When summer arrives, you devote countless hours outdoors tending your flower beds and vegetable garden. But what about your beautiful indoor plants? They need care and attention too. Fortunately it’s easy to help them survive the hottest days of the year, which could compromise their health and growth. Moving plants away from strong direct sunlight and satisfying their thirst can make the difference between life and death for your plants. Below, are some season-specific tips you’ll want to know:
Rearrange where your plants live
The table near the kitchen window may be a perfect spot to catch the sun’s rays most of the year but may be too harsh or too shady during the summer. An overabundance of the sun can quickly dry out a plant while a lack of light will compromise its growth. A change of scenery to a more hospitable location may be just what the botanist ordered. Also, avoid putting plants in front of the air conditioner, which could shock a plant, and a shocked plant may not live to see September.
Keep conditions the same
You may appreciate a change of climate from June to August but not so your indoor plants. One of the best things you can do for them is to maintain a consistent room temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Miracle-Gro, a garden supply company. This may mean leaving your air conditioner on during the day when you’re at work so the rooms don’t get hot and dry. Another good strategy is turning on a humidifier to keep the air from getting stuffy. You could also mist the air around plants, avoiding the plants themselves—to counter the dryness.
Water more, probably
Like humans, plants need to drink more in the summer. Temperatures rise, humidity falls and there’s more sunlight, which causes water to evaporate more quickly on leaves than the rest of the year. Be careful, though, not to overwater. That can kill a plant as easily as underwatering can. To test for dry soil, insert your finger about an inch into the soil—if it comes out dry, fill a watering can and get to work moistening the plant’s base, never directly on its leaves. Miracle-Gro recommends using warm or room temperature water, not ice cold, which could shock and harm a plant.
Treat it to dinner once a week
Children aren’t the only living things that experience summer growth spurts—indoor plants may too. That’s why feeding them once a week becomes vital to their survival.
Dust, yes, dust your plants
It’s the quickest way to keep dust and pollen off leaves, which could block air passageways and sunlight. Use a damp paper towel to gently wash the fronts and backs of the foliage.