What is Heat Stress?
Heat stress on plants occurs when temperatures are high, usually 85 degrees or above, over an extended period. Heat stress can lead to permanent harm to your plants. Although you can’t control the temperature, there are some ways you can help protect your plants from heat stress.
Signs of Heat Stress
Plants try to conserve their energy during high temperatures, leading to the many visible signs that occur when they’re under heat stress. There are a few ways you can tell if your plant is undergoing heat stress:
- Leaf burn
- Leaf rolling
- Blossom/Flower dropping
- Overly dry soil
The signs of heat stress that a plant may show depend on the plant type and maturity, along with other factors such as wind.
How to Treat Heat Stress
If your plants have suffered from heat stress, there are a few ways you can try to help them recover:
- Move potted plants indoors or to a shaded area
- Set up temporary shading for the plants, such as a shade cloth
- Thoroughly water the plants first thing in the morning
- Avoid fertilizing during periods of heat stress
- Avoid pruning trees or shrubs until temperatures decrease
How to Protect Your Plants from Heat Stress
Preventing heat stress from the start is the best way to avoid permanent damage to plants. Keeping your plants in shaded areas during high temperatures can help lessen damage from the strong rays of the sun. Watering early in the morning can also help. If you water during the heat of the day, most of the water will evaporate before reaching the roots of the plant. Covering the soil with a few inches of mulch will also help prevent heat stress on plants. Mulch can help reduce the soil temperature, which rises due to the sun’s intensity, resulting in less stress on the plants. Weeding is important to do as soon as you know the temperatures will be high. Your plants will be competing for nutrients and water with the weeds, so by getting rid of them, your plants will have an easier time absorbing what they need.
In the battle against heat stress, being proactive is the best way to help your plants survive. It is important to recognize the signs if heat stress does occur on your plants so that you can take measures to prevent any further damage.
Come visit us at 229 Seymour Rd. in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Our staff is very knowledgeable and we can assist in helping you with your garden and planting needs!