Although seasonal change is almost imperceptible in the Peninsula, our plants are affected by slight changes in weather conditions. As we enter the fall, it’s a good idea to revisit our plant’s needs.
“In other parts of the world, people brace themselves for colder months, which usually begin around October,” says Liz, from the plant nursery El Jardín del Mono. “In Yucatán, we only experience that at the very end of the year.”
Except for the scarce days of “heladez” — a Yucatecan term to describe the cold, the state is constantly hot and humid. Yet as the year moves on, plants begin to shed their leaves, which can be a problem for the plants located underneath them.
“During the fall we won’t really notice a big difference in the climate, perhaps only higher humidity,” says Liz. “But plants outside will notice a difference. During the fall trees begin dropping their leaves, which means the roots and stems of plants underneath them might be constantly covered in fallen leaves. This can add lots of moisture to plants, and might even rot their roots.”
Liz notes that owners of large trees such as ceibas, maculis and flamboyanes might need to clear fallen leaves daily, although checking on your outdoor plants once every couple of days should be enough.
Apart from foliage change, we will also begin to experience a change in the sunlight, not only in the winter timetable but in the amount of sun our plants receive.
“It’s a good idea to consider if their location is right. We can collect clues through their leaves: if they are turning brown or dropping they might require more light, specially leafier plants like fiddle-leaf figs.”
Liz notes that while the change of seasons might not be drastic, it is a good opportunity to prepare our gardens for the winter.
“Flowering plants enjoy colder months,” says Liz. “Which is great news for us. We don’t really need to change their care, and we’ll get to enjoy their blooms.”
For plants year-round plants, native varieties are your best bet. Liz notes that there are many popular species, such as noche buenas — a Christmas poinsettia to many of us — which are mostly grown in other states but are sold in local garden centers.
They usually appear in the market around November, and if we transplant them in our garden, we’re giving them the biggest chance of adapting to our climate and surviving the full year.
Contact el Jardín del mono on their Instagram profile.