As we transition from the balmy days of early summer to the blaring heat of mid-summer, you may start to see your plants become discontent with the rising temperatures, lack of rain, and scorching sun. Fear not! Below you will find some tips to help you navigate how best to prepare your plant friends for the hotter days ahead, and keep them looking their best for the rest of the season.
Annuals & Tropicals
For hanging baskets, or plants in pots that get leggy (like sweet potato vine, petunias, calibrachoa, etc.), you want to cut the plant back so that downward and horizontal growth do not extend more than two inches from the rim of the pot or basket. You can also take a couple inches off the top where your plants may be looking a bit ragged. Be sure to fertilize your plant with an all-purpose fertilizer immediately after you do this haircut. You should be fertilizing your annuals every other week! We recommend Jack’s brand, which you can purchase here.
For your tropical plants, like Mandeville, Dipladenia, and Hibiscus, be sure to pick off any dead or dying flowers. For plants like these with much higher nutrient demands, you are going to want to feed them every week.
See here for a video Stephen Barlow made to demonstrate this!
You may have started to yield some fruit by now, especially tomatoes and peppers. Veggies are fairly low maintenance. At this point, you can trim back any yellow or dead growth and stake up any growth that is weighed down and needs some support. Be sure you are feeding your veggies every other week! Vegetables grow as such an accelerated rate, they have a tendency to deplete the nutrients of their soil quickly.
For your tender perennials, you are going to want to give a bit of a trim if they are done blooming. Cut back 1/3 to even ½ of growth, making sure to cut above a node so some foliage is still intact. Feed the plant with an all-purpose fertilizer (you can buy some here), and watch as it pushes out vivacious, healthy growth!
Trees & Shrubs
There isn’t much that your trees and shrubs with woody growth need at this time of year. You can prune to shape, but in the heat of Summer, this may be a detriment to your plant. If you are the owner of an Endless Summer Hydrangea, be sure to prune your bush before it sets buds. The buds the hydrangea set this year will be your flowers for next year, and you don’t want to accidentally cut them all off by pruning later in the season! For Crape Myrtle trees, take time to inspect the area around the trunk. Are there bits of plant that are starting to poke out of the ground? If so, clip them back as soon as you can. Crape Myrtles don’t naturally grow as trees, but rather as shrubs. This means that they will try to push out growth to fill in areas that have been pruned away, giving it a tree-like silhouette. Cut these stragglers away as you find them, lest they turn to woody growth and become much more difficult to dispatch.