Our guidelines to take care of your plants in the summer heat!
Don’t we all love summer?! We know we do! And we know that our beloved houseplant also flourish in summer. This is since the optimal growing conditions occur in summer. They receive lots of light, since the days are longer and the warmth makes them feel super cosy. Even Though summer has lots of benefits, it also comes with a few red flags. Especially when we are talking about a heatwave. During the heatwave your care should be slightly different, but not to worry. In this blog we will share our golden tips that you can use to take the best care for your plants during summer.
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 sunscreen or by wearing sunglasses 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?
You can protect your plants by placing them on a different spot, or by placing a thin see through curtain between them and your window. This will keep them safe from the harsh direct sun rays.
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.
Build up that humidity!
Summer is known to be less humid, since we have less rain and warmer weather. This is where we PLNTSparents can help out! You have several ways you can increase the humidity in your house. One way is to place your plants on a pebble tray or by drying wet clothes in the room where your plants are. But the most convenient way must be, by placing a humidifier in your room. This device will constantly mist your plants. This saves you lots of work and it can even be done with added essential oils that will make your urban jungle smell super good. Psst, did you know that when you keep up the humidity, your plant's soil will dry out less quickly? Seems like a win-win situation to us!
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 centimetres 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!
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!
During a heat wave it is advised not to repot at all, this has to do with the stress your plant will experience during the heatwave. By repotting her, you will only cause more stress.
To fertilise or not to fertilise?
When you are experiencing normal summer weather, your plants would love to receive that extra energy through fertilising, so they can grow big and lush. But during a heat wave, it is better not to fertilise your plants. This has to do with the fact that your plant is putting all her energy towards surviving the heat wave. This causes quite a bit of stress on the plant and by providing her with fertiliser, it only causes more stress. You wouldn’t want your plants to drop leaves due to this extra added stress. That is why we advise you to wait with adding nutrients to your watering routine when the extreme heat has passed on.
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 drooping.
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 by giving her the right care she will bounce back from this. If you’re thinking of pruning since some leaves might look a bit sad, we highly advise you not to do so. Pruning has the same golden rule as fertilising and repotting. It will cause more stress on the plant, which is not desirable, so wait with doing these PLNTSparent chores until the temperature has come back down again.
We hope these tips will get you through the summer! If you need additional help, you can always reach out to us! Or if you want to keep reading, you might be interested in what houseplant can accompany you outside during this beautiful time of the year. You can read our blog, Take your indoor jungle outside: best houseplants for outdoor placement. Otherwise we wish you have a very pleasant day!
Plants make Lisa very happy and she is secretly addicted to buying lots of BabyPLNTS. She loves to inspire the community with fun content, from styling tips to plant care to new products!