Do you avoid planting in summer? Does the heat put you off? Have no fear, because we have created a guide for you to understand the ins and outs of planting in summer, and how easy it is to help your plants to succeed in the hot season.
Is it possible to plant in summer?
As the weather heats-up and we spend more time out in the garden, our home improvement ideas start to flow and many of us get the urge to transform our outside spaces.
Summer is a great season to make the most of your garden, and although you might need to give your plants a little more TLC when planting, you shouldn’t fear it! In fact, some plants thrive in the summer and with our top tips you’ll have everything you need to succeed with your summer gardening projects.
Why plant in summer?
It’s often thought that planting in summer is a no-go, but planting in summer can actually be a good thing for your plants!
The warmth of the soil during summer creates favourable conditions for plant roots to quickly grow and get embedded into the ground before the tough winter months. Planting in the summer provides your plants with a good few extra months to develop a strong root system before the ground freezes up, giving your plants a head start against an autumn gardener’s plants.
Summer planting tips
It’s important to recognise that you will need to put more effort into your planting in comparison to other seasons, but planting potted shrubs or hedge plants means you’ll create that instant impact you can enjoy through the long summer days.
Watering is more important in the hotter months, take a look at our guide on How To Water Your Plants to learn about how you can save water in your garden and make sure your plants get a good drenching to help them thrive.
You can also use a water saving gel to prevent plants in pots, containers, and hanging baskets from drying out.
How to plant in summer
1) Think carefully about the plants that you would like to grow this summer, considering if they will be able to grow in summer or more specifically, in your garden. Lavender is a great starting plant to grow in summer. Read on for some more plant suggestions!
2) De-weeding is more important than ever in summer. Removing weeds will ensure there is no competition for water and nutrients.
3) Dig a hole for your plant, whilst mixing in some compost for your plant’s growth. This is when you could also include some moisture saving gels to help the soil retain water.
4) Soak the roots of your plants in water in advance of planting them- this will keep them nice and hydrated before they are in the ground.
5) Water the hole well, then place your plant(s) into the ground.
6) Mulching will reduce evaporation and keep as much water in the ground as possible. We suggest adding this right after you have planted your plants. Add bark or compost around your plant followed by a thorough, deep watering.
7) Water newly planted shrubs and hedging frequently and deeply during the summer. For more information, take a look at our Water Tips blog.
Aftercare tips for planting in summer:
- Water your plants in the morning or later in the evening, focusing the water directly at the roots.
- Do not fertilise or re-pot during a heatwave, wait until it has become cooler or there is a cloudy day.
- Wait to prune until you really need to.
- If your plants are sensitive to sunlight, shade them for a while.
Benefits of potted plants
Throughout the summer, potted hedges and shrubs are a good alternative to seasonal root balls and bare roots, which aren’t available until the autumn.
Potted plants have a contained root system which helps to retain moisture around the roots, stopping dehydration. Not only this, but the container your plants are in acts as a barrier that will shield the roots of your plants. This provides your plants with insulation, which in contrast to root ball or bare root plants, will stop your plants from being vulnerable to drying out and becoming damaged by the high temperatures, before you get a chance to get the plants in the ground.
Plants such as beech, box, euonymus and hornbeam grow well in containers. This is ideal for summer as your plants can be moved out of the sun if they are struggling in the heat.
Planting shrubs into pots or containers also allows you to take better control of watering your plants. You can measure the moisture levels much easier and throughout the summer, you will be able to manage exactly how much water your plants are receiving, allowing you to avoid dehydration or overwatering.
Check out our selection of potted plants this summer!
Some challenges of planting in summer:
When there is a lack of water and possibly nutrients in the soil, your plant’s leaves will suffer first. The tips of the leaves begin to dry out when they are deprived of nutrients and moisture. When the problem is an over-exposed location, the scorching sun or drying wind absorbs more moisture from the leaf surface than the plant can restore, drying and browning the leaf surface.
To put it in simpler form, if you lay out in the sun for too long, you get burnt, and so do your leaves! Even more so, if there is a drought, your plant will develop scorched leaves even quicker. Our simple suggestion is to move your plants into the shade if you spot them drying out. Or, even try planting with taller plants which can take the sun, blocking the below plants that cannot take the sun quite as well.
As summer comes around, so do aphids and they are attracted to almost any plant (they are not picky!). Aphids leave a sticky residue on leaves wherever they notice your hedge is not strong. For extra advice on hedge diseases, check out our guide to common garden pests and diseases. You can get rid of them by wiping the affected leaves with a damp cloth, hosing with cold water or using insecticidal soap. For a more long-term method, the best solution is to attract ladybirds into your garden, as ladybirds can eat thousands of aphids.
For tips on how to care for your plants in a heatwave, check out our blog! Our solution for inconsistent watering is to invest in an irrigation system which will water your plants directly to their roots. This is important because it means that your plant will be getting the right amount of water to the right part of the plant, avoiding root rotting.
If you are still worried about underwatering, try using garden structures that will give your plant some shade throughout hotter seasons. Other than this, mulching and making sure your plant is hydrated enough are your best options.
Lack of pollen
When it is too hot, heat stress can make pollen less able to survive on flowers, resulting in a decrease in the pollination of seeds, fruits, and vegetables in your garden. To avoid this, a simple answer is to plant flowers this summer that will attract as many pollinating insects into your garden as possible. This will keep your garden looking bright and health
Hedges and Shrubs that will survive the sun:
Despite not typically being the best month to plant hedges and shrubs, most plants will thrive if they go in the ground in the summer. Here’s a selection of our favourite hedges and shrubs for you to plant this summer. Some of these hedges also flower in summer, which is ideal for brightening your garden.
Lavender Hedging: This type of hedging can handle direct sunlight in dry weather. It also conserves water.
Escallonia Hedging: Escallonia is originally from Chile, so these hedges will definitely be fine in UK sun.
Rosa Rugosa Hedging: These plants will still flower if planted in a dryer area, therefore allowing them to bloom in direct sunlight with absolutely no problem.
Hebe: Due to being native to New Zealand, this plant survives in sunlight easily, even offering small flowers when in full bloom!
Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson & Gold’: This plant is hardy and really low maintenance
Rosa rugosa – Pink: Roses often agree with sun to come out as a full rose.
Spirea: Other than needing soil that drains well, spirea is an easy plant to maintain, and it grows quickly!
Abelia grandiflora ‘kaleidoscope’: During summer months, this shrub creates beautiful gold, yellow and green leaves. If this plant is given well drained soil, it will be good to grow throughout summer.
Hedges and Shrubs which will flower in the sun:
Cotoneaster: These evergreen hedges develop pink flowers in the late spring, ready for summer! This hedge is also suitable to full sun.
Hebe: These hedges grow flowers extremely often throughout the year, and attract pollinators, keeping your garden in top condition.
Fuchsia: Although they flower in summer, these hedges need to be watered often, but not too often and need appropriate drainage where planted. If you are beginning to grow fuchsia, remember to fertilise every so often to keep them in great condition.
Lonicera: Suitable for chalk, clay, and ordinary soils in full sunlight, it also grows white flowers and is very fast growing.
Hydrangeas: These shrubs are a great choice for your summer garden because they bloom once the other flowers in your garden have begun to stop, bringing the feeling of a lasting summer garden. Despite this, they can wilt in too much heat so some shade occasionally wouldn’t do them any harm.
Cistus corbariensis: This shrub is extremely drought tolerant, making them a great summer plant. Not only this, but Cistus corbariensis produce beautiful white flowers which can brighten up your garden throughout the summer.
Lavender: Lavender smells amazing, looks amazing and grows best in full sun, making it an ideal plant for a brighter garden. Prune lavender after it has flowered!
Buddleia: Also known as the Butterfly Bush, will attract butterflies into your garden. It has long stems of flowers which bloom in summer.
These are only a few of our hedges and shrubs which are suitable for planting in summer, or flower well in summer. For more, feel free to call 01257494024 or check out our website: for instant advice when you click on a plant. Our team can give you plenty of advice on what to plant in your garden over summer!