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Summer is when you need to reassess your plants' individual needs

By Nisthula Nagarajan

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Published: Mon 31 May 2021, 10:48 PM

The Dubai summer isn't exactly easy on our plants. Plants that don't enjoy direct sunlight should be moved into the shade and plants that do can be placed in sunnier spots to encourage a growth spurt.   

It's best to water them first thing in the morning between 6 am and 8 am and in the evening, right after sunset. Water just the soil as watering the flowers and leaves will cause them to burn. Prune and fertilise plants in the summer to increase leaf growth and bring on beautiful flowers when cooler weather arrives. Here are a few tips from the experts at ACE Hardware:

veggie garden  

Summer is an ideal time to sow chilli and vegetable seeds so they are ready when winter arrives in October. Pay attention to the germination timeline on seed packs and work backwards to figure out the best date to sow them. You can nurture your seeds by using a fine mist spray bottle to water them, this will avoid soil movement.

Indoor vs outdoor 

Tips for indoor plant care: Due to the increased use of AC during the summer, indoor plants may require less water. Check how moist the soil is before watering your plants and fertilise them every three months. You can keep your non-flowering plants happy by misting them every couple of days. 

Tips for outdoor plant care: Besides regular watering and fertilising, minimal outdoor plant care is needed during the summer. Keep an eye out as they are at risk of burning during the hotter months. If this happens, you can protect them by covering them with a fine mesh net and moving the plant out of direct sunlight to a shaded area. 

Surviving the season

Even in the Dubai heat, there a couple of plants that can make your garden a sight for sore eyes

The Middle East is well-known to have been a barren sand land and as such, we spend a large part of the year sweating in the scorching sun. Too much sun can cause headaches, heat strokes and overall overheating of the body. It's the same story for our 'green babies'.

Many plants are not suited to our summers and require commercial-grade setups, large acres of land and complex tools and fertiliser, which isn't exactly easily available to the general public. But there's still a way to create your personal farm at home. Here are some plants that withstand heat and that you can grow at home, indoors and outdoors.

- Shrubs

Bougainvillaea is easy to maintain and can be bought in various colours. When placed in a semi-shaded area and watered up to four times a week, it thrives. For a gorgeous addition to your garden, consider Wrightia or 'Milky Way', known for its hardiness and flamboyant white summer blooms.

To bring a sweet fragrance to your garden, consider jasminum sambac. It thrives in a shaded area and grows white scented flowers.

- Grass

Green and red pennisetum flourish in the summer heat and only need to be watered up to four times a week. It's non-toxic to pets, adds height to your garden's landscape, and flowers continuously; creating a soothing view.

- Succulents

Desert Rose is a desert-loving plant that blooms creamy pink and red flowers. They're perfectly at home and only need to be watered up to three times a week. Also new to the market is euphorbia tirucalli, which boasts spindly leaves that go from green to red in the summer. 

Aloe vera is also a favourite during the summer due to its resilience. Its leaves stand the risk of being sunburned but it's quick to recover in the winter.

- Cacti

For striking foliage, consider agave American, agave sisalana, and agave marginata 'variegata'. They're incredibly hardy in intense heat.

- Trees

Olive trees thrive in the summer. They do get thirsty so ensure you water them every day or every alternate day for best results.

- Groundcover 

Sesuvium can bring some colour to your ground while also growing tiny pink and purple flowers. Wedelia, popular for its sunny yellow flowers, will thrive when watered thoroughly. If your wedelia doesn't flower during the summer, it's likely to blossom in the autumn once it's settled in. 

Portulaca will spread slowly but makes a charming addition to any border or pot with its unusual pinkish-yellow and multicolour flowers.

- Seasonal plants or annuals

Vinca is available in white, red, purple, and pink. Plus a polka-dotted version can also be found! Vincas can be watered up to four times a week and will flower throughout the summer into September.

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