How Can You Maintain Plant Health During Extreme Weather?


    How Can You Maintain Plant Health During Extreme Weather?

    When extreme weather challenges the vitality of gardens and landscapes, landscape professionals share their top strategies for maintaining plant health. Alongside expert advice, we've gathered additional answers that complement these tactics, offering a broader spectrum of solutions. From implementing multi-pronged strategies to the diligent monitoring of pests, discover a range of methods to protect your plants.

    • Implement Multi-Pronged Weather Strategies
    • Regulate Soil With Mulch
    • Select Hardy, Native Plants
    • Apply Anti-Transpirant Sprays
    • Invest in Greenhouses
    • Evaluate Stressed Plants’ Fertilization Needs
    • Monitor for Pests Diligently

    Implement Multi-Pronged Weather Strategies

    Maintaining plant health during extreme weather conditions requires a multi-pronged approach. For droughts, I ensure efficient water usage through drip irrigation and mulching to retain soil moisture. During heavy rains, proper drainage systems are critical to prevent waterlogging and root rot. I use shade cloths or protective covers to shield plants from excessive sunlight during heat waves. In freezing conditions, frost blankets and timely watering help prevent damage.

    Regularly monitoring weather forecasts and adjusting care routines accordingly is vital. Cultivating resilient plant varieties suited to local climate extremes boosts long-term plant health.

    Lindsey Hyland
    Lindsey HylandGardening expert, Founder, Urban Organic Yield

    Regulate Soil With Mulch

    Consider using mulch to regulate soil temperature and moisture levels. Additionally, provide adequate watering, as plants may require more water during extreme heat or drought periods. Shielding plants from excessive sunlight and strong winds can also be beneficial.

    Selecting plant varieties well-suited to the local climate and weather patterns can also significantly improve their resilience. Regularly inspect plants for signs of stress or damage, and promptly address any issues. These strategies can help safeguard your plants against the challenges posed by extreme weather conditions.

    Jensen Lee
    Jensen LeeFounder, ALTO Garden

    Select Hardy, Native Plants

    Maintaining plant health during extreme weather conditions starts with selecting hardy, native plants that are naturally adapted to the local climate. We prioritize using plants that can withstand the specific challenges of our region, whether it's extreme heat, cold, or fluctuating weather patterns. Native plants like coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and switchgrass are excellent choices, because they have evolved to thrive in local conditions.

    One effective strategy is to incorporate drought-tolerant plants, such as lavender, yarrow, and sedum, which require less water and can survive prolonged dry spells. These plants have deep root systems that help them access water even during droughts, making them more resilient. Additionally, using ground covers like creeping thyme can help retain soil moisture, and reduce the need for frequent watering.

    For areas prone to heavy rainfall or flooding, plants like red twig dogwood and swamp milkweed are ideal, because they can tolerate wet conditions and help manage excess water. These plants not only survive in saturated soils, but also contribute to erosion control, stabilizing the landscape during heavy rains.

    In cold climates, choosing frost-resistant plants such as winterberry holly and witch hazel can ensure your garden remains vibrant, even during harsh winters. These plants are capable of withstanding freezing temperatures, and provide visual interest throughout the colder months.

    By focusing on hardy, native plants and tailoring our selections to the specific weather challenges of the area, we can create resilient landscapes that maintain their health and beauty year-round.

    Tyler Poole
    Tyler PooleOwner, White Oaks Construction

    Apply Anti-Transpirant Sprays

    Plants can suffer from dehydration quickly under extreme weather conditions. To aid in moisture retention, applying anti-transpirant sprays to the leaves creates a protective layer which reduces water loss through the pores.

    This is especially vital during periods of low humidity and high winds, where water evaporates rapidly. Make the effort to spray your plants before a heatwave or dry spell hits, to keep them healthy and hydrated.

    Invest in Greenhouses

    Utilizing temperature-controlled greenhouses offers a comprehensive solution to safeguard plants all year round, especially during abnormal weather spikes. In a greenhouse, the environment can be meticulously managed, ensuring that temperature, humidity, and light levels are optimal for plant growth.

    This enclosed space acts as a consistent haven from unpredictable conditions outside, such as frost, heatwaves, or storms. If you're serious about horticulture, investing in a greenhouse might be a wise step to consider for the welfare of your plants.

    Evaluate Stressed Plants’ Fertilization Needs

    Plants under stress from extreme weather conditions demand special attention when it comes to their nutritional needs. Slightly reducing the amount of fertilizer can help avoid additional stress on the plants' root systems when they're already struggling with unfavorable weather.

    Over-fertilization can lead to nutrient burn, or to an overabundance of salts in the soil, which is harmful during periods of drought. Carefully evaluate your plants' fertilization needs when you know they are entering a period of environmental stress.

    Monitor for Pests Diligently

    Increased diligence in monitoring for pests can make all the difference in maintaining plant health during extreme weather. Pests often exploit plants weakened by drought, cold snaps, or overpowering heat, compounding the stress experienced by the vegetation.

    Regularly checking for signs of infestation and responding with appropriate control measures can save your garden from additional harm. Remember to inspect your plants frequently, so you can act fast at the first sign of trouble.