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How to Protect Plants in Summer

17 Tips to Take Care of your Plants in Summer

We are at that time of year when the days get longer and the temperature rises. 

Yes, summer is finally here!

You must be in a worrisome situation as summers can be a tough time for your plants, if they do not get the proper care.

Don’t Worry!

Because nature has a solution for every problem. And this article will help you to protect your plant from the summer heat. So, continue reading to discover 17 tips on how you can take care of your healthy plant in the scorching heat of the summer.

17 Tips to Take Care of your Plant in the Summer

1. Water the plant at the right hours

Water is essential for plants, but what is more important in summer is the watering time.

In summer, water your plant in the early morning or evening, as water is cooler during that time.

Make sure to water the plant deeply and thoroughly.

2. Shower your plant in small doses

The summer months are marked by dry spells; with water scarcity growing everywhere. Hence, we must use the most efficient means of watering during this time. 

Showering the plant periodically in small doses maintains the soil moisture in summer.

The best watering tool that will solve the problem of water scarcity are:

Sprinklers

They are highly suitable to water the lawn and soak the unplanted areas. Also, sprinkler covers most areas of the plant evenly and effectively. 

Seep hoses

In this tool, water seeps out of holes in the hose directly into the soil. Seep hoses are buried under the soil or the mulch. Also, this helps to avoid unnecessary evaporation in the summer.

Moreover, seep hoses work best in heavy soil as the water spreads sideways and covers more than it can on lighter soil.

Recycle

This is the easiest and most ecological way to use the water. You can reuse water from drinking glasses, steaming, or cooking.

Hoses and watering cans

This is labor-intensive but a precise method to water the plant bases beneath the leaves and leave the surrounding solid dry. 

Besides, this prevents weed growth and makes sure that water is absorbed where it is needed.

3. Keep a tab on soil moisture 

You should avoid overwatering your plant. So, before you turn on your water sprinkler, check whether the soil is moist under the surface.

 If it is moist, wait for the soil to get somewhat drier, or you can simply sprinkle water on the leaves and branches of the plant.

Moreover, standing water gives rise to mosquito infestation and gives your beloved plant an additional dose of water.

4. Light and Shade

While sunlight is one of the important factors for the growth of the plant, rising heat in cities can cause more harm than good to your precious plant.

So, consider moving your plant to an area with balanced light and shade.

5. Compost

Composting helps to keep plants, especially fruit-bearing and flowering ones, hydrated and healthy, along with watering. Also, you can easily make compost at home or buy organic compost.

Organic material, coconut coir, and peat moss absorb water which in turn holds and retains moisture. You can use this during hot and dry days.  In addition, composting takes care of the plant by improving the soil structure and increasing aeration and overall plant health.

6. Mulch

The mulch is a material spread on the soil surface to keep the plant cool. Moreover, mulch prevents weeds and aids hydration.

Mulch includes compost, tree bark, newspaper, bits of grass, sawdust, and shredded leaves.

Also, turn the mulch every few days and remember to replace it when it gets decomposed. 

7. Remove Weeds from your garden

There are numerous types of weeds, which compete for resources with useful plants. In addition, they may also harbor pests and diseases.

 If you are growing plants in a small garden or pots and vases, you can control weeds by just uprooting them. And for a bigger garden or plants, use garden tools such as a hoe and pick

8. Promote high humidity

Plants that like humidity such as tropical plants need misting frequently throughout summer. 

Also, you can fill the base of the planter with pebbles, fill it with water and place the pot on top or group your plants together and put a bucket full of water in the middle to create a humid microclimate. This will provide humidity to your plants and help them throughout the summer.

9. Avoid fertilizing in the dry soil

Already summer heat and intense sunlight are hard enough for your plant. Do not make it worse by fertilizing the plant at the wrong time!

Roots can absorb fertilizer nutrients if they dissolve in water.  But Fertilizer will not work in dry soil (this is why you need to water it after applying it).

Worse is that applying fertilizer in summer when the soil is dry can burn the plant. So, remember to get a soil test done to ensure that you really need fertilizer and also follow the package instruction while using it.

10. Recognize the stress

 Recognizing the problem early is the key to stopping them before they take hold and ravage your plant.

Common signs of stress to keep in mind for summer plants are:

-Tropical plants have tender and wilted leaves, due to too much heat exposure.

-Bright green foliage may look pale

-Rough brown or yellow patch on leaves or stems due to sunburn

-Flowers and leaves drop off or turn into yellow color due to leaf scorch 

11. Invest in shade

Installing shade in your garden is the best way to take care of your plant in summer.

Consider these options for blocking direct and excessive sunlight:

A shade cloth

These are made of loosely woven polyester and they are available in varying densities or degrees of shade ranging between 5% to 95%.

Now, you must be wondering which color shade cloth is the best?

Well, one of the common misconceptions about shade cloth is that only green cloth should be used for plants. Also, the green color cloth is widely used, as green cloth reflects the same light as plants do.

But there are other colors shade cloth too, such as

Shade clothUses 
Blue shade clothVegetative growth
White shade clothMore light exposure for your plants
Brown shade clothGood choice for flowering or fruiting plants.
Black shade clothLess light exposure

Other options are

  • A tarpaulin.
  • A shade sails.

12. Rooftop Gardening

Rooftop Gardening absorbs heat and insulates building better than tar and gravel roofs. In addition, it helps to control and bring down the high temperature inside.

13. Close your window

If you have ever felt like fainting in the heat you can imagine what your plant must be feeling! 

So do your best to keep the plant away from the hottest spots, this might mean moving them away from the window.

A window acts as a magnifying glass, it can burn and dry out your plant. To avoid reddish-brown sunburned spots, consider keeping your plant a few feet away from the window.

The best way to keep your plant cool is to close the window from which the scorching light is coming. This will cool down the temperature.

14. Row Covers

Row covers are used to keep the plants warm in spring or fall. Also, they help to keep pests away by blocking intense sunlight during summer.

Though thick row covers are heavy they provide more protection from sunlight. They are made from polypropylene, polyester, or polyethylene.

During a long period of intense sunlight, you can leave row covers for days or weeks at a time.

Basically, there are two types of rows covers

Lightweight row covers: These row covers are also called insect barriers or summer weight garden fabric. They can only block 5% to 15% of the sunlight.

Heavyweight row covers: These row covers are thicker than lightweight row covers, they block 30% to 50% of sunlight.

15. Set up a shade structure for plants

Building a shade structure for your plant can help to beat the heat and sun in the summer.

For shorter plants that tolerate shade (such as lettuce), an A-frame or lean-to trellis is ideal.  

An added benefit is that Vining plants (like tomatoes) can grow up the sides of the trellis and provide a shadier environment for below-ground plants.

An A-frame is having a shape of an “A” forming two diagonal pieces of wood meeting at a point.  Whereas, a lean-to trellis has one diagonal piece that is supported by vertical support.

16. Locate tall companions near plants

Instead of building shade structures, isn’t it the best idea to use tall plants to protect plants against the sun?

For example, tall plants (like tomatoes) can provide shade to short plants (like lettuce).

Another good idea is to choose heat-tolerant plants. Such as

  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes

Even heat-tolerant varieties may need some heat protection during the summer, but any resistance helps.

17. Build a windbreak

A windbreak near your plants can help to reduce the hot summer wind that can damage the plant by drying out their leaves.

When to water plants in summer?

Which is the best time to put on your gardening cap in summer?

Well, before 10:00 am or post 4:00 pm.

Watering plant in summer at right time is important for their growth and for water retention.

The optimal time to water the plant is in the early morning as it is cool at that time.

This will allow the water to reach the roots as it will run down into the soil and also too much water isn’t lost in evaporation.

In fact, this will make water available to the plant throughout the day so they are better equipped to deal with the summer heat.

Do you know that there is a gardening myth that watering the plant in the morning will make the plant susceptible to scorch?

This is not true!

Most of the areas do not get enough sun for water droplets to scorch the plants. If the area you live in has intense sun exposure, the water droplets would be evaporated in the heat long before they could focus on the sunlight.

Moreover, pots and hanging baskets generally need more water than ground plants. So you should line concrete and terracotta pots or paint them inside so the water loss is prevented.

Also, keep your plant in cooler spots and place saucers underneath them to retain water.

Which type of plant grows best in the hot climate?

It’s important to note that plants are essentially seasonal beings. Some plants are best grown in winter whereas some plants thrive well in hot climates.

With proper hydration and manure, chilies, cucumbers, brinjals, and watermelon are best to grow in hot climates.

Also, there are some plants like cacti and succulents that are well-adapted to the heat, summer flowers like sunflowers and pansies love the sun but do need summer Plant care.

Here is the list of plants that will make the best of summer

  • Succulents
  • Fair lily
  • Canary bush
  • Crepe myrtle (Sawani, dhayti)
  • Bougainvillea
  • Pink ball flower (domrupani)
  • Palms

How to recognize, treat, and prevent heat damage in plants?

In summer after months of intense temperatures and scorching breezes, many house plants (especially outdoor plants) have endured so much heat damage that they look as if somebody used a blowtorch over them. New growth will be yellow or brown and dry.

The natural response to witnessing scorched leaves and stems is to get the pruners out and trim out everything back. There are better practices than this while hot states are still on the horizon. Pruning stimulates fresh growth, but in this case, will be burnt even further by hot and dry states.

The most convenient way to save your sensitive outdoor plants from heat damage is to give them shelter. This can be a momentary shade on severe heat wave days, such as used sheets that are removed when the sun goes down, or more lasting shading from shade cloth meshes or sails. Potted plants can be moved into a shady area on a porch or terrace, or otherwise placed under trees while heat-wave states last longer.

It is also necessary to give as much water to plants as possible. By providing shelter, the plants can take up water to keep their leaves hydrated and chilly throughout the day. While still keeping in line with any water-wise approaches or conditions that may be used at the time.

Persistent hot temperatures also lead to hydrophobic soils – these are soils that withstand water so that it runs off rather than saturating in. Always review that the soil and potting mix absorb water and that the water is getting to the root zone. Where water is not soaking in, use a soil-wetting component.

Another origin of heat that can scorch plants is reflected heat from hardened surfaces such as paving, pathways, metal barriers, and the fences of buildings and garden structures. This kind of heat can induce harm to low-growth plants. It can even heat containers causing harm to the plant’s root system. Reflected heat can be intensely damaging, and often goes unseen until the damage occurs.

To lessen the damage from reflected heat, move  potted plants out from hot surfaces. Protect surfaces around permanent plantings with cardboard or by laying down shade cloth or used carpeting. It may look weird, but it is a temporary method to decrease plant damage. Also, place cardboard or shade cloth between hot metal railings and the plants growing next to the barrier.

FAQ

Q. Which plant grows best in a hot climate in India?

Ans. Some of the sun-loving plants are Succulents, Rain lilies, Plumbago, Golden Thryallis, canary bush, Crepe myrtle, Bougainvillea, Pink ball flower, and palms.

Q. When should plants not be watered?

Ans. Avoid watering plants at night. Because water given to plants at night is not expelled by the stomata. Also, it is recommended not to water the plant when the sun is over the head. It affects the growth of a plant.

Q. Which is best mulch or compost?

Ans. Compost adds nutrients to the soil and improves soil structure. Mulch is best at limiting weed growth, also it prevents erosion and retains soil moisture. 

Q. Can the plant recover from extreme heat?

Ans. When exposed to intense sunlight, plants partially welt their leaves to conserve water and minimize moisture loss. Once the sun sets or once the plants are in shade without added water, most plants will fully recover.

Conclusion 

Now that you know how to take care of your plant in summer from heat and sun, you will be able to take good care of your plants in summer. These summer plant care methods will save your plant from the summer heat and keep the plant cool.

If you found this article useful, please share it with someone who can use this information.

Also, if you have summer plant care tips, please do share them with us in the comment section.

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