Spring and early summer can bring unexpected heat waves that burn your garden plants. If there is a sudden rise in heat, leaves can scorch and flower petals can shrivel in a matter of hours. The most damaging heat occurs when plants have been accustomed to cloudy or hazy skies and the sun breaks through at the same time as temperatures peak. The combination of high temperatures and direct sun can burn quickly.
The most vulnerable plants are the young and the newly planted. One way to make sure these plants are protected is to set up some shade with surrounding plants, shade cloth or with temporary branches that will cast shade.
Other plants in a position to be most injured by sudden heat are those that have thin or large leaves or leaves with a lot of white or yellow variegation. These are usually types of plants that are not naturally resistant to sudden heat, especially dry heat.
To help keep your plants from burning, make sure they stay well watered. Sprinkling leaves in full sun can lead to burning as beads of water will work like little magnifying glasses concentrating sunlight into burning spots. Instead, water early in the morning before the sun rises.
Using mulch is another excellent way to protect plants. Not only will mulch help keep the soil moist by blocking fast evaporation, but will form a layer to buffer extreme temperature changes.
Landscapes with desert or drought-tolerant plants will be the most resistant to hot sun. The more fragile tropical or woodland plants are likely to be most vulnerable.