Protecting plants from heat strain

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 4:10 PM EDT
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Gardening experts recommend waiting until Mother's Day to plant the first flowers of the season. That was just two weeks ago, and we're already dealing with summer heat that we're most used to in August.

"People might see their plants wilting a little more than they think at this time, just because they haven't rooted yet," Eileen Creque, owner of Creque's Greenhouse said.

"It got really hot in the greenhouse over the weekend. I don't think we're acclimated to it yet, and plants aren't acclimated to it yet, either."

The area tied a record high on Sunday, but Creque says that it's not uncommon to see temperatures flare-up early.

"Many times, we do get heat earlier, even at Mother's Day," she says. “We're just not used to it, and now we have masks on, so everything seems amplified to be warmer."

Still, as our plants are still working on adjusting and settling, they need some help in the heat.

"It'd be great if you water really well in the morning," Creque said. "We want to keep that foliage dry, to make sure we keep any molds or mildew down."

But she also encourages faith in your plants: "Some people may move their pots around. They'll notice if they're getting too wilted, they'll put them in the shade. But mostly, if you just let them go, they'll take off."

If you worry about your plants getting too much sun or heat exposure, Creque says you should watch for scorching.

“It starts on the edges, like burnt edges, and as it keeps scorching, every day, the burnt edge will just keep moving more and more in on the edge of the leaf," Creque said.

And only water when you need to.

“We in the greenhouse don’t want to water heavily because they’ll suck up all the moisture and grow taller and more leggy. And we don’t want that," Creque said, adding that watering of plants stops at 5 p.m. at her greenhouse.

Another important piece of advice from the greenhouse: watch for heavy rain. When we get a lot of rain at once, Creque says the fertilizer in greenhouse soil washes away, so you’ll need to replace a few days later.

Not even noon and we're in the mid-80s! How are you taking care of your plants in the heat?

Posted by Heather Pollauf 13abc on Tuesday, May 26, 2020