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Intensive Care for Heat-Stressed Plants: Best Practices for Trees, Shrubs, and Grass

As the scorching heat of the Texas summer takes its toll on our landscapes, it is essential to provide intensive care for heat-stressed plants. Heat stress can lead to wilting, browning, and even death if not addressed promptly. In this blog post, our expert team at Alterra Landscape Design will explore the best practices for reviving and nurturing heat-stressed trees, shrubs, and grass, ensuring their survival and vitality.


Deep watering:

– Provide a slow, deep watering to penetrate the root zone.

– Water early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize water loss due to evaporation.

– Ensure that water reaches the tree’s root system and not just the surface.


– Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree.

– This helps retain moisture, regulates soil temperature, and reduces weed competition.

– Avoid piling mulch against the trunk, as it may cause rot or attract pests.


– Remove dead or damaged branches to reduce stress on the tree.

– Prune lightly to promote airflow and prevent overcrowding, which can increase heat stress.


Shade and shelter:

– Provide temporary shade using shade cloth, umbrellas, or strategically placed screens.

– This shields shrubs from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

Regular watering:

– Water deeply and thoroughly, ensuring the root zone is adequately soaked.

– Avoid shallow and frequent watering, as it encourages shallow root growth.


– Apply a layer of organic mulch around shrubs, keeping it a few inches away from the base.

– Mulch helps conserve moisture and suppresses weed growth.


Adjust mowing height:

– Raise the mower blades to leave grass longer.

– Longer grass shades the soil, reducing evaporation and protecting the roots.

Watering practices:

– Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.

– Water early in the morning to allow the grass to dry before evening, preventing disease.

Aeration and overseeding:

– Aerating the soil reduces compaction and improves water penetration.

– Overseed with drought-tolerant grass varieties to replenish damaged areas.

The team here at Alterra Landscape Design, serving Dallas, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, and Prosper cannot emphasize enough how heat stress can be detrimental to the health of trees, shrubs, and grass. By implementing these best practices, you can effectively revive and care for heat-stressed plants, even in these triple digit days. Remember, providing ample water, shade, mulching, and proper maintenance will go a long way to ensure the survival and vitality of your plants during the scorching summer months. Give those thirsty plants a drink and pour one for yourself too!


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