Simple tips to protect and keep your plants cool during summer heat

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The dog days of summer can be a huge stressor on plants. An LSU Ag Center expert has some tips to help your plants beat the summer heat. Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist Heather Kirk-Ballard says it begins with simple practices like keeping them cool and saturated…

“Some of those plants that you might have in containers you can bring them underneath the patio and you can reduce the amount of sun that they’re getting on those hot days. And of course, you want to make sure that you’re watering frequently. You might be watering every day just because of the heat.”

Kirk-Ballard recommends misting plants by using a fine spray nozzle. When watering container plants, the water is designed to flow through and it washes out the nutrients in the soil. Kirk-Ballard suggests using fertilizer but don’t overdo it…

“It’s a good idea to give them a little liquid fertilizer maybe once a month but we don’t want to be excessive with using too much nitrogen. That gets into the soil and we have excess nutrients and it’s not great for the environment.”

Kirk-Ballard says mulching is also a simple yet effective technique to keep plants cool and conserve moisture. She also urges plant lovers to set up alternative care when away from home…

“If you’re going out of town on vacation, ask your neighbor to check on them. If we let our plants go through too many cycles of wilting and dropping leaves it can really stress them out. Just keeping those things in mind, is what we can do to help out our plants.”

Kirk-Ballard suggests the best time to water plants is early in the morning or early evening.

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