Weather Alerts

Experts Say This Heat Wave Could Damage Plants

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Plant and lawn experts say the record-breaking high temperatures this week could cause a lot of damage to your plants. The manager at Earl May Garden Center in Des Moines, Mark Thoms, said it may seem like a no brainer but the main thing that is going to save your plants right now is water.

“Water in the mornings, and actually if we can water more lightly and more frequently during the day, that’s good on your plants as well,” Thoms said.

He said to never water on the foliage of the plants, always water at the base. In this heat you should be watering more often and if you are watering on top of the leaves or flowers it can cause more damage to the plant.

One flower that loves the heat and does not need as much water are rose shrubs, you only really need to water the shrub once or twice a week.

In this high heat you should water your lawn about three times a week between 6 and 8 in the morning, never at night.

“Don’t water at night, that’s when we get into trouble, especially with our yards and your plants and your shrubs as well, what that does is help set in disease and blight with the nighttime temps and so forth and so always water bright and early in the mornings,” Thoms said.

Thoms said most ornamental plants, like the dogwood, will show you if they are dehydrated. They will begin to droop, and their leaves will wilt if they need water. Once they have water they will perk back up.

How often you water potted plants depends on the size of their pot, you also should water a couple times a day with plants in smaller pots and just once a day with larger pots.

When it comes to newly planted trees, they need a lot of water. At least a five gallon bucket a day.

One way to help your plants, if you can, is to get them out of the sun.

“All your plants or your potted containers that are on your deck or on your front porch, if you can get those into the shade, just so we can get through this big heat spell, that will help the plant relieve them as well.”