Caring for your houseplants in a heatwave
Here in the UK, we have been enjoying a bit of a heatwave. Temperatures have been rising across the country and we want to make sure your houseplants remain happy in the heat. Here are our top tips for taking care of your urban jungle!
- Did you know that the more intense periods of sun can have an adverse effect on your leaf-ier plants? This means you may need to reconsider the plant position in your home. If scorch marks are beginning to appear on the leaves relocate them further into the room away from any direct light. Only Cacti can tolerate being exposed to direct sun all day (although not always) so it's important to carefully consider each of your houseplants and their spot in your home.
- The temperature rising will result in your houseplant’s soil drying out much faster than usual. We recommend increased watering checks to ensure your plants stay happy in the heat. First, be sure to follow the care instructions on the label. For general foliage plants we usually check for watering by sticking our finger into the compost about an inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it's time for a drink! Remove your plant from it's decorative pot and water thoroughly from the top until water comes out of the drainage holes at the base of its plastic pot. For cacti, succulents and orchids we recommend bottom-watering by sitting the plant in water for around 30 minutes to an hour.
- Don't forget about all your high up plants! Whether on a shelf or hanging from the ceiling, these will dry out much more quickly due to the heat rising in our homes.
- Most houseplants are native to tropical jungles across the world. It can be a struggle to recreate these humidity levels here in Scotland and it's getting even tougher with the heat rising! Misting the leaves with water in a spray bottle can be a great solution to combating dry air. It’s best to mist your plants in the early morning. Avoid mid day misting as this is the hottest part of the day and can cause stress to the plant such as scorched leaves in extreme cases.
- If you have a busy schedule or struggle to remember when to mist, why not try experimenting with a pebble tray this summer? This is a simple way to up the humidity levels around specific plants. For certain humidity lovers such as Calatheas and Begonias we recommend using these all year round, however most of our foliage plants would appreciate it too! The general idea of a pebble tray is to create humidity by placing your plant on a tray, dish or repurposed saucer, full of pebbles. These can be clay pebbles, grit or even small stones from the garden. Fill the dish with water until it reaches just below the top of the pebbles to ensure your plant is not sitting in water. The water will evaporate from the dish creating humidity around the leaves of your plant. Remember to top this up with water every now and again when it disappears.
- Even placing a glass of water placed around your plants will help with the humidity. Much like a pebble tray the water will slowly evaporate in the hot weather around the plants.
- The growing season begins in Spring and during Summer your plants will be making the most of the Summer’s bright light and warmth to produce lots of new growth. This means they will have been using up all the nutrients they can from their compost. To replenish this you will need to consider feeding your plants to replace any lost nutrients in the compost. The type of nutrients needed will vary between plant types. For most foliage plants we would recommend using a General Houseplant Feed. Use a separate succulent/cacti specific feed for any prickly plants. Alternatively, if you want to really give your plants a boost, we always recommend Liquid Gold Leaf feed as it is the world’s only liquid fertiliser to contain every essential plant nutrient.
Now your plant worries are solved, why not treat yourself to a bit of sunshine!