If you live here in Georgia and have a garden, perhaps you’ve noticed several of your beautiful flowers wilted by now—after a week of temperatures from 99 to over 100, it’s hard on not only humans, but plants and flowers as well.
August is probably the worst month to try and grow flowers as it’s the hottest. Not only are we battling the heat, but the lack of precipitation also takes a toll on your flower garden. But not all flowers have wilted-some are heartier than others, such as the popular knock-out roses. Which flowers and shrubs are more heat resistant than others? Here are a few hearty flowers and shrubs to think about planting for next year…
*Cacti—of course all cactus plants do great in dry and hot conditions—A few of the varieties that can be grown successfully include yuccas, agaves, and prickly pears. Check with your nursery to see what they recommend for your particular area.
*Four o’clocks—although they need sun, they can also tolerate poor soil, as well as dusty and smoky conditions. They can withstand hot temperatures, as well as drought. But, of course, with more moisture, they do even better.
*Drought-resistant shrubs—-Try planting shrubs such as dwarf crepe myrtle, dwarf yaupon holly, and glossy abelia.
*Ornamental grasses—Ornamental grasses are excellent choices in the hot summer months in that most of them are drought-resistant and can tolerate heat. What’s more, they’ll come back next year, making excellent perennials.
*Vines—If some of your flowers can’t take the heat, then add vines to your landscape, as they provide an attractive alternative and can take the heat. What’s more, vines can also shade your home.
And, here are a few more garden tips for these hot August days…
*Plant annuals that can take the heat—Personally, I love perennials as they keep coming back each year. However, if when your lovely perennials just can’t take the heat, try planting annuals (in between them) that thrive in hot weather. Check with your local nursery to find out which annuals are best for your area and soil. Why not experiment each season, finding just the right combinations that agree with your particular garden and climate?
*Use Container plants—Use lighter-colored plant containers which are able to reflect heat. On the other hand, darker containers, such as black and brown, can get so over-heated that root hairs can burn.
*Drip irrigate with old bottles—-Fill up some old milk or soda bottles and punch little holes in the bottoms. Then position them above your plants for dripping watering, rather than just flooding them with a hose. This make-do irrigation system is far less expensive than a professional one.
*Use pine straw/pine park/shredded wood mulch—Lay down beds of these bark and mulches instead of an irrigated landscape.
*Save old newspapers—Use old newspapers as mulch around your ornamental shrubs.
The good news is the heat won’t last forever. “Just wait until after Labor Day”, the old timers here in North Georgia tell me.
The hot weather finally gives way to some cooler pre-autumn breezes, they assure me. I can’t wait! And neither can my poor wilted flowers.