Don’s Expert Answers: Radiating heat killing plants

Question From:
Dominique Harris in Ellenbrook, Perth Western Australia

Nature of problem:
Radiating heat killing plants

Type of Plant (if known):
Little evergreen leaves with occasional red berries

Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself):
Dead leaves and branches were dry (not green inside the stems)

Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type:
Potting mix but sandy on the bottom

How often do you water the plant:
Every second day via reticulation

How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:

How long since you planted it:
6 months

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
Initially when planted

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:
Deep Garden Bed

What other treatments have you given the plant:
Trimmed the only surviving plant right back and it has slowly come back to life

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:
We planted some established shrubs in a deep sandstone garden bed in front of a dark grey colourbond fence. The aim was/is to create a green screen and privacy from the neighbours who can see straight down into our courtyard. In the middle of a Perth summer, the heat radiating from the fence killed the plants. I am looking for better alternatives or more heat tolerant plants in a full sun space surrounded by pavers, concrete and metal fence. Cottonwood hibiscus seems to grow well in lots of garden in my neighbourhood. Am I on the right track or can you made a better suggestion. Thank you in advance. Dominique

Hi Dominique, Gee a photo would have helped. Something is very wrong. You don’t use potting mix in the ground: it is likely to dry out and become water-repelling. This would burn your plants to death. Watering would not wet the mix either. Please get a horticulturist in to check out the site. You need local advice. Good luck, Don