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  • Ellen Sneider

Protect Your Desert Plants from the Coachella Valley Heat!

Each year in June the temperatures start to soar in the desert. Even though we plant only “desert plants”, with extreme heat some plants will burn or get damaged. Cactus and agave usually can withstand high temperatures but when they are exposed to 115 degrees or more they can burn. Especially if they are facing south or west and if they are against a wall. In the first year of planting it is a good idea to cover your plants with a sun shade from June to September. Once the plants are established they can usually get through the worst of the summer without burning. However, if you have expensive agave or cactus specimen plants it might be a good idea to cover them with a sun shade. Once an agave leaf or cactus gets burned, it will never look good again. Another common plant that will burn in the summer is ficus. Usually planted as a hedge. It can get a lot of sun damage in high temperatures. With time and new growth it can recover.

Sun shade fabric can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes or online. It comes in various colors. It should be staked above the plant, but never touching the plant.

It’s best to cover the plant by mid June and uncover the plant/plants by mid September.

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