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My garden is dying. Or at least it seems that way!


By Raquel


My plants – especially the geraniums – finally had it with the heat and humidity. In spite of watering and aqua globing, the leaves have shriveled and dropped off. Several look dead, though I’m hoping the two big ones will re-sprout when it gets cooler. However, we still have another month at least of obnoxious heat and humidity before that happens. I won’t even post pictures and so sad about it and it looks so awful. Never mind all the money the plants cost. The caladiums gave up the ghost as well. Not all the plants are lost though – the portulacas are blooming, the vincas are stressed but recuperate, the pentas is actually doing well as well as the two youngest scented-leaved geraniums. Perhaps because they are potted in a plastic container? The red wax begonias look OK. Walking by some gardens I could see that all the flowers seemed a bit stressed. It is different, though if you have a garden – I fell it is easier for the plants to survive such a hot spell.


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It's heart-breaking when you lose your plants to the heat isn't it? Believe me I've lost lots of plants out in my garden beds too, not just those in pots! Hot, humid summers are hard on all plants.

Potted plants definitely survive better in plastic pots in areas that get high heat and humidity levels - had lots of experience with this. Ceramic pots hold so much heat and the soil is literally frying the poor root system - I only use them during the winter months here and even then the plants are all in plastic pots and then put inside the ceramic pots.

The caladiums can come back - they do go dormant for a while. Portulacas, pentas and vincas will all come through - they're tough as old boots. My begonias have always come through our dreadful summers, but they're always kept in shaded cooler areas and are never exposed to full sun.

I've lost lots of zonal geraniums (pelargoniums) over the summer - and none of them have ever come back. I just make sure I take cuttings at the end of spring, ready for the next year. The ivy-leaved pelargoniums fare much better.

Take heart - at least you've got some lovely things surviving the heat.

31 Aug, 2009


It must be difficult to see your plants suffering like that and not be able to change the conditions outside. I wish I could send you some of our cooler weather. It will actually manage to reach 18 celcius today and has struggled to reach more than 20C this month. Maybe we reached the heights of 23C for a couple of days but it has also rained almost every day this August. I never imagined geraniums could die due to it being too hot - I thought they loved the heat. My geranium has not even managed to flower.this summer. I grew up in a hot humid environment in the summers and am seriously thinking of finding a job where I can emigrate somewhere warm. I really have little tolerance of the cold despite the length of time I have been in Scotland. It is hard to get a balance though isn't it? Where I lived we could escape from the heat via airconditioning, so we had the best of both worlds, though the plants couldn't of course.

I hope your plants pick up soon and start looking happier again.

31 Aug, 2009


I hope the temps improve soon for you and your plants. It must feel very uncomfortable. It sounds almost as bad as frost.

31 Aug, 2009


I've had great luck, Bernieh, that this is the first summer my geraniums have died...usually they just get a little yellow and have some leaf drop but then bounce back...don't think some of them will this time...I switched to clay pots because of the wind I get - it knocks the plastic pots down in nothing flat....I might switch to plastic pots even though I have no idea what I would do with all the clay pots...and put the plastic pots within ceramic roses have also made it through so far but they're in plastic pots within decorative ceramic pots...sigh...I don't have a green house or area to keep plants, don't know where I would keep cuttings...=(
Well, we'll see how it goes....It's only supposed to be 91 F today, maybe that's around 28 C?

I would love some of your cooler weather, Weedfingers! It is hard to balance, but I do like 4 season hasn't even rained that much this summer, which is unusual...lots of electrical storms, though. Thanks I hope the plants make it through!

Thanks Hywel. From June until October I feel I am in an anteroom of hell, it's so hot and humid! I hate the weather in Houston at this time. It is very uncomfortable and nearly kills any desire to go outside. For me, this is winter, or the equivalent of it, because it's such an extreme range of temperatures.

1 Sep, 2009


Perhaps you could try some gel crystals that swell and hold water in the soil in the pot. I hate really hot weather too Raquel it makes me fell awful and my feet swell and get really uncomfortable.

6 Mar, 2010


I had never heard of that, Dorjac...have to look into that. What I've done this year is line my ceramic pots with plastic..that seems to have helped quite a bit...thanks for your comment!

9 Jun, 2010

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