This is what happened to my young Lilly Pilly after it was subjected to 4 days over 43 degrees in a row. Knowing Lilly Pilly’s resilience from past experience I was convinced it’d be ok and just kept it watered and covered through the rest of summer.
You guessed it, I was right and it’s now thriving!
It sure is a tough cookie and is loving life! Hopefully it’ll be more mature next summer and tough it out better (and hopefully I remember to cover it’s leaves in the hotter days).
Recently, Melbourne endured four days in a row over 42 degrees. We’re not used to this prolonged heat (in fact, that’s the longest stretch of weather that hot every recorded for Melbourne), and it was a hot topic (pardon the pun). Being a nurse, some comment about the weather is inevitable with all my patients, but it was even higher on the conversational topics list that week. Every status update on Facebook was some complaint about the weather. All the radio stations were getting people to call up and tell their “hot weather” story. It was a very intolerant week. The ones who should’ve been complaining were the plants!
The morning of the first 42 degree day, I got home from night duty and watered the garden. Whilst watering, I admired my Lilly Pilly which was a present from my parents maybe 6 months earlier. I thought how well it was doing and how green it was. That afternoon, I got up to see my green, luscious Lilly Pilly looking like this:
I was devastated! It looked like a fire had been though it. A fire so hot that the leaves stayed in tact, like what the Black Saturday fires did to the trees around Kinglake. It inspired me to put “hats” on all the plants that were prone to “burning” – “hats” being rags draped over the plants to protect their leaves from the extra hot sun.
I’ve kept watering my Lilly Pilly, and it’s stems never went brittle so I thought it still had a chance. It’s now covered in little green shoots! So happy!
This weekend the temperature is 38 then 40 degrees so hopefully the new little shoots survive. I’ll definitely be putting a “hat” on this guy from now on!