ground to help the water flow deeper. Indoor plants are a little easier to maintain. Simply fill a casserole pan with water, then place the plants on top of it. This will allow the water to reach the root system first. A lot of new planters are designed with a bottom piece that allows you to place water there too, which will ensure your plant will get the water it needs with ease.
2. Provide Shade
Although plants need plenty of sunshine, they will be okay if you offer them some shade during the heatwave. You can do this in many different ways, so make sure to do what is best for you. There are small tents that you can purchase for this, but you can also DIY a tent to place over your plants from items that are commonly found around the home. If you have an awning, then you might make sure that it is down and in place while the sun is beating down. Plants that are in containers that can be moved should be brought to a shadier area of the home or inside of the house, if possible. Indoor plants can be damaged by the sun too, so make sure to draw the curtains to help prevent damage to them and to help improve your power bills.
3. Skip Pruning
The heatwave is bound to leave your plants scorched and looking rough, which can be hard to just let go. You might feel the need to prune your plant, but this is one of the worst things you can do during this time. Since the plant is already stressed out from all of the heat, pruning can actually cause even more stress, which could kill the plant. The best thing you can do is wait for the plant to begin to bounce back before you cut off the damage. Leaving the damage can also shield the plant from sunlight, which can help prevent further scorching and damage.
4. Know When to Water
Knowing when to water is one of the most important things you can do for your plant during a heatwave. A lot of people will water first thing in the morning, which might be great for replenishing the plant prior to the heatwave, but it can also lead to scorching. If you choose to go this route, make sure you try to get the water at the base of the plant so that the water can absorb into the soil. You should avoid watering grass during this hour though as it could lead to the scorching of your lawn. Other than that, you should water when the sun begins to set. This will help replenish plants after dealing with the heatwave and will allow them to take in water throughout the night.
5. Don’t Replant
If you’re still shopping for plants at a nursery or you have a plant that needs to be repotted, now is not the time to take this on. Instead, you should wait until the heatwave is completely over. If the plant can manage, just keep it watered so that it is prepared for transplant when the weather is less stressful. Replanting is always stressful, so adding the stress of the heat will most likely kill a plant. You’ll also find that it is easy to shield the plant from the sun when you can move the pot from one place to a shadier area during peak hours.
6. Skip Fertilizer
When your plants seem to be stressed out, it might feel right to add some fertilizer to help improve their nutrients so they can recover with ease. However, this is not the case, which is why so many people are confused when their plants end up dying after new fertilizer is applied. Oddly enough, adding more nutrients to the soil can actually cause your plant to become even more stressed. So, if you can wait to fertilize, you should do so after the heatwave ends and the plant is able to recover a bit. This will help to strengthen the plant as it prepares for the next big heatwave or cold snap.
Although fertilizer isn’t a good idea for your plants, you will find that adding mulch to the plants will help them to overcome a heatwave. Mulch isn’t actually going to add anything to your soil, which is why it is okay to apply during a heatwave. What it will do, however, is keep the soil much cooler than it would be without the mulch. This can help improve the quality of life for your plant while also allowing water to stay in the ground instead of immediately evaporating. Mulch isn’t expensive either, but if you can, you should stock up on it during the cooler months, so you don’t have to worry about shortages or higher prices during the months that it is needed the most.
8. Understand How to Determine Damage
Learning how to determine your plant’s damage from death can also be a big factor in helping to keep your plants safer. If your plants tend to have minor damage like wilting leaves, then you might consider just following care instructions as recovery is entirely possible. However, if your plant does look dead, there may still be hope. For instance, if there is still green on the stem then you may find that your plant is still alive and may just need some attention to heal. However, if you’re not sure, then you might just continue to water the plant and wait to see if life returns. Sometimes, plants may look dead when they actually aren’t. If the plants’ roots seem loose or no growth happens after the heatwave ends, then it is probably safe to remove the plant from the soil.
9. Know How to Care for Your Plant
One of the best things you can do to help combat damage to your plants is to know how to care for them. This is important because it can actually help prevent unnecessary damage from happening during a heatwave. For instance, if a plant can be kept inside or does better inside then this is great knowledge to know. You should also know how many hours of direct sunlight a plant should get, as this will allow you to know when to shade the plant during a heatwave. Another important thing to keep in mind is the amount of water a plant needs. Some plants, especially those that are desert resistant need less water than we think and often we end up overwatering during a heatwave, which causes more stress to the plant.
10. Know What Survives in Your Climate
Understanding what you should plant in your climate is one of the key elements to protecting your plants. Just because a plant is sold in a local store does not mean that it is smart to purchase it and plant it outside. If a plant isn’t set for your climate, you might consider keeping it indoors if you really want the plant. Other than that, you should choose plants that belong in your climate as these are going to be the plants that will withstand your weather even when things get a bit intense. There are lots of websites dedicated to helping you find the plants that belong in your area, so researching shouldn’t be tough.
Heatwaves can be very hard on the world, but there are some measures that can help keep your garden thriving. These ten tips should help you to keep a larger portion of your plants going even when the temperatures seem impossible to beat.