Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
Post Reply
Action Jackson
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 42
Joined: July 27th, 2017, 11:35 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne

Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Action Jackson »

Hi all

Little disheartening seeing flowers melt/wilt after a series of hot days

Is there any tips on how to tackle a streak of hot weather or good practices in general?

Try to get out in the morning before work to check on trees and always water trees in need when i get home
Recently put up a shade cloth over my bonsai stand which has seen a lot of improvement to trees.

What are your thoughts on misting foliage after a hot day? Can it lead to leaf burn if the tree has been in the sun all day?
seephil
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 31
Joined: September 4th, 2017, 9:31 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 4 times

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by seephil »

Hi AJ,

During the last few days i water any small pots twice a day. Once in the morning before work and also during the evening when I get back. Any larger pots, just once in the evenings. During the weekends when it’s 30 plus degrees, I’ll go and heavily mist with water during the day. I’ll spray the foliage from the top as well as under the leaves and I’ve never had any issues with leaf burn, not even on my trident maples. Also like to add that my trees are in full sun from 11-6pm.
Action Jackson
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 42
Joined: July 27th, 2017, 11:35 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Action Jackson »

seephil wrote:Hi AJ,

During the last few days i water any small pots twice a day. Once in the morning before work and also during the evening when I get back. Any larger pots, just once in the evenings. During the weekends when it’s 30 plus degrees, I’ll go and heavily mist with water during the day. I’ll spray the foliage from the top as well as under the leaves and I’ve never had any issues with leaf burn, not even on my trident maples. Also like to add that my trees are in full sun from 11-6pm.
Great to know seephil! Thanks for the info - do you treat flowering trees the same? Say for example serissa?
seephil
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 31
Joined: September 4th, 2017, 9:31 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 4 times

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by seephil »

Sorry AJ, don’t have a serissa but I’d treat it the same; according to pot size. I have a Cotoneaster that lost its last flower a week ago and I water twice a day because of the pot it’s in.

I always believe a good dunking in a bucket of water would rehydrate the roots and soil.
Daluke
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 693
Joined: September 15th, 2014, 8:04 pm
Favorite Species: Juniper
Bonsai Age: 5
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Daluke »

Put your Serissa in a water tray. Mine thrive in it.

Don’t leave in full sun. They like semi shade.

Mist often.

Serissa flowers don’t last long.

I’ve found that by starving them of water encourages flower buds to form. If you want flower buds don’t keep in a water trays - the water trays helps the leaves open.
Action Jackson
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 42
Joined: July 27th, 2017, 11:35 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Action Jackson »

Daluke wrote:Put your Serissa in a water tray. Mine thrive in it.

Don’t leave in full sun. They like semi shade.

Mist often.

Serissa flowers don’t last long.

I’ve found that by starving them of water encourages flower buds to form. If you want flower buds don’t keep in a water trays - the water trays helps the leaves open.
Hi Daluke thanks for the tips! Mine is under a shade cloth but gets full sun. Was told to keep moist and almost dry rather than risking wet soil however might up the water. Thanks
User avatar
The Surgeon
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 95
Joined: July 21st, 2009, 8:15 am
Favorite Species: Pinus
Bonsai Age: 11
Location: Melbourne
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by The Surgeon »

Hi AJ
Depends on your mix. I water 2-3 times a day due to the free draining mix. Seems i cant over water :tu:
but the down side is that it dries out more quickly
Action Jackson
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 42
Joined: July 27th, 2017, 11:35 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Action Jackson »

The Surgeon wrote:Hi AJ
Depends on your mix. I water 2-3 times a day due to the free draining mix. Seems i cant over water :tu:
but the down side is that it dries out more quickly

Mix is pine chips, pumice and zeolite. Started to add more pine chips as i felt that my mix had been too free draining
Consists of 60-20-20 ratio
shibui
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 6345
Joined: August 22nd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Favorite Species: trident maple
Bonsai Age: 33
Bonsai Club: Albury/Wodonga; BSV; Canberra; VNBC
Location: Yackandandah
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 508 times
Contact:

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by shibui »

I think many drooping plants can result from ineffective watering.
I have done autopsies on dead plants that I thought were getting enough water and found that the outside of the root ball was damp but the middle was bone dry :o It seems that when we water it only soaks in a little way so the centre never actually gets properly wet after it has dried out. I've found 2 strategies that work:
1. soak pots once a week to make sure they are wet right through
2. Water twice. The first watering soaks into the outside of the root ball. Go back a few minutes later and water again. The second watering soaks into the damp bit and goes even further to reach right into the centre.
I have seen Japanese references to watering 3 times - "Once for the pot, once for the soil and once for the roots." I assume that is accumulated wisdom recognising this phenomenon of much of the first watering just runs off without penetrating far into the mix. When it is hot I always water all my trees then go back and water them all again - morning and evening.

Shade will help reduce water loss and stress but watering effectively is even better :imo:
http://shibuibonsai.com.au/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Action Jackson
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 42
Joined: July 27th, 2017, 11:35 am
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Melbourne

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Action Jackson »

shibui wrote:I think many drooping plants can result from ineffective watering.
I have done autopsies on dead plants that I thought were getting enough water and found that the outside of the root ball was damp but the middle was bone dry :o It seems that when we water it only soaks in a little way so the centre never actually gets properly wet after it has dried out. I've found 2 strategies that work:
1. soak pots once a week to make sure they are wet right through
2. Water twice. The first watering soaks into the outside of the root ball. Go back a few minutes later and water again. The second watering soaks into the damp bit and goes even further to reach right into the centre.
I have seen Japanese references to watering 3 times - "Once for the pot, once for the soil and once for the roots." I assume that is accumulated wisdom recognising this phenomenon of much of the first watering just runs off without penetrating far into the mix. When it is hot I always water all my trees then go back and water them all again - morning and evening.

Shade will help reduce water loss and stress but watering effectively is even better :imo:
Thanks shibui! Have definitely started to apply the extra watering - walking away and coming back 5mins later to water again. Just a little cautious with flowering trees as they seem to be more sensitive or i am yet to get a grip with these and the 'moist but not wet' approach
flowersandpetals
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: November 2nd, 2018, 6:59 am
Bonsai Age: 2
Location: Sydney

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by flowersandpetals »

Hi Action Jackson

Though some sun-loving plants like succulents and cacti are well adapted to high temperatures, plants that are kept indoors are not acclimated to the extremes of a summer heat wave. This includes your succulents and cacti (unless, that is, they’ve been moved outdoors onto the porch or patio for summer). Leafy tropicals are particularly susceptible to damage from heat, and if too severely damaged, might not recover.

Not to worry! There’s plenty you can do in advance of and during the heat wave to make sure your indoor plants survive the heat. Here are 5 of the most important summer plant care tips to get you started.

Promote High Humidity


Plants that like high humidity (many epiphytes and tropicals such as fittonia, calathea and most ferns) should be frequently misted through periods of heat. You can also fill a shallow dish with pebbles, fill with water, and set your pot on top to create a little humid microclimate for your plant that will provide humidity and help your plants survive summer.

Water Well, and Water Deeply

As you’ve probably read on our blog before, proper watering is key to indoor plant care. Though over-watering is the most efficient way to kill your houseplant, heat and sun cause water to evaporate from soil at much faster rates. In preparation for a heat wave, be sure to give your plants a deep watering – if you water too quickly or not enough, often just the top of the soil gets wet and the rest escapes down the sides of your pot and out the bottom. Make sure the water is actually absorbed by watering slowly, and allowing the plant to soak up excess water in a bowl for 10-20 after watering.

While you’re in summer plant care mode, check your plants soil moisture level more frequently than normal, either by using a moisture meter, or with the trusty “finger test” – water when soil feels dry at 1-2″ down for most tropical plants. Another key indicator of fast-drying, compacted soil is when the soil pulls away from the sides of the pot. If there’s a gap between the soil and the side of the pot, it’s time to rehydrate!

If you happen to have A/C, keep in mind that the dry air can dry pots out just as quickly as the sun. Keep an eye out for thirsty plants and water well.

Shade Sensitive Plants From Too Much Sun

Plants get sunburn, too. Plants that live in south and west-facing windows will get an especially bright dose of vitamin D during this weekend’s heat wave. But since you can’t put sunscreen on their leaves, it’s best to move them a bit further into your house to spare them from this direct hit of the sun. As mentioned at the top, this goes for succulents and cacti that haven’t been acclimated to direct sun, too.

Keep It Cool

If you’ve ever felt faint in the heat, imagine what your plants must feel like! Do your best to keep your plants out of the hottest spots in your home while in summer plant care mode. This might mean moving them away from windows or even into other rooms during hot times.
Also, it may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to keep your house cool in the heat (assuming you don’t have A/C) is actually to close your windows during the day when the heat is on, and open them back up at night when it cools down. If you can manage to get the house just a few degrees cooler, you’ll feel a lot better, and so will your plants!

Don’t Fertilize During A Heat Wave

Though fertilizer is your friend, especially during summer, a stressed plant should never be fertilized until it recovers. When your plant is in summer survival mode, it’s not looking for extra nutrients and isn’t prepared to make use of them. Introducing these into the soil will risk further stressing your plant. Wait until it cools down a bit for your next feeding!
User avatar
Redsonic
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 363
Joined: June 18th, 2015, 12:49 pm
Favorite Species: Ficus, Casuarina
Bonsai Age: 5
Bonsai Club: Redlands
Location: Brisbane
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by Redsonic »

flowersandpetals wrote:Hi Action Jackson

Though some sun-loving plants like succulents and cacti are well adapted to high temperatures, plants that are kept indoors are not acclimated to the extremes of a summer heat wave. This includes your succulents and cacti (unless, that is, they’ve been moved outdoors onto the porch or patio for summer). Leafy tropicals are particularly susceptible to damage from heat, and if too severely damaged, might not recover.

Not to worry! There’s plenty you can do in advance of and during the heat wave to make sure your indoor plants survive the heat. Here are 5 of the most important summer plant care tips to get you started.

Promote High Humidity


Plants that like high humidity (many epiphytes and tropicals such as fittonia, calathea and most ferns) should be frequently misted through periods of heat. You can also fill a shallow dish with pebbles, fill with water, and set your pot on top to create a little humid microclimate for your plant that will provide humidity and help your plants survive summer.

Water Well, and Water Deeply

As you’ve probably read on our blog before, proper watering is key to indoor plant care. Though over-watering is the most efficient way to kill your houseplant, heat and sun cause water to evaporate from soil at much faster rates. In preparation for a heat wave, be sure to give your plants a deep watering – if you water too quickly or not enough, often just the top of the soil gets wet and the rest escapes down the sides of your pot and out the bottom. Make sure the water is actually absorbed by watering slowly, and allowing the plant to soak up excess water in a bowl for 10-20 after watering.

While you’re in summer plant care mode, check your plants soil moisture level more frequently than normal, either by using a moisture meter, or with the trusty “finger test” – water when soil feels dry at 1-2″ down for most tropical plants. Another key indicator of fast-drying, compacted soil is when the soil pulls away from the sides of the pot. If there’s a gap between the soil and the side of the pot, it’s time to rehydrate!

If you happen to have A/C, keep in mind that the dry air can dry pots out just as quickly as the sun. Keep an eye out for thirsty plants and water well.

Shade Sensitive Plants From Too Much Sun

Plants get sunburn, too. Plants that live in south and west-facing windows will get an especially bright dose of vitamin D during this weekend’s heat wave. But since you can’t put sunscreen on their leaves, it’s best to move them a bit further into your house to spare them from this direct hit of the sun. As mentioned at the top, this goes for succulents and cacti that haven’t been acclimated to direct sun, too.

Keep It Cool

If you’ve ever felt faint in the heat, imagine what your plants must feel like! Do your best to keep your plants out of the hottest spots in your home while in summer plant care mode. This might mean moving them away from windows or even into other rooms during hot times.
Also, it may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to keep your house cool in the heat (assuming you don’t have A/C) is actually to close your windows during the day when the heat is on, and open them back up at night when it cools down. If you can manage to get the house just a few degrees cooler, you’ll feel a lot better, and so will your plants!

Don’t Fertilize During A Heat Wave

Though fertilizer is your friend, especially during summer, a stressed plant should never be fertilized until it recovers. When your plant is in summer survival mode, it’s not looking for extra nutrients and isn’t prepared to make use of them. Introducing these into the soil will risk further stressing your plant. Wait until it cools down a bit for your next feeding!
You might want to attribute your post to the author; http://pistilsnursery.com/summer-plant-care/. Verbatim copying of other's work should at least recognise the source.
KineticBonsai
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 21
Joined: September 19th, 2017, 9:00 pm
Favorite Species: Cedrus, Willow, Azalea
Bonsai Age: 1
Location: Newcastle

Re: Tips and advice for surviving the heat

Post by KineticBonsai »

Buy yourself a large tub or get a second hand bathtub. Fill with water and immerse your trees until you no longer see air bubbles coming from the soil.
Immersion is the best way to ensure your trees are being properly watered.
Post Reply

Return to “Tips, Techniques, Maintenance and Advice”