Unless you’re one of the lucky few blessed with air conditioning, chances are you’re feeling a little bit sticky right now. That’s right – another heatwave has arrived, and with it the hopeless task of trying to stay cool and collected.
However, humans aren’t the only ones who sometimes find the heat a little tricky to deal with – our leafy friends struggle, too. Indeed, although houseplants need light and warmth to survive, too much of a good thing can be damaging to their health, leaving them with droopy stems and brown, shrivelled leaves.
If these signs are left to worsen, your plants could even be at risk of dying completely – something no plant parent wants to see.
As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on your houseplants during any periods of heat like the one we’re predicted to experience over the coming weeks and make sure you adapt your plant care routine to ensure they stay happy and healthy despite the change in conditions.
With this in mind, we asked Patch Plant’s resident plant expert Meg Spink to give us the lowdown on everything we need to know to ensure our plants stay in tip-top condition during a heatwave. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Stay on top of watering
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated in the heat, and it’s the same for our leafy friends.
“Your plants are likely to need more water in summer, especially when it’s very hot,” Spink explains. “Growing leaves is thirsty work, and higher temperatures mean soil dries out faster.
“Grab your watering can and check your indoor plants a little more often than normal. But remember: you should only still water them when they need it – you don’t want to drown them in soggy soil.”
2. Be careful with direct sunlight
Although plants need some light to survive, keeping them in direct sunlight – especially during a heatwave – isn’t a very good idea.
“The sun is very strong this time of year,” Spink explains. “Move more sensitive plants way from windows to avoid the harsh rays.”
Sensitive plants that are more likely to suffer in direct sunlight include spider plants, nerve plants (fittonia), dragon trees and fiddle leaf figs. Swiss cheese plants may also suffer burnt leaves if left in strong direct sunlight.
3. Keep them misted
“Tropical plants love high humidity,” Spink explains. “Give their leaves a good spray to stop them drying out. This is especially true for plants with gorgeous big leaves, like Fidel the fiddle leaf fig, Zabrina the elephant ear plant and Nicolau the wild banana plant.”
This article was originally published on 14 September 2020 and has since been updated throughout.
Images: Getty/Patch Plants