Let’s face it. Not everyone has a green thumb. For many of us out there, the thought of keeping plants alive makes us positively petrified. But, there are some tricks to ensuring your precious plants don’t see their untimely death this summer.
Plants in Summer
Plants frequently wilt in warmer weather. This means the flowers and leaves droop. Why? In the simplest terms, the plant leaves are dispelling moisture faster than the plant roots can supply water. It’s called transpiration and just like human perspiration, it’s how plants attempt to survive excessive heat.
The primary reasons for wilting include hot sun and dry soil, which is why your plants seem much thirstier in the warmer months. Humidity can also play a big role, reducing how much water the roots can suck up and how much is actually passed onto the leaves.
As an added problem, some summers can last almost half the year, depending on where you live, whereas in other areas, the summer is barely noticeable. This means that in some areas, plants thrive better than others. It also means that some plants will be better at surviving than others, depending on the size and growth patterns.
There Is Hope
If you’re starting your garden from scratch or replanting, it may be worth doing your research into what kind of plants can withstand the harsh summer. Plus, if you really enjoy gardening, landscaping, or floristry, then you could also consider taking a course.
Choosing plants you know will be able to handle the climate means you’re giving them a better chance at survival. However, with that said, the first tip is to go native. Native plants understand how the environment works and they tend to thrive, purely because they have evolved to withstand the local conditions.
If you don’t want to go with native plants, there are other plants and flowers that can thrive in the sunshine. Flowers such as hydrangeas, hibiscus, frangipanis, and gardenias are simply beautiful and some of them even smell delicious.
Indoor vs Outdoor: Tips and Tricks
Of course, we need to treat our indoor plants slightly differently to our outdoor plants. The most important thing to remember, other than the fact that the plants are completely different, is that the atmosphere is different inside compared to outdoors.
In fact, our homes actually have different microclimates throughout depending on whether there is natural light coming through, whether there are draughty vents or steamy showers and which direction the windows face.
- Choose specifically-indoor plants and figure out which ones work best in your kind of home or room
- Figure out the light first and then choose plants accordingly. The plants that are kept in their preferred habitat will do better than those chosen purely because they look nice in that particular spot.
- Move plants around during the summer months if they need to be in shady areas.
- Avoid placing leafy plants near heating
- Indoor plants tend to need humid air and are better suited to bathrooms and kitchens. Plants that thrive the most tend to be from subtropical climates.
- Remember to remove the dead leaves and old flowers.
- Indoor plants still need to be fertilised and watered according to their needs
- Start with the most important element of all – the soil. Enrich the soil by adding compost or soil improver so it can hold more water for longer. Making sure the soil is healthy will also help with transferring nutrients from the soil and water directly to the plant.
- Regularly water them. It’s best to water your plants in the early morning to give them a chance to retain the moisture before it starts to evaporate in the hot sun. If you don’t want to get up too early, water your plants in the late afternoon or early evening. Although make sure the plant has time to absorb the water before nightfall otherwise this can create a fungal problem.
- During periods of high heat, mist the plant leaves with a spray of water.
- Choose wisely in the first place. If you’re deciding what plants to include in your garden, choose ones that don’t necessarily require a lot of shade.
- If you have plants that need shade, consider installing some. Whether it’s an adjustable awning, shade cloth or an umbrella that you can put up or down, your plants will be grateful.
Summer can be hard on all of us. It can be hot, sticky and the sun will often exceed a temperature of 40 degrees. As a result, plants may suffer if not looked after. That’s why if you have spent a lot of effort to build a beautiful garden, then it makes sense to devote adequate time to caring for your plants too.