Our top tips to become a diligent plant parent in summer heatwaves…
If you’ve spent Springtime nurturing leafy greens to brighten up your space, a heatwave is not going to be welcome news. With dryer interior conditions, extreme heat, and lower water levels even the most robust plants will struggle.
Read our heatwave plant care guide to discover how to keep your green companions happy.
Keep it cool
Your first instinct may be that your plants will love a higher exposure to light and heat - but whilst plants do thrive in the sun - intense light and temperatures will hinder your plants growth. Create cooler indoor temperatures by closing your windows and curtains between 11am-3pm (the hottest part of the day). This will restrict the sun’s ability to heat up your space and protect any plants from direct rays. Improve airflow by opening windows at the coolest parts of the day to let any fresh evening air in, and the hot air out.
If you have any indoor plants positioned by south facing windows you should temporarily move them out of the constant sun. Outdoor plants should also be moved to slightly shadier spots to avoid sunburn in a heatwave. The foliage of your plants will change colour if exposed to too much sun, with leaves turning yellow or white – or if extremely severe, leaves could go brown and crispy.
During a heatwave you should ignore your natural instinct to prune dead leaves from houseplants as they will provide slight shade; temporarily leaving dead leaves will help to protect your soil that little bit more.
Humans and plants alike need to consume more water during summer months. Water your plants deeply, ensuring all the soil gets hydrated. As temperatures rise, your plants will drink more water, so consistent checks will be needed – just be careful to not overdo it as you’ll risk causing root rot.
Consider the time of day you are watering your plants. Ideally, watering should take place at the coolest part of the day, so either in the morning or evenings – or both if your plant is really thirsty! Arm yourself with a mister to boost water vapours when the air gets dry. This is extremely helpful to keep tropical plants happy and hydrated.
Listen to your plants
Recognise stress signs in each plant. Sunburn, wilting, changing shape or colour can all be signs that your plant is not coping well in a heatwave. Relocate your plant and check water levels to revive it to its full glory.
Don’t repot your plants during a heatwave. If your thriving plant is ready for a new, larger home, wait until average temperatures resume to avoid causing any extra stress to your plants.