Sizzling summer heat scorching landscapes

by | June 26, 2006 12:00 am

By Faith Peppers University of Georgia

By Faith Peppers University of Georgia

Water restrictions aren’t the only threat to green Georgia lawns. The searing summer heat is scorching landscapes across the state.

If your landscape plants are taking a beating from the heat, they’ll send out signals. University of Georgia horticulturists say the hydrangeas and impatiens in your flower beds are the poster plants for heat and drought stress. If they look droopy, take this as a sign that all your plants need water.

If your annuals and perennials continue to be heat stressed, UGA experts say cut them back about halfway. If they are wilting badly, cutting them back will help them survive.

Reducing the plant’s top will place less demand on its roots. The plant will come back in a few weeks and bloom again in the fall.

The same strategy works for woody ornamentals like gardenias or hydrangeas. Cut them back to one-half or onethird of their normal size.

When summer weather brings dry weather and

heat for more than 20 days, homeowners have to make lifesaving, or lifelosing, landscape decisions. UGA horticulturists suggest basing your decisions on replacement value. Select your most valuable trees or shrubs, and water them. Herbaceous plants can be easily replaced.

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