5 Tips To Keep Plants Safe During Summers
By: Pinki Tue, 25 June 2019 1:29 PM
The heat of summer is finally here! With temperatures set to soar into the high 90s and low 100s in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, the time is now to get your houseplants ready to handle the heat and switch into summer plant care mode.
Though some sun-loving plants like succulents and cacti are well adapted to high temperatures, plants that are kept indoors are not acclimated to the extremes of a summer heat wave. This includes your succulents and cacti (unless, that is, they’ve been moved outdoors onto the porch or patio for summer). Leafy tropicals are particularly susceptible to damage from heat, and if too severely damaged, might not recover.
Not to worry! There’s plenty you can do in advance of and during the heat wave to make sure your indoor plants survive the heat. Here are 5 of the most important summer plant care tips to get you started.
* Promote high humidity
Plants that like high humidity (many epiphytes and tropicals such as fittonia, calathea and most ferns) should be frequently misted through periods of heat. You can also fill a shallow dish with pebbles, fill with water, and set your pot on top to create a little humid microclimate for your plant that will provide humidity and help your plants survive summer.
* Water well, and water deeply
As you’ve probably read on our blog before, proper watering is key to indoor plant care. Though over-watering is the most efficient way to kill your houseplant, heat and sun cause water to evaporate from soil at much faster rates. In preparation for a heat wave, be sure to give your plants a deep watering – if you water too quickly or not enough, often just the top of the soil gets wet and the rest escapes down the sides of your pot and out the bottom. Make sure the water is actually absorbed by watering slowly, and allowing the plant to soak up excess water in a bowl for 10-20 after watering.
* Shade sensitive plants from too much sun
Plants get sunburn, too. Plants that live in south and west-facing windows will get an especially bright dose of vitamin D during this weekend’s heat wave. But since you can’t put sunscreen on their leaves, it’s best to move them a bit further into your house to spare them from this direct hit of the sun. As mentioned at the top, this goes for succulents and cacti that haven’t been acclimated to direct sun, too.
* Keep it cool
If you’ve ever felt faint in the heat, imagine what your plants must feel like! Do your best to keep your plants out of the hottest spots in your home while in summer plant care mode. This might mean moving them away from windows or even into other rooms during hot times.
* Don’t fertilize during a heat wave
Though fertilizer is your friend, especially during summer, a stressed plant should never be fertilized until it recovers. When your plant is in summer survival mode, it’s not looking for extra nutrients and isn’t prepared to make use of them. Introducing these into the soil will risk further stressing your plant. Wait until it cools down a bit for your next feeding!