Question: We've got our portable air conditioners, our oil-free sunscreen, and our skin-baring summer wardrobes (mostly) sorted out. But, as we prepare for warmer weather — in some places, much warmer — we want to make sure we're not leaving our plant pals behind. Are there things we need to do to prepare our plants for hotter weather?
Answer: This is such an important question! Below, I’ve listed below the top things you should do in warm months.
Watch Out For Sunburn:
Magnification of sun through glass windows can burn foliage. Foliage can also burn fast if you don’t acclimate an indoor plant to outdoor life before exposing it to direct sun rays. You won’t see it right away, but the next day you may find large brown or black spots that look like bruises on your foliage. This is the first sign of foliage burn. The next day, those spots may dry up and turn crispy — very similar to what happens to us when we are burned by the sun. Be sure to pull any foliage that is touching glass away from the window. And if you are to take your plant outdoors during the summer, give them a shady start and at least a week of acclimation before putting them under direct sunrays.
Summer means more sun, which means more photosynthesis and growth! Which means you’ll need to water more often as your plant is using more energy and perspiring more water throughout the day. Make sure you learn what your plant wants during the summer months and don’t let it dry too much between watering.
Heat and growth can also attract pests, the most common of which are spider mites, mealy bugs, and scale. Cleaning your plants regularly (wiping down the under and upper sides of leaves and/or showering them), will keep pests away. If you do find a pest on your plant, clean it immediately. Summer heat only perpetuates infestations so don’t leave them be.
Control indoor temperature:
If you’re leaving for the weekend, keep your AC on so your home temps don’t get too hot. If you keep your home temps around 65-70 F don’t let temps surpass 80 F. Plants will wilt quickly and you may have to do some heavy pruning if they don’t bounce back.
If your plant calls for it, fertilize a few times a month so you can take advantage of the growth season. Try to source organic fertilizers and follow directions. Fertilize burn is a thing and you can damage leaves if you fertilize too much and don’t have drainage in your planters. We have a workshop at Tula that covers Soil Science and Fertilizer that is very informative.
Other than that, enjoy the summer growth season with your plants! This is the best time to witness all that your plants have to offer so try to give them the best environment to grow. Wishing you a wonderful summer with lots of sunshine, green, and hopefully a few dips in a cool body of water.