It's not just us humans who face dehydration and sunburn during the summer season (hint: plants do too). But with some proper precautions, Summer - a time for growth and regeneration - can be the best season for your houseplants. Here are our top tips for keeping your plants healthy and happy during these especially hot months.
1. Water your plants more than what is typical to make up for the increase in both heat and plant-growth that happens during the summer season. The best time to water is early morning or early evening when it is cooler and the water is less likely to evaporate.
2. Help them retain moisture by adding mulch, rocks, or water-retaining crystals to the soil to help hold moisture.
3. Mist (most) plants lightly with water, to increase the humidity and hydration (avoid on African Violets, Begonias, and other flowering plants that don't like to get their leaves wet).
4. And generally, keep a closer eye on your plants. If they begin to wilt you are not watering frequently enough.
1. If you keep your plants on a windowsill or in direct sunlight, draw a sheer curtain during the day when the sun is strong or move them towards the center of the room, to avoid leaf burn. Ouch!
2. Rotate your plants so each side gets equal sun exposure.
1. Don't blast your AC when you're not home and don't place plants directly by the air conditioner. Most houseplants prefer a warmer more humid climate. (Exception: succulents and cacti - dry heat lovers).
2. Increase humidity by grouping plants together, moving them to a more humid room like the bathroom, or placing them on pebble filled trays allowing you to add water to the bottom of the tray without over-soaking the plant's roots.
3. Invest in a humidifier for your plants AND you.
Prune and fertilize
1. Regularly pick or cut off dying or unnecessary foliage so they don't use up nutrients and water - or attract pesky insects.
2. If you use fertilizer, increase the amount (slightly). Plant-growth increases during the summer.
Bring your Indoor Plants Out
1. If you're lucky enough to have a outdoor space in NYC, consider putting your indoor houseplants outside for the summer. Just be sure to make the move gradual to avoid shock - ie don't move a plant from a dark corner to a reflective rooftop in a single go.
2. Place them in light conditions similar to what they enjoyed inside. Never put them in direct sunlight.
3. Make sure they have drainage holes incase of heavy rain, or place them where they won't be soaked, which, like overwatering, can cause root-rot.