As the temperature warms and the days lengthen, a plant's thirst for water grows, and they sweat a little more like humans do. Only their roots get water from the soil, which then goes up the plant to the rest of the plant.
Heat affects plants in several ways. One of the most apparent effects is dehydration. When the temperature rises, plants lose water faster through their leaves, leading to wilting, yellowing, and death if not addressed.
Another effect of heat on plants is sunburn. Just like human skin, the leaves of plants can burn if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. Sunburned leaves may turn white or yellow and eventually die, affecting the plant's ability to photosynthesize and grow.
Heat can also increase the risk of pests and diseases. Hot and humid conditions create the perfect environment for pests like spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies to thrive. Additionally, high temperatures can cause plant tissues to soften, making them more vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infections.
Different types of plants have varying responses to heat. Some plants are heat-tolerant and can thrive in hot conditions, while others may struggle or even die if not cared for properly. Here are some examples:
Succulents and cacti are known for storing water in their leaves and stem. As a result, these plants have adapted to harsh and arid conditions and withstand high temperatures. However, many succulents and cacti prefer hot, dry climates and will thrive in the summer heat.
Tropical plants are native to warm, humid environments and thrive in temperatures above 70°F. However, if the temperature rises above 90°F, it can stress tropical plants and cause them to wilt or drop their leaves. If you have tropical plants in your garden, provide them with shade during the hottest part of the day and keep the soil moist.