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Heat and Flowers



It looks like we are in for another heatwave, so it's as good a time as any to discuss some tips on keeping your flowers happy during the heat. We are still learning how to navigate the heat, but we can share what we know. for both cut flowers and garden flowers.

Cut flowers will always do better and last longer if they are not hot. That's why your bouquet will last longer in an air-conditioned house than a non-air-conditioned house. Keeping your flowers cool can add multiple days to your vase life. A few other tips are keeping it out of direct sunlight, and out of humidity. If you really want to make them last longer consider putting them in your fridge overnight and bringing them out each morning. Just be sure your fridge doesn't have fruit because fruit will release gasses that will kill your flowers quicker.



When it comes to your outdoor flowers and plants, keep in mind some flowers will always be happier in cool temps. These are flowers such as ranunculus, stock, sweet peas, lisianthus, and snap dragons. Ranunculus in particular hate the heat and typically stop blooming when temperatures rise above 24 degrees celsius. These all like the sunshine and long days that summer brings, but they do not like the heat. So, in some cases, it doesn't matter what you do, they will quit blooming. Other flowers love the heat. Satice, strawflowers, ammobium, and most other flowers that dry well are all heat lovers, and typically like hot dry conditions. Zinnias and Dahlias also require significant heat hours to get growth but need have higher moisture needs. Flowers that like dry hot conditions will likely make it through a heat wave without any trouble, but it's the more tender plants that may need a little extra love.



First, if you can give your cool loving plants some shade during the heat of the day, they will be happier. Depending on the size of your garden sometimes all that is required is an umbrella or a tent made from a bed sheet. Next, if you are able, water first thing in the morning before it gets hot (we try to start at 5am because it's much better for the plants). Watering in the morning is superior to any other time of day. Evening watering can promote disease and fungus, and daytime watering can ruin your flowers and cause sun damage not to mention it wastes water due to evaporation. If you can, try to avoid watering every day. It's tempting to water for short periods every morning, but you will always be better off soaking every 3-5 days! Check out our post on watering for more tips about that. Some people like to put mulch down to protect their plants from heat, but with gardens our size that's not a feasible task. I personally don't like the mess it creates either, but it can hold in moisture and help your plants. If you decide to use mulch, be careful because it can lead to an increase in slugs, snails, and fungus which are a few other reasons we avoid using it.


Always avoid planting small plants during a heatwave. Transplanting already is a stressful process for most plants and when your plants are stressed a few things happen; they don't grow, they are more susceptible to bugs, and they get diseased faster. If you must get plants in the ground, do it in the evening which gives them the most cool hours to establish themselves before the heat. Also give the plants a good soak before planting and after. These plants will need more frequent watering until established which can take up to a few weeks.


Avoid fertilizing during a heatwave. Your plants will already be stressed because of the heat, and it can be tempting to give fertilizer because you just want to help them with some nutrients. However, you're likely going to do more harm than good and can end up burning the plants and killing them in some instances. If you have to fertilize, use a liquid spray that has UV protection in it. They are more expensive, but worth it not to damage your plants.



For the flowers blooming in the garden, they will bloom out faster when its very hot. There is no way to avoid this other than cutting them and bringing them inside. Keeping the plants hydrated can extend the bloom time slightly, but just know the blooms you have outside won't last as long during a heatwave.


If you're planning on picking flowers, do it in the early morning or evening. Your flowers vase life will be better if you pick during the coolest times of the day. Just be sure the plants don't have any dew when picking because picking from wet plants can increase disease.


I wish our long-term forecast looked a little different, but weather is something we can't control. Managing what you do in a heatwave can significantly increase your success in the garden. We hope these tips help! Stay cool!


M



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