Days here in Chaffee County are heating up now and your plants might be feeling it a bit too much. Here are a few tips for helping your landscape cope with high temperatures and sun.
The best defense is a good offense. The best way to help your plants survive Colorado's altitude, intense sun, cold winters, and hot summers is to select plants that like to live here. If you are adding or replacing plants this year, look for low-water plants that work best in our conditions. Native plants are a great choice and may even be better suited to withstand the temperature swings, hail, and other extreme weather events we see each year in our state.
Right plant, right place. The location of your plants is also important to consider. Any plants that face south or west and get a lot of sun will need more water. With containers, make sure they are in a good potting soil that retains moisture throughout the day.
Don't worry too much. If your plants are wilting, that doesn't necessarily mean they are dying. Plants will wilt either because they need moisture or because it's their coping mechanism to conserve moisture during the heat of day. If you look at the same plant at night that was wilted during the day, it may be back to normal. Resist the urge to overwater. To know if the plant really needs water, check the soil with a screwdriver probe. If the soil is dry 2" into the soil, it needs water.
Mulch for moisture. Make sure you have wood mulch or even grass clippings on the soil to retain moisture. The added benefit is that this will help control weeds.
Make sure plants don't dry out while you're on vacation. If you don't already have a smart irrigation system, you can buy a timer to make sure your plants get the water they need while you're gone. Drip irrigation is very useful for consistent moisture.
Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (2021, July 9). Tip of the Week: Dealing with heat. https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email