A Guide to Protecting Plants Against Heavy Rain & Storms

Smaller plants experience the worst of it when heavy rains and storms start. While trees and shrubs may be protected due to their distinct heights, plants bear the brunt of it all. Homeowners with outdoor plants can, however, protect them if they know the right things to do.

Drake’s 7 Dees is a garden center in Portland Oregon with several plants and knows the effects of heavy rain and storms on plants. The garden center has shared some winning tips to help property owners protect their plants from adverse weather conditions.

How to Protect Plants From Heavy Rain and Storms

1: Keep The Roots Safe

The plant’s root is its anchor to the ground. The root is also its source of nutrients and moisture uptake from the soil. Exposed plant roots affect their attachment to the soil, making it difficult for the plant to withstand the heavy effects of storms.

Property owners interested in keeping their plants safe and healthy throughout this period are advised to cover up the plant’s exposed roots. Experts recommend covering with at least 3 inches of mulch to keep the ground around the root warm and also improve the plant’s anchor to the ground.

Mulching delivers several benefits, including protecting the plant’s root from harsh weather conditions, sealing nutrients to prevent nutrient leaching or erosion, and improving cover for anchorage.

Ensure that your mulch is at least 3 inches away from the foliage to get the best outcomes.

2: Covering

Weak stems can be a huge issue during heavy rains and storms. With heavy storms, the stems can snap, thus cutting the nutrient supply to the plant’s apex. This can cause the plant’s death. Deploying some barriers around the plant is an excellent way to prevent this. Barriers can be in the form of buckets, pots, or other shielding materials. These materials protect the plant’s stem from the heavy wind force and improve their survival chances drastically.

Can’t find the right bucket or container to use? You can also build a temporary brick or cement block structure around your plants.

3: Wrapping

Wrapping is a great way to keep your plant protected from heavy storms. In fact, it can shield your plants from soil splashes that could infect them with fungus or nematodes. Wrapping is best done a few weeks ahead of the rainy season and preferably with materials like burlap or breathable fabric. It is important to use breathable materials as items like plastics can kill the plant due to suffocation.

Ensure that the wrapping is done loosely to allow enough room for the plant to breathe. If using a burlap, tie around the plant’s trunk loosely and get twine to wrap around and hold it in place. Ensure that the twine is only tight enough to hold the burlap in place to avoid damaging your plant.

4: Row Covers

Tall and short plants often face huge problems during heavy rain and storms. The tall plants can snap anywhere along their trunk, killing them. The short plants may be uprooted or covered in water, suffocating them and ultimately killing them.

Short plants can be protected by deploying row covers. Row covers of frost blankets can keep short plants warm and protected throughout inclement weather. When using frost blankets, ensure that both sides of the blankets are held in place by heavy materials that can withstand the storm’s force.

5: Anchorage

Another solution to keep your plants healthy through the rain and heavy storm season is anchorage. Weak-stemmed plants can be anchored to stakes to give them extra strength to withstand the storm’s force. Stakes to be used should be made from solid wood and at about 2 to 4 feet, depending on the stem’s height. The stakes should be driven at least 20 to 30 inches deep into the ground for protection.

Homeowners should also ensure that appropriate materials are used to secure the anchor to the plant’s stem. Using the wrong material can kill the plant before the season ends.

What To Do After Heavy Rain and Storms

Protecting your plants from heavy rains and storms is a great way to keep your landscape alive and save money on new planting. However, what you do after the heavy rains is just as important. Here are some tips to help your plants stay alive and healthy.

  • Check the roots to be sure they haven’t been exposed during the heavy rain and storm. If exposed, cover them up.
  • Check the pots and planters for flooding. If flooded, take precautions to drain excess water to prevent suffocation and rot.
  • Inspect for the slugs and snails. If present, take adequate precautions and preventive steps to save your plants.

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