When the temperature climbs, our plants react – here’s our guide on keeping your plants happy and healthy during the hot Summer months…
We find that a lot of people like to put their houseplants outside during the Summer because in most cases, they thrive outdoors – but if you want to keep them inside then you may have to reposition your plants due to the increased hours of sunlight and heat from the windows. If a plant gets too much sun then you may notice bleaching or scorching of the leaves. We recommend moving what you can into your cooler, shadier rooms and shutting your windows against the daytime heat, then open them at night to let the cooler night air come in. You may not realise it, especially if you aren’t in your home or office during hot parts of the day but they can get extra doses of hot summer sunlight through south and west facing windows. Even cacti and succulents that aren’t used to direct sun!
For plants that like high humidity, summer can be hot, dry and uncomfortable. A regular misting will keep the plant happy but we also suggest placing a tray of pebbles in water below the pot to increase air moisture levels. The way you water your plants should change also, so instead of dumping a load of water on top of the soil, consider bottom watering instead – fill a large basin with tepid water and soak each pot (with holes in) for 5-10 minutes until fully absorbed then place in a partially shady spot so they don’t dry out too quickly. We find that moisture meters are particularly helpful around this time of year for letting you know what your soil needs.
Plants professionals like us will always recommend not to repot in hot weather, simply because they are already under stress and this can cause further negative effects. There should be no repotting or pruning for the time being but you can keep the leaves clean by wiping with a clean, damp cloth to ensure the leaves are free from pests and getting as much chlorophyll as they want. DO clean up yellowing or dying leaves and flowers, especially leaves that have fallen onto the soil as this becomes a hot bed for pests.
We don’t recommend feeding plants during hot periods again because of the added stress. If your plant is fighting to survive through the summer heat, fertilising it will only stress it out more. Better to wait until it cools down. If you do, make sure it is at half strength and contains a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
If you are going away on vacation then make sure someone visits at least every other day to water your plants, as they can quickly decline in this heat. Outdoor plants, hanging baskets, etc. will also need a good soaking during prolonged dry patches of weather unless you want to come home to brown, crispy leaves! If you can’t get someone to help out then you can now get handy self-watering pots and drip-feeders that slow-release water throughout the day to keep plants alive. Please bear in mind these should only be used as a temporary measure and it is always best to keep checking your plants’ soil regularly for the most efficient watering system.