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Summertime can be a time of intense joy for plant parents. Full of flowers and new growth. Can also be a time of nightmares. It can be a time full of dead plants, dying plants, wilted leaves, and burned foliage. It can be a time of struggle and that makes plant care unenjoyable. So today we have a little summer plant care guide for you to help you kind of navigate the summer troubles and toils and that way you can have happy plants that you can enjoy.
For summertime, temperatures usually mean intense heat and that means that plants are going to be wilting. They are not going to be able to hold themselves up. It also means that they are going to have trouble regulating themselves because it’s going to be too humid for them and too hot for them.
What you can do to help them with that is to have some type of cooling agent. To keep the temperatures cool you can open windows, bring fans to help keep things moving a little bit, and just make sure that it doesn’t get too hot for them. If you know that your area is going to become intensely hot for your plants make sure that you are moving them out of that area.
For example, if you’re on a second-story floor, heat rises. Move them to the bottom story if you can. That way it is a little bit cooler for them and they will do better there. With intense heat, your plants will essentially be cooked so you definitely want to be paying attention to how hot it gets.
Generally in temperatures over 90°f plants are going to be struggling a little bit and need some type of help. There are lots of other ways you can help them but just finding a way to cool things down just like with people is something your plants are going to appreciate.
Generally with intense heat and summertime comes a need for more water. Your plants are going to transpire just like humans perspire. They do it for different reasons of course but they are going to be losing a lot of moisture. They are going to be needing extra water.
The one exception to this is if you have air conditioning. If your plants are in air conditioning that air might dry out a little bit more than normal but not necessarily to the point that they would in summer heat. There are recommendations out there that your plants need to be watered once or twice a day. Sometimes even three times a day depending on your airflow and the temperatures. However, if you have air conditioning you will probably do it once every couple of days depending on the intense summer lighting that is going on. It is going to be up to you to make that determination but just check your plants on a regular basis and expect to have to water them more.
Now that it is summertime things are more intense. We are going to be watering our plants a lot more often and we just have to prepare for that. There are lots of things you can do in order to prepare for that. Get your water jugs filled up in advance. Make sure that you are collecting as much rainwater as possible or just having your watering cans full in case. So that you are ready to water in an instant. Just being prepared and being willing to give them what they need will help your plants a lot.
Airflow is very important. When you are trapped in a hot and humid environment it makes it really hard to breathe. It makes it really hard to function in general and that is for people and plants. Plants need airflow in order to get their roots drying out to prevent rot. They also need it to be able to complete all their basic functions.
Essentially when you are inside your home you need to be able to create that wind. We see it in greenhouses all the time. They have big fans in the back to keep the air circulating. You need to emulate that in your home. Can get your box fans, and tower fans, or you can open windows. You can create cross-breezes by opening multiple windows. Especially, if they are opposite each other.
Sunlight can be very intense, especially in the summertime.
The sun is up higher and is out longer. It can burn your foliage. In order to prevent that you definitely want to make sure that you have some type of covering over your plants. You can use shade cloth or some type of sheer curtain. You still want the light to be able to come in but you want to mitigate the intensity. Especially, for a lot of house plants.
Houseplants are what are considered low-light plants if outside.
So, in the summertime plants tend to get a lot more sun and not all of them are going to appreciate it. For example Ferns. They are going to burn if they are up in a window in the middle of summertime. You want to pull them back away from the window or have some type of covering.
For lower light plants, limit the lighting and control the amount that they are going to get. That way they do not get burnt. If you notice any crisping or little brown spots on your plants it could be a foliage burn. Other plants show it in a different way. Philodendron Micans is one example. In the summer you might notice all of the leaves are turning a bright pink color. It is actually not a good thing. No matter how beautiful it looks that is the plant getting sunburnt. Now it is going to be more difficult for that plant to actually absorb that light and utilize that light to push out new growth. Much of the foliage is going to die sooner than it would have if it had just gotten a smaller amount of light.
Needless to say, lighting is something that’s very important for us to be paying attention to. It is also important to note, that if you use grow lights, pay attention to how much sunlight the plant is getting. Because if you use grow lights in addition to the sunlight, it might be a little bit too much for your plants. So maybe turn down or turn off your grow lights if you are using them in conjunction.
Now, this tip is exclusively for summertime. Be aware of heat waves. There are heatwaves rolling all across the world right now depending on your area. It comes in intensely with a very short warning in some cases and it can be very hard to deal with. It can take a toll on your plants because a heatwave is basically all of the other summertime struggles but more intense.
The heat is going to be more intense and so is the lighting. Plants that absolutely love light such as Hoya can get sunburned and damaged. So it’s very important to pay attention to when the heatwave is coming and to really utilize these summer tips mentioned above.
To keep your plants safe, if you have plants directly up against the window and you know a heat wave is coming. Pull them back or make sure you have some type of coverage throughout the day because that light is going to burn them. You can also pay attention to how hot things are getting. You might have to move your plants around even if they are fine in your normal summertime conditions. With a heatwave, you will probably have to take some action in order to preserve your plants unless you have them under just grow lights and in an air-conditioned home.
Summertime can be a time for your plants to thrive if you can keep them safe from intense heat and sunlight. Watering plants more can mean double the relaxing time with your plants. While meeting all their needs can be rewarded with huge leaves and plenty of new growth.