Did you survive the triple digit heat last week?
It was 119°F in the shade at Garden View Nursery!
Right now you might be noticing that your plants’ leaves are sun scorched and wondering,
"IS MY PLANT GOING TO DIE?"
First things first:
Don’t prune off damaged leaves yet!
Upper leaves will continue to protect lower growing leaves. Damaged leaves can be removed after the heat passes.
Treat this as a rule of thumb, but watch what your individual plant needs. Different plants can have different needs under a multitude of different circumstances.
Here’s what you need to do to help your distressed plants:
1. Water when needed to maintain plant vigor, but not daily:
Our first instinct is to water night and day, but when plants start losing leaves they can’t pull up water fast enough, meaning you might start over-watering. Now you have a new problem!
Deep watering is still your best bet (think more water, less frequently)
Soak your plants the night before the next heat wave to help mitigate the damage
2. Fertilize Organically (or conservatively apply non-organic):
It can help bolster new growth that will take over scorched leaves and support resilience to water loss. Too much synthetic fertilizer can exasperate issues with a stressed plant, but organic fertilizers gently coax healthy new growth and it's much harder to over fertilize.
3. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
Prevent moisture evaporation in the soil and disperse water intake slowly over time. We recommend putting down a 2” thick (at minimum) layer of compost, gorilla hair,or wood chips.
4. Protect newly planted plants (or high heat sensitive plants):
Use temporary screens/shade cloth and protect young bark (especially on fruiting trees like avocado or citrus) by either providing temporary shade or whitewashing trunk)
(Feel free to clean up and remove damaged leaves from grass-like plants like Daylilies, Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile), or Phormium (Flax). Unlike branching barked plants, these plants can be cleaned up immediately without much concern)
Soon enough your plants will be selfie ready!
Your plants might not look their best in the meantime, but in the long run, they will continue to thrive and will bounce back as soon as our weather returns to normal. (Whatever that is in Southern California!)