hot weather - Knowledgebase Question

Jim Thorpe, Pe
Avatar for jjsnyderus
Question by jjsnyderus
August 12, 2010
can i plant perennials the i purchased, in this hot weather? a friend of mine told me to wait untill Sept. she said it is too hot now and they will die. should i cover them somehow in the winter. thanks, Audrey

Answer from NGA
August 12, 2010
You can plant your perennials in the ground now if you can provide some temporary shade from the hot afternoon sunshine for about 2 weeks after planting. I just drive stakes into the ground and attach shade cloth or burlap as a cover over the tops of the plants. You can remove the shade cloth once the roots have established themselves and the plants begin to perk up. If you decide not to plant them now, be sure to protect the containers from direct sunshine. It can overheat the roots and the plants can die. The easiest way to shade the containers is to simply dig the planting holes where you intend to plant the perennials and then sink the pots into the holes. The earth will insulate the pots so the roots won't overheat. In the fall you can unpot the plants and plant them directly into the holes you've already dug. Most perennials will die back to ground level after the first hard frost. When this happens, cut off the dead foliage and cover over the crowns of the plants with several inches of compost, shredded leaves, pine needles or straw to help insulate them agains the cold weather. In the spring just brush away the organic matter and your perennials should sprout and flower nicely for you. Good luck with your new plants.

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