As we find ways to combat the scorching heat, we need to find ways to help our plants as well.

Here are 10 tips to let your home gardens flourish this summer:

1. Understand the climate

Decide the kind of care your greens need depending on the temperatures, dry heat or humidity. Content creator Shaily advises you to prune your summer plants such as jasmine, hibiscus, aparajita, curry plant etc.

2. Pick the right plants

Choose plants that can adapt to summers in India like native plants. Look for species that thrive in full sun and are drought-tolerant — such as bougainvillaea, hibiscus, periwinkle, and portulaca.

3.  Mulch for moisture retention

Apply a thick layer of organic mulch — such as shredded leaves, straw, or coconut husk — around your plants to help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth. Mulching also helps regulate soil temperature, keeping plant roots cool and protected from the heat of the sun.

4. Let shade be your plant’s best friend!

Protect your plants from direct sunlight to promote healthier growth. Gardening blogger Harith Tharang advises, “Old sheets, old window screens, or narrow panels of wood lattice can all effectively cover and cool the plants in your garden. However, make sure that the cover is kept at least several inches above the plants.”

5. Upgrade the soil

Change the soil to enhance its water retaining capacity and aeration. Use compost to ensure nutrients.

6. Don’t forget to prune

Remove dead or diseased foliage, remove weeds and prune back overgrown branches to improve air circulation and prevent fungal diseases.

7. Water, then water some more!

Don’t over-water. Always water your plants in the morning and check for dryness in the evening, post-sunset.

8. Keep those bugs away

Pests are more active during summers. Use natural pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap. A simple spray using garlic works well.

“Garlic naturally repels insects. Several garlic cloves should be chopped up and combined with water to make garlic spray. Strain the mixture after it has steeped for the night, then spray it over your plants,” suggests a Telegraph article.

9. Snip the dead branches

Cut or trim dead or diseased branches, leaves and flowers to promote the health and growth of your plants.

10. Enjoy your green retreat

Make your garden a cosy outdoor space to relax. Also consider placing a water pot for birds and squirrels.