Keeping Indoor Plants Cool and Calm During the Summer

If you are sitting uncomfortably in the blistering summer heat, consider this. Your plants are also likely dealing with the same peak in temperatures. Like us humans, plants get stressed in the summer, and do whatever they can to survive.

While most of us grab an ice cream or perhaps a cold bottle of water, your indoor plants rely on you for cooling protection. An increase in temperature requires an increase in care to ensure your indoor beauties make it to the fall and winter months in good health.

Knowing the signs of heat stress can go a long way toward prevention and taking action. Keep an eye on droopy leaves, wilding, dry edges and even premature flowering. Also, work the following four steps into your plant care routine to help them beat the heat.

1. Water More Frequently

Proper watering is the key to indoor houseplant care, and it becomes more important in the summer. Warmer weather dries out the soil. So do air conditioning units. 

But overwatering could be a problem, so it's important to determine the soil moisture. To do this, use a specialist tool or the trusted finger method, inserting one two two inches deep into the soil. Also keep an eye out for a gap between the pot and soil as this can be a sign of dehydration. 

If the soil is dry to that depth, your plant needs water. Pour the liquid slowly to ensure it moves through the soil rather than simply down the insides of the pot.

2. Mist, Mist, Mist

Misting aids in creating a more humid climate and is essential for tropical plants like fittonia, calathea, and most ferns. Even in the summer, regular plants benefit from misting. 

Spray bottles can be purchased for a relatively low price. Fill them with cool water and spray your plants every couple of days. If you use indoor air conditioning during the summer, you might want to take things one step further and purchase an air humidifier to offset the drying effects of your cooling unit.

3. Move from Direct Sunlight

While many plants thrive in direct sunlight, that sunlight can be blistering when streaming through southern and western windows during the summertime. To mitigate the potential impact of this baking, shift your plants to different locations as needed, or shut your curtains or blinds during the mid-day heat. Also be sure to turn/rotate your plants every week or so to prevent uneven growth. 

4. Keep Things Quiet

Fertilizing, repotting and pruning are important when it comes to growing and maintaining healthy and happy indoor plants. But it's best to give this a rest during the hot summer months. To much fertilizing during the summer can stress plants, and repotting and/or pruning (except for removing dead flowers or leaves) can also be traumatic. It's best to wait until things cool down before making such changes.

While indoor plants are, well, indoors, they can also experience and react negatively to summertime heat. Taking preventative measures and knowing the signs of stress can help keep your green friends thriving through the hotter months. 

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