When the weather Channel tells you there’s a hurricane coming the adrenaline pumps. For those of us who live down south we have automatic steps laid out in our hurricane plan and we begin to prepare. We work, keeping an eye on the news, watching the hurricane’s path to see where spaghetti models will show the path. Will we fall in the cone of error?
As you prepare your family at home for safety, many wonder what to do about their potted plants. Here are a few tips we take every year to protect our potted plants when there’s a hurricane threat.
We watched the weather will determine the timing of our actions. The hurricane five days out may take a completely different path by the third day and it’s important to know where you stand.
Once we make the decision that action must be taken, the first thing we do is decide what pots are too big to move. Those pots that are too big to move to a safe location, we lay on their side, if it’s at all possible, braced with bags of sand. If they cannot be moved because of weight or size, we make sure the plants are thoroughly watered to help keep them in place.
For those containers you can move, we move them inside a garage or safe location. But what if you have no room in your garage or no safe location? Then we determined, based on knowing your site, where the most protected areas are on your property. Often this is in the corner of the building protected from the direct wind. We then move the smallest pots first putting them up against the house tightly. Next, around the small pots, we put the next size containers until we’ve established all the containers are where they belong. Then, just like with the large plants we water them thoroughly. This is also important in case you can’t get to them at once after the storm to water— because regardless of what the storm weather- it will be hot afterwards and those plants will need water.
Make sure all plant debris is removed from the site. If you can’t get it off your site put it in one location and stack it tightly. All lawn decorations, wind chimes, etcetera need to be taken down and put in a secure location.
There’s not much more you can do for the outside plants at this point.
After the storm has passed, you need to assess the damage and make the proper pruning decisions that will encourage new growth and a healthy plant.
But the most important thing to remember when preparing your plants for a hurricane is safety first. Plants are things and can be replaced. The safety of you and your loved ones should be the most important think you think about.
Stay safe & God’s blessings.