This summer’s record-breaking heat wave is ratcheting up temperatures across the globe. And if you’re feeling the effects of the extreme weather in your home, it’s likely that your plants are, too—particularly if they’re not accustomed to super-dry climates, as increased heat results in the evaporation of air’s natural moisture.
If your inclination is to douse your plants in water and hope for the best, take a beat and read up on these five ways to help your plant pets survive the heat wave. Spoiler: They’ll probably be fine.
How to Care for Plants During a Heat Wave
1. Download Plant Apps
Plant apps, like Planta, help ensure that you’re giving your plants the correct attention. The app identifies the plant type, tells you where in your house it will thrive, and offers a watering and misting schedule (with reminders). If you’ve relied on guesswork up until now, use the heat wave as an opportunity to step up your plant parenting game.
2. Location, Location, Location
Some plants thrive in shade, while others enjoy direct sunlight. That said, extreme weather may call for a temporary relocation, as the heat is sure to suck up most of the moisture from the soil and leaves alike (or worse, burn them). Do some research (or use your handy new app) to figure out the best climate for your plant, then inch it a bit further away from the window than is recommended—just for now.
3. Water Strategically
As with location, watering will depend on your plant’s type and specific needs. Still, it’s generally best to water well ahead of, and then again after, the day’s hottest point. Additional tips: Target the soil rather than the leaves and keep the water at room temperature as not to shock the plant, and always allow the water to fully saturate the soil before adding a little more.
4. Avoid Repotting
Now is a time to minimize stress for your plants. Whether a plant is root-bound or you’ve simply invested in a larger or more aesthetically-pleasing pot, a hot day is not the moment for repotting. Seriously, would you want to move house in this weather?
5. Stay Calm
Despite any evidence to the contrary, your plants are survivors—a bit of extra thought and effort on your part is likely all you’ll need to get them through the summer. If you’ve built a personal Eden and have reservations about the heat, head to your local garden center and chat it up with the people who know best. It’s never too late to learn!
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