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Avoiding a plant apocalypse in your yard when temperatures routinely top 100 degrees

Hady Mawajdeh/KERA News

Many plants suffer in extreme temperatures and they need water to thrive. But it has to be the right amount of water. Plant experts say plant owners need to water them effectively.

Steve McCoy, a horticulturist at Archie’s Gardenland in Fort Worth, said that owners should water their gardens deeply.

“Really make sure that soil is soaked,” he said. “Actually, use your finger or a shovel or a trowel and dig down in that soil and see how deep that water is really penetrating."

He said many people make the mistake of watering too little or too much this time of year. It’s important to use a hose or a watering can rather than rely on just a sprinkler system to water your plants.

But McCoy warns against dumping water on the leaves. When water is suspended in the plant hairs, it can magnify the rays — and even cause a plant sunburn.

Jeffrey Clifton, a manager of Plantus Nursery in Fort Worth, said that plant owners should avoid fertilizing until the heat dies down. Fertilizers tend to have very high nutrient content and could burn the grass in the summer.

McCoy said that the summer heat isn't the only cause for plant distress.

“We've had no rain to speak of for quite some time,” he said. “We're coming off two very rough winters and a very hot and dry spring and summer. And what happens is all this just adds up and accumulates over time. And the plants just really start showing it.”

And if you have to replace plants?

McCoy recommends buying native plants like Holly bushes or Oak trees. These species are more adaptable and likely to survive in Texas’ extreme climate.

Gloria Farris covers Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Got a tip? Email Gloria at gfarris@kera.org.

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Gloria Farris