How to recognize, prevent and cure sunburn of plants?
We are very happy with sunlight, so it seems logical to think that plants are happy with it too, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case! Too much sunlight can be harmful, just as it can be for us. After having too much sun your plants can really get burnt by the sun. We can protect ourselves with a thick layer of sun block and sunglasses, but plants can’t! Oops, we now have a funny image in front of us, to be honest: a cool plant wearing sunglasses and a white layer of factor 50! Okay, back to the point! There are a few things you can do to protect them from the sun. The PLNTS team is here to help, so let’s get started!
Signs of sunburn at our plants (ouch!)
Luckily it’s easy to recognize if your plant is suffering sunburn! Just like our skin, the leaves of our plants change colour when they get too much sun. Instead of turning red like our skin does, the leaves turn yellow or white. The affected leaf yellows, turns brown and finally withers. The edges of the leaves often become completely dry. This happens especially when the sunburn is severe, and when you see this, you know that it’s better to move your plant to a less sunny place.
How to prevent sunburn on your plants?
Keep a close eye on them! Before you know it, your plant suddenly has a burn, ouch! It only takes a few hours for your plants to get sunburnt and there is actually not much you can do once the damage is done. The most important thing is to know what your plant needs and under what conditions it is happiest. So should you keep them away from bright direct sunlight or do they need direct sunlight? That is a big difference and a puzzle sometimes!
This does not mean that you cannot give your plants a little more sunlight or even bring them outside when it gets warmer, but you have to do it gradually. So the key to changing the light level to which your plant is used to, is to move it gradually. This so that they have time to adjust and get used to their new place first. It’s the same for us, we really can’t go to the beach without sunscreen on the first sunny day of the year. So, start by moving your plant in the morning to a place with more sun, just for an hour or two, and then back to its shady spot. Increase the amount of sun your plant gets over the course of a few weeks. It is always better to get less sun than too much!
Last but not least, it is also good to water your plant in the morning or evening. So not in the middle of the day when the sun is burning in your house. There are two times of day when it is good to water, in the morning to give plants a boost before the sun begins to burn and in the evening to replenish what the day has taken away. Choose the option that suits you best.
PLNTStip: Place a thermo – hygrometer so you can measure temperature and humidity around your plants
Help, my plant is sunburnt!
Once a plant is burnt, its leaves will never regain their original colour. Super sad, isn’t it? The best option is to put the plant in a place where it is the happiest; in the light that suits the plant. This can be a cozy shady spot or a cheerful indirect sunlight spot. Research it well! Like a real PLNTSparent😊! When you notice that your plant has recovered from the sunburn, it’s best to carefully cut off the sun-damaged leaves. This will give the plant all the energy it needs for new growth! Keep a close eye on them! Saving your plants from sunburn is actually very easy, by preventing it and by understanding your plant and by finding out her perfect place in your home.
Take time to get to know your plants, get to know the best plant-spots in your home. Keep your head (and your plants) cool; we believe in you!
Lisa has spent quite a fair amount of hours in the greenhouse and loves to share her experience with others!