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How to stop plants burning

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    We have a problem with a row of plants in our rear garden that we’re trying to solve.

    We planted a row of ‘Big Red’ ( near our back fence, and we’ve had all sorts of problems with the plants not coping during much heat above 25C. We’ve had to water them daily to ensure they don’t wilt and lose foliage. In the most extreme cases, we’ve lost the plants altogether and have had to replant.

    Initially, we thought the problems were directly related to a row of gum trees immediately behind our house, but these don’t appear to effect many of the other plants anywhere near as much.

    We’re now of the opinion that the plants are suffering as the result of heat reflected from the back fence on to them, particularly up until early afternoon during summer.

    We’re now trying to determine the best way forward in addressing the issue. So far we’ve come up with two ideas:

    • painting the back fence a much darker colour so the heat is absorbed by the fence rather than reflected off it
    • purchasing some dark shadecloth to absorb the heat, keeping it off the fence itself and avoiding the issue of reflected heat

    We’re leaning towards the shadecloth option, as it would allow it to be removed in winter where the sun would be much more welcome. At the same time, it might not look quite as neat as the painting option though.

    Any opinions or other ideas would be most welcome.

    Lady Bee

    Just looking at your pictures, I’m presuming that you have actually planted the trees and they aren’t still in pots.  Perhaps you could clarify that.

    If they’re still in those pots, that could be most of the problem.  The black pots absorb heat and will dry out very quickly.

    If they’re actually in the ground, have you mulched them well? 


    Sugarcane mulch or something similar would be very helpful and also a good dose of liquid seaweed solution to help them through the heat waves. Pelletised chicken manure will also help. I guess if that dosent help that’s what gardening is all about and if that species isn’t working visit your local nursery and they may be able to recommend something more suitable.


    Personally I would espalier citrus such as dwarf lemons and limes along the wall. There are many varieties that are very hardy and do very we’ll in positions such as this.


    Iwould go for hardy plants you have a  very unique and hot little micro climate there lots of paving and lots of wall all trapping heat.
    I would go the Mediterranean plants olive,fig pomegranate,carob, Indian fig,bougainvillea .

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