Houseplants can struggle during the warm season – we have prepared ten useful tips you want to take into consideration when caring for plants in the summer.
1. Water More Frequently
During the summer, heat and sun cause water to evaporate from the soil at much faster rates – consequently, indoor plants will need water more often.
Give water in the early morning or evening, and provide a deep watering.
Make sure the water is actually absorbed by the roots – if you water too quickly or not enough, only the top of the soil will get wet.
Then, allow the plant to soak up excess water in a bowl for 10-20 minutes.
2. Monitor The Temperature
Most plants suffer temperature above 75-80°F – do your best to keep your plants out of the hottest spots in your home, and away from hot air drafts.
Maintain constant ventilation and place your friends away from A/C units – air conditioning can dry your plants out very quickly.
3. Promote High Humidity Levels
To make sure your plant is hydrated enough, you can either use a moisture meter or test the soil with a chopstick or a finger.
If you have several plants, group them together – it will turn the humidity levels up.
Consider moving your plants to the bathroom or kitchen, where it tends to be more humid.
You can fill a shallow dish with pebbles and water, and set your plant on top of it to create a little humid micro-climate for your plant.
4. Place Your Plants Away From Direct Light
While some plants such as Aloe Vera and other succulents need as much light as possible and will thrive in full sun, the vast majority of our indoor plants will suffer the intense light of summer days.
Crispy Wave’s leaves, for example, will become pale and get burn marks if exposed to intense light for extended periods.
Draw a sheer curtain over the window if your plant is sitting in a spot that gets too much sunlight like a South or West window.
Also, always leave enough space between your plant and the light source.
5. Fertilize Your Plants Regularly
Summer is growing season for plants, and giving them some fertilizer will enhance their long-term health.
Always choose the appropriate fertilizer with the correct NPK ratio – N for nitrogen, P for phosphorus and K for potassium, the three macro-nutrients all plants needs.
Crispy Wave, for example, needs fertilizer only from April to September. The best choice for this plant is a 24-8-16 formula diluted to half the recommended strength, given once a month.
6. Avoid Repotting
Unless extremely necessary, consider repotting your plant on colder days.
Leaves always get damaged during repotting, and the process will only cause additional stress.
7. Check Your Plants More Often
Get into the habit of checking your plants at least once a day.
Give them a closer look and be ready to recognize any changes.
Test moisture and temperature levels of your indoor plants more often than you usually do, and touch their soil regularly to understand if they need water.
8. Understand When Your Plants Are Suffering
Recognizing any signs of heat or light stress promptly will allow you to catch problems early and save your plants before it's too late.
Some of these signs might be leaves scorching and curling, foliage looking pale, brown or yellow patches on leaves or stems, and leaves dropping off or getting yellow.
Remember to wait for the autumn to prune any dying foliage.
9. Be Careful When Moving Your Plants Outside
If you move an indoor plant outdoors all at once, it can easily become stressed.
Choose a shaded spot like a patio, and leave your plant there for a few hours each day. Then, slowly increase its time outdoors, until leaving it out all day. The plant will adapt to its new outdoor setting in a couple of weeks.
Outdoors light is far more intense than the one inside your home – never place any of your plants in direct sunlight. Also, remember that plants placed outdoors will dry out much faster than when indoors. Check them daily – some might need water every single day.
Also, keep an eye on sudden weather changes.
Indoor plants are not used to wind or downpours: to prevent any problems, place your plants in a sheltered area, such as close to a wall under a patio.
10. Keep Caring For Your Plants While On Vacation
Ask a neighbor or a friend to check on your plants every other day, especially if your vacation lasts more than one week.
If that is not an option, you can place your cacti and succulents in a shady area of your home; they can survive without water for a while as long as they are receiving low light only.
For larger potted plants, place them in the tub with a small layer of water, and position some damp newspaper on top of the soil.
You can also create your own automatic watering system by placing a shoestring in a large bucket of water and sticking the other end in your plant’s soil.