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Heatwave Tips & Advice

By Mike Atkinson

Southern California summers regularly feature hot, arid heatwaves. This type of intense heat and dangerous UV ratings can cause damage to plumerias. Here are some tips:
> If you’re in one of the hottest areas and your plants are in pots, you can move them to shade or morning sun-only locations on your property.
> Deeply water your plants, preferably in the evening. If in pots, water until it leaks from the drain holes at the bottom. This will give them the hydration they need for the hot days, plus it can help reduce leaves and bud burn. The soil will dry out faster than usual and will need to be watered when dry.
> Every evening around dusk, spray water on the plants and cuttings that are rooting (called a Hawaiian Shower). This can help to rejuvenate them as they absorb the water overnight. Note: Never do this in direct sun, as it can cause leaf burn.
> Be especially vigilant as many of our plants don’t have leaves to help shade the plant trunk and branches. Watch for possible sunburn on branches and the trunk, which would be a light-colored or tan discoloration. If you see it, you can cover it with foil or the cardboard roll in the middle of toilet paper or paper towels. 
> Leaves can also get sunburned with yellow or brown spots. This doesn’t mean the plant itself is doing badly, only the leaves. You can cut them off if you want, but they will eventually fall off.