Q&A: Summer Planting/Discounted Plants

Question: Many of my local garden centers are offering great deals on plants now that the busy season is over. I’m tempted to take advantage and get some plants for cheap, but will they survive if I plant them in the heat of the summer? Do you have any tips for buying and planting plants late in the season?

Answer: Ideally, perennials should be planted in spring or in the fall, but you can have success planting them in the summer. They will have more stress from the heat, strong sun and low water, but with your help they will establish themselves.

You can follow the same steps as you normally would when planting them, but you’ll need to be particularly vigilant about keeping them watered. Mulch them well. If you’re planting in full sun and the plants are fairly small, you can set up a shade tent over them for a few days to a week, using sticks or stakes and newspapers, shade fabric or even an old bed sheet. Anchor the paper or fabric to the ground with stones, and prop up the center over the plant with as many stakes or sticks as necessary to hold it clear of the foliage.

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