I am like a new mother these days checking on my plants every five minutes to see how they are dealing with 106 degree heat. Most of them are coping, except for my beautiful parsley, both curly and Italian, both much in need of intensive care.
The care of plants and flowers in hot weather is pretty much the same with exception to container plants, or those that have been newly planted. Of course, additional watering is a given, with new and potted plants requiring even more irrigation. In addition to watering more often, mulching plants can help conserve moisture and keep plants cooler. The use of shade covers, especially on vegetable crops, may be helpful as well.
Container plants will require daily watering, even twice a day in high temperatures. These plants should be given a thorough soaking until water can be seen coming out from the drainage holes. Placing water granules in pots also helps. As these will gradually soak up excess water, in times of dryness, the granules will slowly release some of this water back into the soil. Moving potted plants to a shadier location during the heat of the day is also recommended.
If some of your plants look like they have died and gone to heaven, don't give up on them. Cut them back 50%, move them to a larger pot, water and fertilize them. They may surprise you and come back sooner than you expected.
Reprinted from Gardening Know-How by Nikki Phipps