Happy New Year!
As we delve into the New Year and into the second month of summer, scorching temperatures are rearing their ugly heads. Perth is renowned for its intensely hot sun, and Tuesday's 39 degree maximum is only a sign of things to come. Succulents, while very drought tolerant, can burn and become stressed during summer if they are exposed to extended periods of direct sunlight.
In light of this dilemma most succulent owners face, here are a few tips to help get through these harsh temperatures:
- Sunlight: Reposition your potted succulents to a shadier area during the summer months. Under the veranda or a balcony is perfect, provided they receive enough light. If they are out in the garden, cut a piece of shade cloth and use bamboo stakes to create a little tent over them. This is especially helpful to newly planted succulents, as they may not have had the time to acclimatise to their new environment. This trick just gives them a little helping hand. Be sure to use 50% shade cloth and not 80%, so the plants can receive enough light.
- Soil: Check to see that when you water your succulents, the water is getting to the roots of your plant and not just sitting on top of the soil. Check not only succulents in the garden but also those in pots, as sometimes the water can run down the inside of the pot and not get into the actual root ball.
If you find this is the case, simply apply a wetting agent as directed and you will see the results immediately. Some dire cases may need re-potting, or topping up with fresh potting mix. You can apply a wetting agent to your containers and gardens a couple of times over the hot summer. The difference will amaze you. The plants will cope a lot better if they are getting sufficient water.
- Mulch: Mulching your gardens and succulent containers will help keep the evaporation rate of your soil to a minimum. Soil will dry out a lot quicker if it is exposed to the sun. Wood chips, gravel and pebbles all make great mulches.
- Water: Even though succulents are incredibly water wise, it is always good to water them thoroughly. It is better to thoroughly water your plants every other day than it is to sprinkle them with a small amount every day.
By following these simple tips, your succulents will be a little happier over these drearily hot months and continue to grow long into the New Year.