How to Care for Crispy Wave in a Heatwave
Summer is here and we are all looking for ways to “beat the heat.” Beach umbrellas, popsicles, and airy sundresses are welcomed back into our heatwave routine! What about our plants, though? Crispy Waves have a relatively high heat tolerance of 90 degrees, but summer heatwaves that reach over 100 give an added challenge to your plant’s care.
How can you help your Crispy Wave “keep its cool”?
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Outdoor Care for a Crispy Wave During a Summer Heatwave
Putting your Crispy Wave outside during the summer months can give it a growth spurt and help maintain its overall health. However, it comes with the added challenge: How can you care for your Crispy Wave in elevated temperatures?
The humidity levels in your area during the hottest parts of summer depend largely on your location. Tropical and sub-tropical areas stay hot and humid, while desert locations are hot and dry. Crispy Wave ferns are not well-suited to life outdoors in a dry environment. Move your plant indoors, near a humidifier. Misting your Crispy Wave is not a recommended method for boosting ambient humidity, because its leaves are susceptible to “leaf spot.”
H20 is vital to any plant, including the Crispy Wave. These plants enjoy “even moisture” throughout their soil. Care for your Crispy Wave’s watering needs before a summer heatwave arrives. Why? Hot temperatures send plants into a type of hibernation: they stop releasing moisture from their leaves and refuse to absorb moisture through their roots.
During “heatwave hibernation,” check the soil’s moisture carefully but be mindful not to overwater. Remember, the roots are not absorbing moisture. And, if you’re in a hot and humid environment, the moisture will not evaporate as quickly as you may think.
When your Crispy Wave is thirsty, bottom-water your plant with tepid water. Utilizing this method will ensure that the soil is thoroughly moistened and prevent shock.
Usually, fertilizing is a healthy part of caring for your Crispy Wave during the summer, but not during a heatwave! As noted, your Crispy Wave’s roots are not absorbing moisture (or nutrients). Maintaining your normal routine will result in fertilizer burn, damaging your plant’s roots and leaves. Resume fertilizing when temperatures normalize.
Crispy Wave ferns should never be exposed to direct sunlight, especially during afternoon hours. When locating your Crispy Wave outside, it is important to remember that the shadiest location outdoors is “sunnier” (higher lumen count) than the brightest location inside. Place your fern under your porch or somewhere else where it appears to get “full shade.”
In a word: Don’t. Why? During a summer heatwave, your Crispy Wave fern is already experiencing heightened levels of stress. Repotting your plant during this time will cause even more trauma, and your Crispy Wave may not recover.
Wait to remove leaves from your Crispy Wave until after the heatwave has passed. The reason? First: Pruning causes added stress. Second: Faded, curled, or wilted leaves may recover once temperatures normalize.
Sunburnt leaves will not recover, but serve to protect the plant from further damage during the heatwave. Remove these leaves after the fact by cutting them back to the plant’s base with sterile scissors.
Summer Care for Your Crispy Wave Indoors During a Heatwave
While houseplants do enjoy a jaunt outdoors, sometimes it is best to admit defeat. If temperatures linger above 90 degrees, bringing your Crispy Wave back indoors will be the best option.
Making the Move
If you are transitioning your Crispy Wave from outdoor to indoor living, you should time the move carefully. Taking your plant from a hot environment to a cool, air-conditioned environment will cause stress. Minimize the shock by moving your plant in the evening, when the sun has gone down and temperatures are cooler. Do not place your Crispy Wave near any air vents and boost its humidity. Ideally, put your Crispy Wave next to a humidifier in a brightly lit location.
The Wipe Down
Clean and inspect your plant before reintroducing it into your collection. Pay close attention to the backs of your Crispy Wave’s leaves, as this is where many pests live. After your inspection, wipe the front and back of the leaves with a moist cloth; this will remove any pollen or debris from the stromata (leaf pores).
While indoor plants enjoy agreeable temperatures (thanks to the A/C), you should still carefully consider Crispy Wave’s window placement during summer heatwaves. Why? Glass acts as a magnifying glass, amplifying the sun’s rays. To prevent sunburn, do not put your Crispy Wave in the direct sun. If your plant has stayed indoors all season, move it a few extra feet away from the window.
For transitioning Crispy Waves, place them in the brightest, indirect light you can find for 2 weeks. This will provide your plant with similar lighting, so it can focus on acclimating to the temperature and humidity of your indoor environment. Afterward, move your Crispy Wave to a location with medium, indirect light.
Resuming Your Routine
As stated, allow (at least) two weeks for your fern to adjust and recover. If you brought your Crispy Wave indoors after it experienced a summer heatwave, its root system will need to reawaken before you start caring for it normally. During this time, monitor your plant’s moisture levels closely. Wait to rewater until the topsoil feels slightly dry and crumbly. If you are unsure, wait two days.
After this adjustment period, feel free to resume your Crispy Wave’s normal care routine (including pruning, repotting, and fertilizing) for its growing season. Looking for a few reminders?
A Crispy Wave’s Healthy Summer Routine
Water: Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Well-draining soil is the key!
Light: Medium, indirect light. Symptoms of too much light? Yellowing at the leaf base, fading, and sunburn.
Temperature: 70-90 degrees.
Repotting: During the growing season, when the roots have entirely filled its current pot. Upgrade to a container that is 1-2 inches larger.
Fertilizer: Use a 24-8-16 mixture monthly, diluted to half strength.
Whether your Crispy Wave gets to enjoy its full “summer vacation” in the outdoors or it’s cut short for some relief from a heatwave, following these care practices will ensure your fern is healthy for years to come!