Almost ninety percent of gardening problems are gardeners not understanding the climate and the needs of plants. There are many climate related issues that must be accounted for when you’re in the process of deciding which plants you’d like to ultimately place in your garden. These include:
- Temperature: Certain plants thrive at certain temperatures. Trying to grow a tropical plant in a cold landscape is a waste of time. Likewise, trying to grow a plant which has adapted to endure colder temperatures in a warm climate will probably end in failure. In Michigan, the seasons are quite well defined. The summers are warm without generally rising to an extreme level of heat, and the winters are cold without being overly frigid. However, certain areas of Michigan, particularly those in the northern areas near Lake Superior, typically experience a large amount of snow. Lake Michigan creates similar, but less intense, weather patterns. If you want plants that can stand up to the cold effectively you might want to use perennials in your garden. There are a wide variety available, many of which are quite beautiful.
- Rainfall: If you live in an area which has a lot of annual rainfall overwatering is always going to be a concern. However, there are certain plants you can purchase which can stand up to the effects of overwatering quite well. Similarly, certain plants are adapted to survive in drier climates. These plants are less dependent upon regular watering, often retaining liquid for long periods of time. As for Michigan, the state receives a moderate amount of rain. For example, Ann Arbor receives about 37.6 inches a year. Because you won’t have to worry about too much or too little rain in an average year it’s a good idea to go with plants that don’t necessarily require a great deal of water to thrive but aren’t better suited to arid conditions as well, including lucky bamboo, dracaena plants and the golden pothos vine. Plants like these can add character to your yard without forcing you to spend a lot of time maintaining them.
- Amount of Light: When it comes to the average plant, light is a central part of the photosynthesis process. As such, it is essential to the growth of these plants. However, some plants have adapted to thrive on less sunlight or even in shade. Due in large part to the condensation which enters the atmosphere from the Great Lakes, Michigan has more cloudy days than the average state. Overall, only 49% of the days in an average Michigan year could be described as sunny. You’ll want to pick plants that don’t require a great deal of direct sunlight, like amethyst flowers, begonias and creeping jenny.
This article only looks at one region of the world and the types of climates that are present there. Depending on where you live the plants that will thrive in your area differ. Regardless of where you might reside, do some research to assure success before you buy a unique new tree or a different type of plant.
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