It’s summer and just like us, our indoor plants can thrive in the long, sunny days as long as we give them a little extra care and attention. Winter may leave your plants dormant which can make summer a more difficult time for growth. Adjusting light, water and even switching a plant’s scenery can help them have as good of a summer as you. Read on for our tips on how to care for your houseplants this summer and how to keep them healthy and green.

Hydrate Plants

 

Water is essential for every living thing, and your houseplants are not the exception. In the summer, you’ll be watering your plants more frequently than in the fall and winter. Dry potting mix, wrinkles, wilt and leaf curl are all signs that your plant needs more water. We suggest watering your plants early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is the least strong so the water can fully evaporate and to avoid leaf burn. If you notice your potting mix is drying out too fast, add mulch or rocks on top of the soil to keep the moisture in. In the summer, you may think your houseplants need to be watered twice as often, but try not to over water your plants. When the soil becomes too moist, it prevents oxygen from getting to the roots and can suffocate them. Mold or fungus on the soil’s surface, standing water on the saucer, insects around the soil, both young and old leaves falling off are all common signs of root rot and signs you’re over watering. Try to keep a consistent schedule and water your houseplant when the soil starts to feel dry.

Reduce Sun Exposure

 

Summer means warmer weather and the sun being out for longer hours. Keep an eye on plants that are near windows because windows can act like a magnifying glass, drying out and burning a plant. To avoid this, keep your plants at least a foot away from the window, especially if its a south and west facing window. There are exceptions to this rule; your succulents, cacti, tropical plants and ficus trees will most like thrive in these warmer conditions.

Fertilize Your Houseplants

Can you remember the last time you fertilized your indoor plants? If you can, good for you! If you can’t, you probably need to bring out the fertilizer. Since the days are longer and stay sunnier for more hours in the day, your houseplants require more nutrients to create new growth and stay healthy. We recommend a once-a-month, all purpose, water-soluble fertilizer (Al’s Brand Fertilizer Slow Release Water Soluble , Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food or Neilsons Plant Elixir). Make sure to dilute your fertilizer to half of its recommended amount to avoid over fertilizing your houseplants. During extreme heat waves, do not fertilize because your plants will be stressed due to the heat and will not be able to take in the extra nutrients.

Pick the Right Time to Prune and Repot

 

Spring may be the best time to transfer and repot your plants, it is okay to do it in the summer. Be sure to switch your pots when it’s cooler; in the morning or evening so your plant doesn't have the extra shock from the heat.

Avoid AC Draft

We may want to turn the AC up to cool ourselves down, but air conditioning can dry out the air around our houseplants. Create a micro-climate for your plant by placing them in a shallow saucer filled with water and pebbles to increase humidity around the plant. You can also move your plant away from any air conditioning drafts if you start to see discoloration, breakage or brown edges on the leaves.

Take Your Houseplants Outside

No one likes to spend their whole summer inside. Houseplants can benefit from being outside occasionally between May and September. You can spruce up an outdoor living space to fill more homey or you can treat your plants to a little vacation. If you do plan to move your houseplants outside, make sure the move is a gradual one and that the temperature at night doesn't fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. First put them in the shadiest place you can find, then gradually move them to a spot with more light, but make sure to avoid direct light. Keep in mind, the shadiest spot inside is the same as the sunniest spot inside for your houseplant, especially in summer.

Going on Vacation?

 

Planning on taking your own vacation this summer, don't forget about the houseplants you’ve put so much love and care into. Ask a friend, find a plant sitter or water your plants thoroughly and move them to a shadier or cooler location before you leave. Another great way to make sure your plants are taken care of are self watering planters or watering, glass orbs that slowly release water.

If any of this information is overwhelming or you have questions on how to care for your houseplants in the summer, stop by your local Al’s Garden and Home. One of our Purple People would love to give you more tips or help you pick the perfect houseplant for you.

More Resources!

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