Our guidelines to take care of your plants in the summer heat!
We love the summer! But there are times that the heat in our homes takes its toll on ourselves and our plants. Summer is our plants growing season and in this season they need the light to grow, but the bright sunlight can also overheat your plants or they can get sunburnt. You will also notice that they are perhaps a little thirstier than usual. Unfortunately our plants can’t step away from the sun by their selves when they get too hot, so we need to help them out. We’ll share our best tips to help you give your plants a great summer. They will thank you by growing fast, beautiful and happily!
Let’s beat the heat!
Protect your PLNTS from sunburn
The sun rays can get so strong in the summer that they can cause sunburn to your plants. We humans can protect ourselves by using sun cream or wearing sun glasses when we go outside, but how do you protect your plants from the sun?
The plants are of course inside your home, behind glass, so you might think that they are well protected from the sun. Unfortunately the strong sun rays can still cause sunburn, even to plants behind glass. The best thing to do is to check the position of all your plants! The sun is different in every season. The perfect place is one that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Plants which are close to a window facing south or west are the most important to check carefully! The sunlight through those windows can be very strong. Handy to know, right?
Keep it cool.
Don’t just keep your head cool, try to keep your house as cool as possible! Close all windows against the heat during the day and open them at night to let in the cooler night air. Another little tip, watch out for air conditioners and/or fans. Your beloved plants don’t like cold air landing directly on their leaves and the air conditioner dries out the air. And this is something you want to avoid! We can tell you that many plants don’t like this. Below, you can read how to combine this in the best way.
Mist, Mist, Mist.
The summer heat can lower the amount of humidity. Humidity is an important aspect for most houseplants. You can provide a little extra humidity by placing your plants on a tray with pebbles, and fill it with water. You can also mist your plants regularly/daily. Many of your houseplants will actually love it all year round, but less often!
Stay consistent with checking and watering your plants.
You probably need to adjust your watering schedule during the summer. Summer’s hotter temperatures, increased sunlight, decreased humidity, and rapid growth means that your indoor plants will need consistent thorough watering. So set a schedule to check the soil in each pot every day or every other day. You just press your finger into the top of the soil. If the first 3 centimeters are dry it is best to water! Use a watering can with a spout that can direct moisture to the soil around each plant, a little further from the stem is exactly where it is needed!
Remember to add nutrition to your water more often too. The growth spurts use up a lot of energy and works up your plants appetites. Provide your plant with an extra feeding every other week. If your plant is showing signs that it is actually fighting to survive through the summer heat, fertilizing it will only stress it out more. Then it is better to wait until it cools down.
Keep it clean.
It is important to give your plants a bath sometimes. Clean the dust from the leaves with a moist soft towel, preferably once a week. While dusting it is good to check your plants for dying leaves and flowers. Dropping leaves piling up on the soil makes a perfect home for pests, especially fungus gnats (Yikes). At the same time, inspect your plants for sneaky pests like gnats, mealybugs and mites. Visit the PLNTSdoctor for the best advice or read our blog about bugs to get some tips for those unwanted visitors.
Repot (only) if needed.
Your houseplants summer growth may be so vigorous that they will begin to outgrow their pot. If you find yourself watering more frequently, see roots or water running straight out of a pot’s drainage holes, or notice slowed growth, your plant is telling you that she is feeling cramped and that she needs more space. But if your plant shows signs of stress or is in flower, it is better to wait with repotting!
Learn to recognize signs of summer stress.
Are you ready to catch problems early? Because when you are, you can still make adjustments before your plant suffers permanent damage. Common signs are usually related to too much heat and too little water. The signs include:
• Wilted leaves. (pale, yellow, or brown leaves) This especially happens with tropical plants because of their tender leaves. • Overly dry soil. • Rough brown or yellow patches on leaves or stems. This can be scorching or sunburn. • Flowers or leaves falling off or droop.
If you see any of these signs, try to follow the tips written in this blog and see what you can do to still save your plant. You can’t escape a few leaves or stems dying over time, but if you’re thinking of a bit of pruning while your plant is struggling because of the summer heat, stop right now. Firstly, because what you’re going to cut off might not actually be dead and when the weather calms down it is possible she might rebound. Pruning can also cause a bit of stress to a plant, so let her calm down and let things come back to normal before going in for a trim.
We hope this blog will help you enjoy the summer with your beloved plants. Enjoy the nice weather, enjoy being outside a lot and when you are inside, we hope you can enjoy all the beautiful and growing greenery around you.
Lisa has spent quite a fair amount of hours in the greenhouse and loves to share her experience with others!