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Beat the Heat: Our 7 tips on caring for Houseplants when it’s hot!
Posted on June 13 2023
As we face hotter springs and summers, it's essential for plant people to adapt their care routines accordingly. Houseplants are particularly vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat due to the environments they’re kept in; in this guide, we’ll share with you some helpful tips for you to keep your collection thriving during a hot spell.
Sunburn-Free Zone: Finding the Coolest Spot for Your Plants
Take a close look at where your houseplants and terrariums are positioned. Keep them away from direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, as it can easily scorch their leaves - especially if they’re immediately in front of a window as the glass can increase the effects of the sunlight. Instead, move them to a spot with bright but indirect light. Consider drawing your curtains or blinds partially to filter the sunlight at these times if you can’t move them. But remember, different plants have different light requirements, so research their specific needs and find the right balance between too much and too little sun.
Ventilation: Plants Need Their Daily Dose of Circulation
Proper airflow is crucial for preventing heat stress in your plants. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate through your home. Placing a small fan near your collection can also help in creating a gentle breeze, simulating natural conditions. However, avoid positioning fans directly at delicate or moisture-sensitive plants, as it can cause dehydration by blowing away the humid air that they like.
Water Wisely: Striking a Balance in Summer Watering
Maintaining appropriate watering practices is vital during hot weather. While it can be tempting to increase your watering frequency across the board, accidental overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. Instead, check for dry plants more often and focus on watering deeply and thoroughly when you do water. Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the roots.
Light Layers: Dressing for the Occasion
Moisture-loving plants can benefit from an extra layer of protection during hot spells. Add a thin layer of mulch, such as sphagnum moss or bark chips, to the top of the soil to help prevent evaporation. Mulching helps to retain moisture and insulate the roots from extreme temperature fluctuations. Just make sure to thoroughly check before watering to make sure you don’t overdo it.
Humidity Heroics: Reduce Water Loss to Beat the Heat
The dry air associated with hot weather can be detrimental to many houseplants, especially those native to tropical climates. Increase humidity around your plants by grouping them together, or using a humidifier. Another effective method is creating a humidity tray by placing a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles under your plants either externally or within their outer pot, ensuring the water level is below the top of the pebbles. As the water evaporates, it will create a localised humid environment for the plant.
Wind Warning: No Gales
While providing airflow is essential, avoid exposing your plants to direct draughts from air conditioning units, fans, or even open windows for more delicate plants. Sudden changes in temperature and air movement can stress plants, causing leaf browning and drying. Position them away from these sources or create a barrier using sheer curtains to prevent the downsides of increased airflow.
Relocation Relocation Relocation: A Place in the Shade
If you have the means, consider moving your more delicate plants to a cooler area of your home during a heatwave. This temporary relocation can significantly reduce stress on the plants and increase their chances of survival during extreme temperatures.
Caring for houseplants during a hot spell requires a proactive approach. By adjusting their placement, providing proper ventilation, watering mindfully, and optimising humidity levels, you can help your plant collection thrive even in the scorching heat. Remember, each plant has unique requirements, so stay vigilant, monitor their health, and adapt as needed. With these tips in mind, you'll be well-prepared to keep them happy and healthy through the more extreme heat of spring and summer.