They suffer as much as humans. By Vivek Shukla As the days of sweltering summer are here when the sun is on fire, spare a thought for the plants of your home that are giving you positive energy and a cool ambiance. Well, like humans, they too need some kind of tender care and pampering to withstand the heat. If they are not looked after carefully,they succumb to the heat wave.
Even in the times of flat/floor culture, it gives immense joy to see or sit close to nice plants with flowers. The ideal temperature for survival of plants is about 28°C. While they can somehow manage temperatures up to 40°C, any further increase becomes unbearable for them. And when the temperature hovers over 45 degrees Celsius, then it is virtually a death-knell for them. And as the capital and entire region is under severe and scorching heat wave, it is really a tough call for plants to survive unless special care is taken. Says Kamal Saini of Masjid Nursery of Pandara Road, “Right from March to the end of June, plants deserve special care and protection. These are very crucial times for them. These four months prove really tough for them to stand tall in the face heat waves. Understandably, they fall if they are not protected well as well as given water in time.”
A landscape designer of SVP group Jayanto says partial light for plants in summer is must. It can be shade-nets to cover them partially. They are to be protected under shade-nets so that the sunlight does not seep in. “The extreme hot conditions saps the energy of your saplings placed in your courtyard and balconies. Though plants need gentle sunlight to aid their food preparation through photosynthesis, naturally excessive heat will damage their leaves.”
Noted architect J.K.Jain says that during the summer months you would observe that despite all the efforts, leaves of small plants start yellowing. If you notice yellowing in any plant of your home, then it is a clear-cut indication that the plant has become the victim of sun heat. “It is advisable that plants should be covered with a shade-net in the day time. Apart from that, loosening of the soil every week is must. That is a must. Any non-serious attitude can ruin your plants,” says Jain. Plants with their roots in the ground fare better during summer than the plants in containers. Thorny plants and those with rough leaf surfaces are more resistant to the sun and can tolerate heat and drought conditions.
An landscape expert and director of the ILD group, Nuzhat Alim points out that one must avoid chemical fertilisers in plants as they will generate a great amount of heat. Heavy pruning should be avoided too as fresh growth of foliage is more prone to sunburn. Dhir says summer months are ideal for growing lush green lawns. Most kinds of lawns do very well in sunlight provided they have abundant water supply to go with. Experts say that when it comes to house-plant care, watering is usually the trickiest. The amount of water will depend on how fast the plant absorbs the moisture. Obviously, a house plant that is in active growth requires more water than a dormant one. A good rule of thumb for house plant care is that they will require more water from April to June. According to Nuzhat Alim, another task of house-plant care is feeding the plant. Plants that have rooted well and are growing freely need the most feeding. This extra nourishment is especially needed during the summer months. As we are facing the heat, we can do great service to our plants, if we can make some efforts to protect our plants.