Hot Plants never go out of style

Hot “Plants” Never Go Out Of Style.

Agastache in bloom....attracts Hummingbirds, Butterflies, Bees and Sphinx Moths in August
Agastache in bloom….attracts Hummingbirds, Butterflies, Bees and Sphinx Moths in August

Hot pants were all the rage just in time for my high school years in the 70’s. Daisy Dukes cut offs inspired by the Dukes of Hazard Catherine Bach or Wonder Woman in her hot pants outfit were looks we could never imagine ever going out of style. Some people consider the 70’s the decade that taste forgot, and looking back at some of my pictures I would have to agree. In my gym class in the 70’s the guys too and the basketball team wore very short shorts. They were so short that a revolt followed the 70’s and the pendulum swung the other way until people were wearing shorts so long you didn’t know if they were short longs or long shorts.
Short shorts may have gone out of style but hot “plants” never go out of style. Both Annuals and Perennials offer an opportunity to be colorful as things get steamy. August is a great time to rejuvenate our flowering landscape Annuals and zip up your plants! Pruning back stretched tired or leggy annuals and then feeding with a water soluble fertilizer will give them new life. Whether Petunias, Impatiens, Zinnias or the many other flowering annuals we planted back in May, they often need a pruning and a kick in the plants by August. They’ll kick back into gear and produce a new flush of growth and color well into October. Mums and Asters become available starting in August to supplement your rejuvenated annuals for continuous color.
It’s the hot weather favorite Perennials that get me excited in the heat of summer. On steamy days these hot plants put on a show as both tough and beautiful plants. Be a smarty “plants” and pick from my list because every diverse landscape should have a few of these in the sun. Check it out and plant one on me!
Hot Weather Favorites…Hot Plants that never go out of style
Achillea, Agastache (hyssop), Althea or Rose of Sharon, Baptisia, Buddleia, Carex, Chives, Coreopsis, Crocosmia, Echinacea, Helianthus, Heliopsis, Hemerocallis (Daylily), Hibiscus, Hydrangea (panicle), Lavender, Nepeta, Oregano, Ornamental Grasses, Perovskia, Roses (shrub landscape own-root roses), Succulents (Sedum, Sempervivum), Thyme.
If you have some “thyme” on your hands, get out there and put some hot “plants” on your landscape. You’ll be short on boredom and long on landscape color!

“Bush” Ups

We’re in the middle of hot and steamy weather. Have you thought about how plants perspire (called transpiration) like people in the heat? While the stomata or “pores” of a leaf are open for the passage of carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange, they may just decide to close up shop if things get too hot and stressful for the plant.

Hot Hot Hot!

If that happens loss of turgor occurs and the plant wilts. If the roots fail to keep up with the rate of transpiration decline or death occurs or as I call it “involuntary plant slaughter”. Actually humid weather can be our friend. There is less transpiration when the air is still and both the foliage and the air are humid. Dry windy air speeds transpiration as the air and leaf surface contrast in condition. Plants of course do transpire more rapidly when the temperatures are high and the days are long. That’s why plant conditioning is so important both before and after a stressful event. I call the conditioning “bush ups” simply meaning pay attention to proper soil preparation, mulching, feeding and care so that when the stressful event arrives like a week of hot weather, your plants can stay grounded, survive the heat wave and weather the stress.