tips to care for your outdoor plants in the summer

Caring for Outdoor Plants in the Summer

With the summer months hot and heavy, many of us are excited to end the winter lawn care and enjoy the outdoors and your beautiful garden. However, the hot weather can be challenging for our outdoor plants. How can we ensure that they thrive and survive during the summer season?

Outdoor plants require attention, especially as the temperature increases during the summer months. The heat can take a toll on their health and appearance which leads to a very discouraging experience.

This article will discuss essential recommendations to ensure your outdoor plants are healthy and get through the hottest time of the year.

Consider Plants That Can Handle Full Sun

Summer is a great time to take a look and check out your plants and take the necessary steps to ensure their health and well-being. Plants that are exposed to full sun throughout the summer months can experience challenges you may not even consider just because they are outdoor plants.

You could be dealing with:

  • Sunburn
  • Dehydration
  • Wilting

To help your plants stay healthy in the hot summer months, it’s key to have the right plants or be creative in protecting your garden. When considering the right plants for your home that can handle the full sun, look for varieties that can tolerate high temperatures and drought.

wilted plants

These outdoor plants can survive temperatures and long periods without water should you take your vacation.

Take into consideration succulent plants such as aloe vera, cacti, euphorbia milii (crown of thorns), sedum, and sempervivums (hens and chicks). Other choices include:

  • Herbs like rosemary or lavender
  • Annual flowers such as marigolds or cosmos
  • Perennials like salvias or yarrow
  • Shrubs such as Russian sage or butterfly bush
  • Trees like crepe myrtles or oaks;
  • Grasses like fountain grass or switchgrass

Once you’ve selected your new plants then you are ready to get started.

Apply Mulch

Use mulch around the base of each plant to conserve moisture in the soil, making sure to leave some space between the mulch and the stem of each plant. Mulching is an important practice to maintain soil health and protect it from the negative effects of direct sunlight in gardens or landscaped areas around your home.

Heat can make soil lose nutrients. Mulch, such as bark or wood chips, acts as a protective layer between the soil and the sun, helping to decrease water evaporation.

Pull Up Weeds

Pulling weeds in the hot summer months is never a fun activity. Weeds can be a significant problem in gardens and tend to thrive in exposed soil. Applying mulch to your entire garden prevents weeds from taking root by depriving them of resources before they become established.

Mulch also helps create a suitable environment for plant growth by maintaining a consistent temperature for the roots of delicate flowers and other vegetation that may not thrive in hot climates. With the presence of mulch, plants have optimal conditions for survival throughout the year, including insulation from extreme temperatures and ample moisture, even with extensive watering.

Keeping Damaged Foliage

When it comes to damaged/dead foliage, it is important not to remove them right away. Despite their brown and crispy appearance, leaves still contain vital nutrients that can be utilized by the plant.

Having your leaves present even though they are damaged offers protection for any remaining healthy foliage caused by extreme heat. By allowing them to remain on the plant, you created a second chance for your plants.

Damaged plants have the potential to recover if given enough time. Instead of removing all damaged foliage, you may be pleasantly surprised by their resilience.

Avoid Fertilization

Fertilizing plants is a fundamental part of healthy plant growth, however, during the hot summer months, this is the one time you should avoid it. Fertilizer is designed to nourish plants and can become concentrated when there is a lack of water or a temperature rise.

Making sure your plants are watered during this time of year is key to keeping them healthy and avoid damaging your garden. Be sure to invest in quality soil and a watering system that will keep the environment consistent and comfortable for your plants.avoid fertilizing your lawn

During periods of high temperature, you can use natural compost made from decaying organic matter to provide nutrients for your garden. However, it is important to be cautious as the heat can cause the compost to generate more heat, leading to higher levels of bacteria and unpleasant odors. By considering these precautions, it is possible to protect plants from damage caused by extremely hot weather.

Water Your Plants

Watering plants is essential for maintaining their appearance during the hot summer months. In areas with dry conditions, it is important to have a plan for watering plants during the hottest months. Many garden plants thrive with an average of 1 inch of water per week.

When watering plants, it is important to aim the water toward the soil underneath them rather than spraying it on the leaves. Excessive water on the foliage can cause damage or disease.

watering with hose

Select the Right Pot

Pot selection is an important factor in ensuring successful growth for plants during the hot summer months. Choosing the appropriate pot can prevent root overheating and enhance plant growth.

Glazed terracotta or ceramic pots are recommended options when selecting a pot due to their ability to provide proper aeration and breathability. The material from these pots helps to maintain cooler soil temperatures compared to heavier pots, such as plastic or dark-colored ones.


By following the outlined steps, you can ensure the health of your outdoor plants during the summer months. By selecting pots that can withstand heat and drought, watering regularly, mulching, pruning, and using shade cloth as needed, you can maintain a beautiful outdoor garden throughout the summer.

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