Some plants need plenty of good air circulation for health. Fresh air will help prevent the growth of certain fungus, bacteria and molds. 

Planting sites with poor air circulation can introduce disease issues and stress your plants. Stressed plants can attract insect problems, as well. Growing conditions make a big difference in the health of your plants.

Never fear! Read on for #ProPlantTips on how to improve air circulation for plants from the Nature Hills horticulturist team.

How To Site Your Plant Correctly

Please, don’t slam your plants right up against the house, other structures, or next to other plants.

Study the mature size when selecting your plants. Get out there and measure to determine the right number of plants for the area you are planting. 

Install plants far enough apart to accommodate the size of the plant as it grows and develops. You’ll be glad you took the time to “measure twice, and plant once!”

Give them growing room to allow adequate air flow around the plant. Air movement is important for plant growth. Plenty of growing space helps them achieve the optimal length and width.

As a special consideration, foundation plants need a bit of extra room. Keep it easy on yourself. You’ll want leeway to wash windows, do home maintenance or paint. Those tasks are a LOT easier, if the shrubs are not in the way.

You’ll want to know your property, because where you plant can also affect how your plants perform.

Cold air always settles into the lower areas of your property. These low areas are where you’ll see early frosts in the fall. You’ll also see those nasty late spring frosts, which can cause plenty of damage to developing spring flowers.

Don’t plant fruiting trees and bushes in low areas if you are in a frost zone. The fruit crop for the entire season can be eliminated with a poorly placed planting site. 

How Close Is Too Close? It Depends on the Application

Some plants are intended to touch. Think about mass plantings or groundcovers that beautifully fill bare ground in wide, open spaces. For these plants, the plants can be planted closer together without harm.

Hedges are another good example of plants you want to grow together and touch. Plant them closer together to achieve your goal of a solid screen faster.

Keep in mind that hedges are a double-sided row of plants. Ensure you have good air exposure on either side of your hedge. This will help you grow a healthy hedge.

Special Consideration for Fruiting and Flowering Plants

Some plants are just a bit “fussier” than others when it comes to leaf diseases and other problems. Nearly all fruit and flowering trees appreciate good air circulation.

Here’s how to keep your plants to vigorous and stress free:

Damp or wet leaves should be avoided on all of your plants. Wet leaves are the perfect condition for the development of many fungal diseases like powdery mildew and the dreaded blackspot on Rose leaves. 

If you have irrigation sprinkling your plants frequently, be sure to reduce the spray on the tops of the plants. Use drip irrigation when you can to direct water to the soil. Keep the foliage dry when you can.

Less frequent irrigation with a larger amount of water for each watering may be helpful. 

Good air circulation promotes faster drying, more transpiration, and prevents the dew from developing on the leaves of your plants.

Here’s How the Pros Plant and Manage Orchards and Vineyards

The drying power of the morning sun can reduce the growth of fungal infections.

Many orchards and vineyards are planted in open areas with a southeast exposure. The plants catch the early morning sun, which dries the dew from the plants first thing in the morning. 

You will also notice that these same orchards and vineyards are using drip irrigation to keep the water at the roots only. They aren’t spraying overhead and getting the plants all wet. 

If you must do overhead irrigation, it is best to apply the water in early morning.

Don’t water your vegetables, flowers, fruit trees and orchards in the evening. Those plants will stay wet all night long, extending the time where disease can grow and spread.

Keep your plants healthy with proper spacing, proper siting, and correct irrigation to keep the foliage dry.

If your trees are in an area of poor air circulation, try some corrective pruning. Thin out the canopy to open up the crown a bit on very dense-headed trees. Sometimes a few simple cuts can make all the difference in the world.

Make Careful Plant Selection for Your Property

Choose plants that may not be as susceptible to fungus and disease problems. You can also look for later bloom times, which can prevent late frosts from taking out a crop altogether. 

Nature Hills prides ourselves in the accuracy of our plant descriptions and nomenclature and you will notice that all of the information you will need to know about a certain plant is listed right on our webpage. 

We also have an excellent customer service staff and offer live chat with our team. Get the help you need when making your plant selections.

Contact your local Ag Extension to get more personalized advice for your area. They can give you specific answers for plants that perform best in your area or climate.

Remember, the plants you order from Nature Hills will get bigger! Study the mature height and spread of your new tree, shrub, rose or vine in the Plant Highlights to see how big it will eventually grow.

Give your plants room to breathe!