July 11, 2024

The heat is officially back in town! As the sun beats down this summer across British Columbia, gardeners face the challenge of keeping plants healthy and thriving in a heatwave. Each requires specific care to withstand high temperatures, from delicate lavenders to robust snake plants. In this guide, we’ll explore how to care for lavender, snake plants, and other garden favoruites in both full sun and shade conditions during a heatwave.

Lavender: Thriving in the Sun

Sunlight Requirements

Lavender thrives in full sun, requiring at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. During a heatwave, ensure it receives ample sunlight while providing some protection during the hottest part of the day to prevent leaf burn.

Soil and Watering

Monitor soil moisture closely during heatwaves. Lavender prefers well-drained soil with a slightly alkaline pH.  Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth and prevent waterlogging.

Pruning

Regular pruning after flowering helps maintain the lavender’s shape and encourages new growth. Trim back flowers and stems if desired to promote bushiness and prevent the plant from becoming woody.

Other Sun Plants

These sun-tolerant plants prefer well-draining soil and deep, infrequent watering during heatwaves.

  • Coneflower
  • Bee Balm
  • Echinacea
  • Salvia
  • Succulents
  • Cacti
  • Yarrow
  • Sage

Click here to learn more about perennial plants and the best ones for each season and light condition.

Snake Plant: Surviving in the Shade

Light Requirements

Snake plants (Sansevieria) are adaptable and while they prefer low light conditions, can also thrive in bright indirect light. During a heatwave, place snake plants in shaded areas to prevent sunburn on their leaves. To learn more about the best indoor tropical plants for low light, click here.

Soil and Watering

Snake plants prefer well-draining soil and are drought-tolerant. Water sparingly during hot weather, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

Care Tips

In a heat wave, snake plants will need more water than usual. Avoid overwatering though since snake plants are prone to root rot in soggy soil. In general, a light feeding with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season will keep them healthy. To learn more about fertilizers, click here.

Other Shade Lovers

These shade-loving plants benefit from consistent moisture during hot temperatures:

  • Hostas
  • Ferns
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Coral Bells
  • Hellebores

General Tips for Heatwave Gardening

Watering

Outdoor watering restrictions are in effect in Vancouver and Surrey this summer 2024. For City of Vancouver watering restrictions click here, and for City of Surrey watering restrictions click here. Ideally, water plants deeply and early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation. Adjust watering frequency based on plant needs and soil moisture levels.

Mulching

Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around plants to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. At Hunters Garden Centre, we carry bark mulch, peat moss and other soils, sands and rocks for your garden. Click here for more information.

Shade and Protection

Use shade cloths, umbrellas, or taller plants to provide protection from intense sunlight. This is especially important for more delicate plants.

Stay Cool at Hunters Garden Centre

Visit us at Hunters Garden Centre in Vancouver and Surrey for expert advice on nurturing your garden during a heatwave. While you’re at it, remember to stay hydrated, find shade, and take breaks to ensure both your garden and your well-being flourish!