Summer is when Sydney’s climate really shows its challenging aspects for gardening. From year to year, summer can be scorching hot, relatively cool, wet, dry, windy, smokey and any combination of the lot – and it’s the variation that makes it difficult to plant out a garden that will perform reliably.

  • Safety first: make sure to cover up and wear sunscreen when working outdoors!
  • Early heatwaves can stress plants and burn foliage that might be normally sun-hardy, occurring before plants have a chance to toughen their leaves for the warmer weather. Don’t despair – peripheral sunburn is generally cosmetic only and fast-growing perennials, shrubs and deciduous plants will generally outgrow the damage quickly. Although unsightly, it’s wise to leave damaged foliage on the plant through summer to protect the interior, and only remove once the weather has cooled in autumn.
  • However, it’s important to recognise that our climate can be harsh; if a plant is routinely damaged by high temperatures, it’s possible it may not be suitable for your site, your soil or its current position in your garden. Rather than babying it to get it through summer, consider replacing with something else or moving it to a cooler spot. Aim for plants that not only survive but thrive in your garden!
  • Pruning should be limited to tip-pruning during summer – hard pruning many plants will expose the bark to the sun and risk sunburn.

If your garden is already showing signs of stress and you want some advice on replanting, we offer in-person consultations in your garden with a qualified and experienced horticulturalist. Get in touch with us to discuss your needs.