8 Top Summer Indoor Plant Care Tips
Things are hotting up! Hands up, who’s enjoying these gorgeous days in the garden with a good book and a glass of wine? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell…)
With the warmer weather finally here, it’s time to find out how to care for your houseplants during the summer months. Some plants fare better than others in the summer, but others need a little extra TLC to stop them from becoming thirsty or sun-scorched.
To help your plants thrive inside when it gets hot outside, we’ve pulled together some of our top summer plant care tips to keep your houseplants happy and healthy, even when it’s warm and sunny.
How To Take Care Of Plants in Summer
Indoor plant care in the summer becomes a little more hands-on than in other seasons. Don’t worry – plants that are normally low maintenance don’t suddenly become high maintenance. It just means you’ll need to check them over more frequently to ensure they have everything they need. If you’re ever unsure, take a look at our handy plant guides and follow these steps:
1. Check Your Plant’s Position
It’s good to know how to keep potted plants cool in summer, or they could overheat. Plant sunscreen isn’t a thing (maybe someone reading this blog could invent one), so protecting your plant from harsh rays will keep it healthy and preserve its delicate leaves.
Most plants enjoy a bit of sunlight, but too much can cause the leaves to scorch, which is the plant equivalent of sunburn. You may not realise that your plant’s getting too hot, especially if you’re not at home all day. That’s why you should take a look at your plant’s positioning to ensure it doesn’t sit in too much full sun.
Windowsills are particularly prone to catching direct sunlight, so think about moving your plant into the room a little bit to keep it safe from the sun.
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? Check for signs of brown or bleached leaves and hardened soil, which means your plant’s getting too much sunlight.
2. Water More Often
Summer can be tough on houseplants. With longer, warmer days and a lack of humidity in the air, they’re at risk of drying out much more quickly than in autumn and winter. That’s why they need more water when it’s warm and sunny.
If you’re wondering how to care for plants in extreme heat, ensure you provide your plant with plenty of water, being careful not to give it too much. Luckily for us, houseplants make it obvious that they need more water. When they’re thirsty, the soil dries out, and the leaves begin to curl.
The best thing to do is to set a new watering schedule in the summer and stick to it. Check the soil by placing your index finger in the top layer. If it feels dry, give your plant a drink.
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? Plants that aren’t hydrated enough develop wilted or curled leaves. Dry, dead leaf tips are another sign your plant’s dehydrated.
3. Increase Humidity
Some plants can be fussy little things and some indoor plants don’t like it when conditions change. They’re at their happiest when things remain consistent. So when the temperature starts rising and moisture evaporates more quickly, their humidity levels get thrown off balance.
Misting your leafy plants will help increase the humidity and provide that all-important moisture plants crave in the summer. Be careful not to overdo it – a light misting with a spray bottle once or twice a week is enough to quench your plant’s thirst. Just don’t forget to water them directly into the soil too. Misting is additional to your plants watering needs.
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? If your plant turns brown on the edges or the leaves become yellow, it needs more moisture. The foliage may also become crispy – a tell-tale sign that your plant could do with a misting.
4. Keep Plants Clean
We love the outdoors, especially in this mini heatwave we’re having and most of us have our windows and doors open throughout the summer to let cool fresh air circulate the house. With that comes pollen, pests and dust.
When the dust settles on the plant’s leaves and flowers, it can block the air and sunlight plants need to grow. That’s why you should use a damp cloth to clean your plant’s leaves once a week, removing all dust and debris. For cacti and plants with textured leaves, use a small, dry paintbrush to keep them clean, being careful not to touch any spikey burrs.
Pests such as mites, gnats and mealybugs are another problem in the summer because they thrive in the heat. Some make themselves home in the soil or on the underside of the leaves, while others make it obvious where they live by leaving behind speckles and cottony webs.
If you notice these signs, clean your plant thoroughly with a strong spray of water or remove any severely affected parts of the plant. Using an insecticidal or mild liquid soap can help get rid of any unwanted pests.
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? If you can see or feel dust or pests on your plant, it’s time for a clean. You can check by rubbing the leaves in between your fingers to see if any dust comes off in your fingers.
5. Rotate Your Plants
We all have a good side – and so do plants. Plants grow towards the light, which is a process called phototropism. Too much sunlight on one side can cause the plant to be uneven, especially in the summer when the sun’s stronger. Also, the sun moves throughout the day, but indoor houseplants don’t, limiting the amount of light exposure plants get.
You can remedy this by rotating your plants so they grow evenly. As a rule of thumb, turn your plants around every three days to every two weeks, depending on how much sunlight they enjoy.
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? Your plant needs rotating if it looks a little lopsided or uneven. They’ll grow into a beautiful, balanced shape if rotated regularly.
6. Feed and Nourish
While water keeps summer houseplants alive, generic houseplant fertilisers encourage lush, healthy growth.
The best time for plant food is spring and summer, as plants actively grow during these seasons. The end of autumn and winter is when they rest, so they don’t need plant food when it gets cold.
These feeding guides are a great place to start when feeding your houseplants:
- Foliage plants: every two weeks using a nitrogen-rich fertiliser
- Orchids and flowering plants: once every other week or once a month once the blooms have dropped
- Cacti and succulents: every two weeks, but only during summer
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? Houseplants don’t tell you when they need fertilising, but you might notice a slow-down of growth. Stick to the correct feeding schedule in summer, and your plants will thrive. Take a look at our selection of Houseplant Tonic and Spray.
7. Repot if Needed
Something you might not have thought about before is whether to transfer your plant to a new pot.
As plants experience faster, larger growth during the summer, their roots frequently become pot bound (or root bound as we also call it). This is where they grow through the drainage holes, becoming too big for their containers.
If your plant becomes root bound, it may be time to repot it into a larger container. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to tell by simply looking at the plant. You’ll need to remove it from its original pot to inspect the roots.
How to tell your plant’s unhappy? Plants that are only slightly pot bound will have roots that wrap slightly around the root ball. When the roots form a mat or solid mass around the root ball, the situation’s pretty advanced. Don’t worry – you can help your plant by repotting it, giving it more room to grow.
8. Watch for Signs of Stress
While it’s easy to forget about your houseplants when you’re out having fun in the sun, it’s a great idea to watch them as carefully as you can throughout the summer. That way, you can spot any changes as soon as they occur and step in to give your plant what it needs.
The most common signs your houseplants are stressed include:
- Leaf and flower drop
- Wilting leaves
- Uneven shape
- Leaves falling off
- Brown tips or blackened foliage
All of these signs mean your plant’s trying to tell you something. Depending on what’s symptoms your plant displays, it’s either lacking sunlight, has too much, needs a drink, or isn’t living in the right temperature.
What Are the Best Summer Plants?
Some houseplants are easier to care for than others in the summer. Plants that originate from hot, arid conditions can tolerate the heat better than plants that prefer cooler temperatures. That’s why you might want to consider filling your home with the following plants during the warmer months:
These plants need little water to survive and thrive in warmer, sunnier conditions. We don’t recommend neglecting them, but if you forget about them every now and then, they really won’t mind.
Summer Plant FAQs
Do Plants Grow in Summer?
Summer is the perfect time for growth. Houseplants rely on the sun for photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy they need to grow. You’ll see enhanced growth throughout the summer, as long as you provide your plant with the water, nutrients and sunlight it needs.
How To Keep Potted Plants Cool In Summer?
Most houseplants like the sun, but they don’t like being too hot. You may need to move your plants somewhere a little cooler in the summer so that they don’t overheat. However, if you use an air-conditioning unit or fan when it gets hot, make sure your plant’s not in a draught. It’ll dry out otherwise.
If you need to repot your plant, avoid dark containers, as they’ll attract the sun and heat. Deep watering at the base of the plant is another way to protect your plant from getting too hot. Let it drain before you put it back in the pot, though, which will prevent overwatering.
Should You Water Plants Every Day In Hot Weather?
When it gets hot, you might be tempted to water your plant every day. However, this will be too much for most plants, as the soil won’t have enough time to dry out. Even though soil dries out far more quickly in the summer, watering your plant every day will overdo it.
Show us your summer houseplants! We’d love to see a snap of them in your home, so share them on Instagram with us and let us know with a tag. If you’d like to learn more about any of the plants on our list or have any burning questions, get in touch with us at [email protected].