When summer comes around and the air gets warmer, you may find that some of the flowers and produce you planted in the spring are starting to wilt or wither. Some plants thrive in intense heat, but others need more protection from the warmer seasons. While plants generally enjoy warm weather, you should understand that protection from high heat and temperature is a must, especially for long periods of extreme heat.
So, how do you prepare plants for extreme heat? How do you protect plants from too much sun? What temperature is too hot for plants? How often should I water my plants when there will be long periods of extreme heat? Will plants recover from heat stress? What is the best time to water plants in hot weather? Finally, what if you don’t do anything for plants in extreme heat?
Continue reading to learn how to protect your plants from extreme heat!
How Do You Prepare Plants for Extreme Heat?
One way to counter extreme heat that plants have to deal with is adding a layer of mulch over your garden. This method can help protect your plants from extreme temperatures, hot or cold, as the mulch insulates the soil and plants, protecting them from external conditions.
Another tip for helping plants battle extreme heat is simply watering them. While intense heat will often lead your plants to need more water than usual, it is possible to overwater. When you overwater your plants, your roots will lose the necessary oxygen and possibly begin to grow fungal infections.
When you see your plants wilting in the sun, do not assume they need water. Sometimes they need the cool evening to recover.
How Do You Protect Plants from Too Much Sun?
One way to protect plants from too much sun is by placing them in an area that receives shade throughout the day. If you planted them in an area without much shade, you can always move them to a more suitable place. Just remember, transplant shock may happen for these plants, so give them a few weeks to adjust to their new surroundings, and don’t overact if they lose some leaves along the move.
If you have planted your produce and flowers in areas that do not get shade throughout the day, you can make your own shade. Use a bedsheet or tarp to construct a DIY cover for your plants that you can easily move.
What Temperature Is Too Hot for Plants?
When temperatures rise to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and above for a prolonged period, most plants will begin to wilt. Some plants and vegetables are more heat-tolerant. However, most plants will need protection when it comes to long periods of extreme heat.
Signs of heat stress include leaves changing color, wilting leaves, and dry leaf edges.
If your plants suffer from too much heat, they will close their pores to retain more water and begin to wilt, also stopping the process of photosynthesis.
How Often Should I Water My Plants in Extreme Heat?
The general rule is to water plants two to three times during the week during a long period of intense heat. The key is to ensure moisture is getting underneath the soil and reaching the roots of your plants. In higher temperatures, water on top of the soil can quickly evaporate before reaching the root systems.
Place a container in your garden to use as a gauge as you water. If you water with a garden hose, adjust the “sprinkler” setting and continue watering your garden plants until about an inch of water has collected in the container.
Also, containers and potted plants require more water than garden beds. Therefore, plan to water these plants at least three times a week during a long period of intense heat.
Can a Soil Thermometer Help?
You can purchase a soil thermometer from any garden center to see how much water your soil is getting underneath, closer to the plant roots. A soil thermometer tends to be a great addition to your garden to ensure you are not overwatering your plant during heat waves.
Will Plants Recover from Heat Stress?
Whether or not your plants will recover from heat stress primarily depends on the plant. Some plants are more sensitive to direct sunlight than others, making them more challenging to care for, but that does not necessarily mean your plants are lost completely.
When suffering from extreme heat, plant leaves will wilt to help retain as much moisture as possible. If you notice your plants wilting, move them into the shade, or make shade using a sheet and some stakes. Sometimes, after a cool evening, your plants will recover.
What is the Best Time to Water Plants in Hot Weather?
As the weather grows warmer and you experience hotter days in the summer, it is best to start watering your plants in the early morning before it gets too hot in the afternoon sun. In high heat, water will evaporate quickly before getting the chance to settle into the soil and travel further down into the root systems.
If you can’t water your plants in the morning, consider watering your plants in the evening when the sun goes down.
The key is to ensure your plants’ roots stay hydrated.
What if You Don’t Do Anything for Plants in Extreme Heat?
When the temperatures increase to intense heat, and you do not do anything to prepare your plants for it, they have a reasonably high chance of dying. Even if you continue watering them, the heat can kill the pollen and leave your plant dormant.
Most plants will eventually sunscald after prolonged sun exposure. When a plant’s leaves are sunburned, it is best to prune the burnt leaves and try to salvage any parts of the plant that is not damaged.
Conclusion: How to Protect Plants from Heat
As the days grow warmer and you think about all the flowers and produce you plan to grow in your garden, it is crucial to consider a plan to protect your plants from high temperatures. Every plant is unique and requires specific care, so it is crucial to research how to care for each plant in your garden.
You can protect your plants from the sun by planting them in areas that will get natural shade throughout the day or by creating a canopy to cover them when necessary. Though exceptions exist, most plants struggle to thrive in temperatures 90 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
When it gets hotter, be prepared to water your plants more frequently and consider watering them in the morning or the evening when it is cool to avoid water evaporation.