Caring for Your Plants in the Heat of the Summer

It is a great time of year for gardeners! Make sure you are listening to your plants’ needs. Floriculture expert, Marlena Jimenez has some great advice for keep your plants healthy during the hot summer months.

Indoor Plants:

The most important part of having plants is knowing your plants! You have to know their requirements and the types of things that they like. For example succulents, kalanchoes, and orchids all like to be on the dry side. A lot of people think that all plants like to be really wet but that’s not true. Summer is the active growing time for kalanchloes and succulents which means they need more  water than the winter but that still doesn’t mean a lot  of water- every nine days or so if they are living inside. Orchids are generally watered once a week. Ferns on the other hand, like to stay really wet all the time. They do not like to dry out and this is what turns them brown. Herbs you want to dry out in between watering.

Remember to never put hot water on anything!

When Watering, make sure to water THOROUGHLY! If you water and the water runs through quickly, you may not have watered enough (see photo below). Push your finger at least an inch into the soil for an accurate feel of the dry or wetness. If the soil is bone dry, do not be surprised if you need to water it 2 or 3 times. When the soil dries, it shrinks and takes more time to absorb the water.

You think it is watered because it comes out the bottom of the pot…

However if you were to lift the plant out of the pot, you see it is hardly watered…

You should know if your plants like sun or shade. Generally, things dry out faster in the sun than in the shade, this applies for all plants: inside or outside. You also never want to put hot water on anything. Most plants can be moved outside during the warmer months, just be careful and find out what the plant likes.

Outdoor Plants:

Heat with humidity! You are thinking, its so hot I should water them!- not necessarily. Plants gather moisture from the air so they could be fine, always check the soil to see. No humidity and you may have to water twice a day. Don’t forget about wind! Wind dries out plants really fast. Dod it rain? Yes but did it rain enough to soak through your container? You will have to check! If not, you are going to have to water again.

Here is an example of a plant that dried out too many times: you can easily clean this up, pinch some of the top buds off to stimulate new growth and then continue to water, you may be surprised at what you can revive!

Is the plant in the ground or in a pot? If it is in the ground, the ground water tends to “stay”, there is more places for water. Container, less protection for the roots which means it will dry out faster due to the elements. Also, make sure your plants are in proper pot sizes otherwise you will rot the roots.

Pot that is too big:

(Below) The roots are not developed enough for the size of the pot

Pot is too small (below)

Examples of dry plants: flowering vinca, geraniums, begonia.

Examples of wet plants: petunias, million bells

Herbs and Dahlia like to be moist in between waterings when outside.

Hanging baskets should be watered until the water drips down out of the bottom of the basket.

Plants like to be watered in the morning, but if it looks thirsty right now, water it. You drink when you are thirsty, so should your plants! Remember that water systems are not a replacement for good plant care. You want to make sure the plants are still getting proper amounts of water since most watering systems are on timers and not done by ground moisture or other outside factors (wind, humidity). Check to see what your settings are and listen to your plant needs!

Try to get a routine, you drink water every day and your plants do too! Marlena suggests using a shower head for even watering. Make sure you feel the water to see that is is cold.

Make sure to do your research, we are only a phone call away, (610)-687-5566. Relax and enjoy your garden

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