Summer is officially here and so is heat! While many of us can agree this weather brings us so much energy and joy, it also means a few changes should be made in terms of all the varieties of plants you care for both indoors and outdoors. Today we will take a look at the top things you should make sure you are doing now that the environment for your plants is changing and how you can make sure they continue to thrive during this hot season.
Having the A/C running during the summer feels great for you but actually can be harmful to your plants, especially when they are in direct airflow of A/C units. Plants thrive in hot and humid environments, two things in which A/C units are used to reduce inside your home. Therefore, the location of your pants during the summer is extremely important. By keeping your plants away from the air conditioner’s air vent, you will be reducing the chance of your plants coming into direct contact with the cool air, which would further strip your plants of their moisture. A few plants that thrive best in an air conditioned space are 1) Peace Lilies, 2) Snake Plants, and 3) Parlour Palms.
Moving your plants a few feet away from the windows can help prevent sunburn. Yes, I did say sunburn. Plants can experience sunburn just like we can! Just like how we turn red and our skin starts to peel, if our plants receive direct sunlight for too long then their foliage can turn yellow and start to wilt. Therefore pay attention to where the direct sunlight now hits your plants and for how long each day. Make sure no plant leaves are touching the glass of the window as the heat produced can significantly increase, especially during the afternoons.
Increase Humidity Terrarium Style
Another great way to increase the humidity and heat in your plants space is by creating a terrarium. This is particularly great for those plants you have that can only thrive best in a humid environment. Generally, the smaller the plant, the more sensitive it will be to the change in climate and would be best kept in a terrarium. A great perk to using a terrarium is you don’t have to water them as regularly as the water vapour released by the plants recycles itself, by condensing on the glass jar and running back down into the soil.
Ensuring your plants are well hydrated is another extremely important step to take during the hot months of summer. Make sure you are watering your plants more often and misting their leaves to keep them hydrated. Cooler environments can dry out plants much faster than hot and humid climates. A great way to check your plants moisture levels is by using a moisture meter to ensure you are not over watering as you are increasing your watering schedule. We have a great moisture meter you can find here:
We all know how it feels when you have been sitting in the heat and sun for far too long. It’s no joke how hot it can get! Providing your plants some form of shade can be a relief especially for the vegetable producing plants as it will help them to produce much longer. Ensure that the shade cloth isn’t covering the plants at all angles as that will suffocate the plants and cause more harm then it will help.
It is best to water your outdoor gardens during the early mornings in the summer months. Once the heat of the day comes on, it can dry out the tops of the soil really quickly, not allowing the water to fully soak down into the roots of the plants. By doing it early in the day it also allows you to see if the plants need another water later on in the day if the heat becomes too much and dries the soil out around them.
The most efficient and effective way to water your outdoor gardens in the summertime is by hand. By using a sprinkler you have less control over where the water is actually going towards, especially during the windier days. Hand watering gives you more accuracy and you can deliver the right amount of water to specific crops that need it most.
One of the best things to do for your garden during the hot summer season is to add mulch to your garden beds. It doesn't have to be fancy, simply adding shredded leaves, straw or wood chips will do the job! A layer of mulch will help to conserve the moisture and will help keep the area around the roots of your plants cool during the hot day. Ensure the mulch is spread out consistently throughout the garden bed and isn’t piled too high or too close to the roots of your plants as it can cause root rot and other plant diseases.
Learn to recognize when your plant is in a stressed state:
Here are a few things to look for. If any of these are happening consistently, it means your plant is stressed and could have something to do with the increased level of heat they are receiving during the summer months.
- Foliage that was once bright and vibrant with colour can begin to look pale and dull when stressed
- For tropical plants, especially those with big tender leafs, wilting can occur when they are exposed to too much heat
- Sunburn is as much of a problem for us as it is for plants. Sunburn can manifest itself it a variety of ways but most often will occur as foliage, leaves and stems included, turning rough and brown or yellow
- Flowers and leaves will often drop their leaves or turn yellow
As always, do you research for each individual plant type you have at home as each one will need a different level and type of care. It’s important to understand each one and how you can best help them thrive during the beautifully hot season!