Summer Flower and Plants - Pests and Problems

Summer is a great time of year for gardening. Not only are summer flowers beautiful, but getting outdoors and enjoying the blue skies and warm summer sun can be a relaxing way to pass the time. As wonderful as summer can be, it can also cause a number of problems with one's flowers and plants. This is particularly true during the hotter days of the season when the weather is at its hottest. When tending to plants during this time of year it is important to understand what threats can damage and even destroy one's gardening efforts. By understanding what these threats are, people can learn how to protect their yards and keep them healthy.

Flower Pests and Bugs

-Spider mites: There are various species of spider mites which feed on and damage plants by sucking plant cell fluids from leaves using mouth-parts that are shaped like needles or whips.

-Scale insects: Scale species may be armored or soft and can damage and even kill plants by sucking sap from branches, stems, and leaves and/or excreting honeydew that comes from sap ingestion.

-Fall webworms: During their larval stage, fall webworms are damaging to fruit, shade and ornamental trees by creating webbing around leaves, from which they feed until nothing more than the skeleton remains.

-Whiteflies: These tiny insects look similar to moths and feed on the sap of plants such as gardenias, causing damage that can kill leaves and stunt growth.

-Grasshoppers: Nearly any type of plant or flower is threatened by heavy infestation of grasshoppers that chew not only on foliage, but also flowers and any plant parts above ground.

Summer Plant and Flower Water Issues

Water can be an issue in a number of ways during the hot and dry summer months. To prevent issues such as fungal growth it is important for people to water their outdoor flowers and plants at the right time of day, which happens to be the morning. Watering during the day increases the chances of water evaporating and watering at night leaves conditions that are ripe for fungus. Avoid getting foliage wet as it can also cause fungal diseases. Over-and under-watering plants can be a problem during the hot summer months. Under-watering can cause wilting of flowers and plants while over-watering can lead to soil compaction and rotting. Over-watering can also lead to leaf scorch. Drought is a common water issue in that there isn't enough water for plants and flowers. Plants may drop some or all of their leaves or show signs of wilting and yellowing. These symptoms vary among the different types of plants, however.

Sunlight Issues for Plants and Flowers

Too much sunlight can be a problem during the height of the summer. The problem is almost always associated with both the amount of sunlight and higher heat temperatures as excess sunlight contributes to high heat. Problems with sunlight include wilting of the plant and even burning of the leaves or petals. Sun and heat issues can often be resolved by relocating the plant to an area that receives more shade, providing shade for the plant, and giving it sufficient water to recover. Moving plants to areas that have more shade is possible for potted plants and flowers and should be done when the sun is at its hottest which is typically mid-day. Sunlight can also cause a problem when it comes to water as it can cause certain types of leaves or flowers to scorch when wet. Elevated temperatures associated with sunshine can cause a plant to develop heat stress. Heat stress can be withered and/or yellowed leaves, leathery leaves, and sunburn.

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