How to protect your plants in extreme heat

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Landscape designer Bill Cox, of Pots, Plans & Hands, has seen people make some pretty desperate moves to save their flowers from the heat.

"I wouldn't recommend getting an AC unit, putting it on your plant," he jokes. "That usually doesn't work. What you want to do is put some fingers in the soil."

It's like checking your plant for a pulse, and if it's dry, Cox says you should water right away…for longer than you'd think.

"People tell me all the time, oh, I watered it for like a minute," Cox says, "well, how much of that water actually entered the microspore space?"

That's the professional way of saying your plant's still thirsty.

"Make sure you fill up the pot and it starts trickle out the bottom. if you're not getting water coming out of the bottom of your pot you're not watering enough," Cox says.

Watering properly, he says, will save your flowers, even in triple digit temps. But what about your trees? Many are losing so many leaves right now it's like fall without the autumn colors.  But Cox says don't stress.

"It actually may not be a big deal either," Cox says. "In these stress conditions what's going to happen is the outer canopy may start to desiccate and drop off.  Inside that canopy, it's going to be a little cooler, more optimized for photosynthesis, and as long as that is operating normally, your tree is going to be fine."

Check out Cox's website at