Extreme heat and dry conditions having negative impact on plants

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:44 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Extreme heat and very little rain.

Those are the weather conditions we’re experiencing this summer.

A new report reveals that a drought could be in place for at least the next two weeks, possibly longer.

However, despite these conditions, the Madison Garden Center is continuing to see customers come in looking to buy plants.

“We do have people coming in just have to buy things because they have parties, stuff like that,” said Mike Owen, who’s the store manager.

Although people are still buying their greenery, Owen said this dry heat and lack of rain continue to take a toll on plants.

”It’s just detrimental to the plant’s health,” said Owen. We’ve had a lot of people have issues with plants dying and just being more stressed out, environmental stress on the plants more than anything.”

For Felder Rushing, who’s a horticulturist and an eleventh-generation gardener, his flower bed is extremely dry thanks to the extreme weather conditions.

”Things that can normally take this kind of weather, fashion lawns, shrubs, native plants like magnolias and nandinas, these things have turned completely brown, and in some cases are just dead,” said Rushing. “My flower beds, I lost a lot of flowers. My potted plants, I lost those.”Rushing said he already has a plan in place for the plants that have died out.”

This weather has killed stuff that survived whatever killed the dinosaurs, so if they can’t take it, I’m just going to replant with tougher stuff next time, that’s what gardening is about, planting ahead,” the horticulturist expressed.

With the drought likely lasting until the end of the month, Owen and Rushing say there are a few things that can be done to keep gardens and plants healthy.

”Number one is water, water, water,” Owen explained. “Trying to water every other day. Hand watering is good. If you have an irrigation system, make sure that the irrigation system is hitting every plant in that zone.”

”Some plants you just got to prune,” said Rushing. “You’ve to cut out the dead stuff, put it on the compost. “Hopefully we have good weather for planting fall stuff, other than that not much we can do but prune the dead stuff and wait and see.”

When it comes to watering your plants during these hot and dry conditions, Owen encourages you to do your watering before the sun comes up in the morning or after it goes down in the evening.

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