A survey created by the RHS shows how plants across UK gardens suffered in the extreme heat over the course of 2022's summer.

Over 8,000 people responded to the survey answering questions about how plants in their gardens coped with the heatwave.

The results demonstrate that even established, formerly healthy plants could not cope with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees celsius. It was also discovered that certain techniques, such as mulching, which usually protect plants, proved ineffective against the drought.

The top ten plant types that suffered damage were


While some plants were expected to be on this list, there were several which were a surprise to experts at the RHS. Roses saw flower damage in July and August but many are still flowering in October.

Gardeners are being urged to avoid pruning plants that loose their leaves during heat and drought stress if there is a repeat of this year's temperatures. Most plants will still have buds on their branches and will grow leaves back when the temperature is better for the plant.

Leigh Hunt, RHS principal horticultural advisor said: “As temperatures become more extreme don’t replace like for like – if a plant is struggling in your garden you can plant something better suited to the space. Dry gardens don’t have to mean gravel-gardens, you can keep an English-style garden by swapping plants, for example exchange rhododendrons for grevillea."

The results of the survey show the importance of planting in the right place at the right time and being water-wise all year round.

Read more on adapting to drought in gardens and how gardeners are adapting to climate change.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London