There’s something special about summers in the United States—the sun shines so brightly, and everything makes us want to go out and enjoy the outdoors.
Even while the warm weather may tempt you to procrastinate on your chores inside the house, there is one activity that you must not put off at any cost: taking care of your houseplants.
Taking Care of Houseplants in the Summer
A survey conducted by Civic Science found that approximately 66.5% of people living in the United States have at least one indoor plant.
The number of people who own plants climbed by two percentage points in 2019. Additionally, the percentage of customers who have no interest in owning a plant has dropped from 27% to 26%.
Indoor plants can make any house look nicer throughout the year, and they won’t ask for anything in return. However, they do need your attention, particularly during the warmer months.
The question is, how to give them the love and attention they so richly deserve? Start by following this guide on how to care for houseplants.
Wrong season? Hop over to the winter plant care tips instead.
1. Recheck Sun Exposure
Summers in the United States are all about solid heat, and being a plant-owner, you may need to rearrange your indoor plants to accommodate this blast of sunlight.
Since they can’t put on sun protection, plants are dependent on their owner to shield them from the sweltering heat of the summer sun.
Keep track of the direction the sunlight enters each section of your living space, and reposition your houseplants appropriately.
You may discover that a windowsill that was formerly shielded from the sun is now drenched in it and unbearably hot, while a south-facing area that was once brilliant now receives more shade.
Still, the question is, how do you know whether your plants have had enough of the sun? There are a few signs to look out for. Note that burned and wilted leaves result from prolonged exposure to the sun.
On the other hand, some indoor plants experience poor growth, skinny stems, leaves light in color, smaller sizes, and may drop off or die.
You should move your houseplants to a new location if you notice that they appear drab, dried out, or otherwise crushed compared to how they usually seem.
2. Carefully Watch Temperature and Humidity
Unlike citizens of America, houseplants don’t love chilly winds. Call them boring, but the truth is that they thrive best in consistently stable environments.
Fans, air conditioners, and even open windows may radically shift the temperature of a room and dry up the air, which can drain moisture from the plants’ soil and damage the delicate leaves.
Simply avoid keeping your plants in front of a moving fan, AC, or open door or window; otherwise, they might be knocked over by an unexpected blast of wind.
The idea is to maintain a level of humidity in the air and aim to keep the room’s temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
However, if you notice that the leaves on your plant are moving in response to the wind, you should move it to a new location.
Aside from that, you may raise the humidity level indoors by placing plants close to one another, installing a humidifier where you keep your plants or spraying the air around your plants periodically with water from a spray bottle.
3. Don’t Keep the Soil Dry for Too Long
It’s a universal fact that plants aren’t pretty demanding; however, houseplant’s need for more and more water in summer might surprise a few owners.
Due to the higher temperatures, the increased amount of sunshine, the reduced humidity, and the fast growth during the summer, houseplants need more constant and thorough watering.
It is essential to provide enough extensive hydration for your plants, even if the specific requirements for watering vary depending on the type.
Even though overwatering your houseplant is the surest method to destroy it, the heat of summer causes water to drain from the soil at a much quicker pace than it usually would.
Due to this, you should be sure to water your plants thoroughly and gradually.
Watering with a spout can direct the moisture to the soil around the base of each plant—exactly where it is required. The idea is to create a routine for watering the plants and follow it rigorously.
However, note that if you water the soil insufficiently, just the topsoil will get moist, while the lower roots will become dry, and vice-versa.
To get it right, start by daily soil inspection in each container by pushing a finger into the top inch or two of the soil.
4. Learn to Recognize the Signs of Stress
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any plant owner. Plants are living things, and as a result, they can communicate when they’re not feeling too good.
However, there’s a trick here. They don’t speak up, but you are responsible for recognizing the signs of stress that plants exhibit.
Here’s how: if the leaves begin to wilt, this is a sign that they need water. If they turn yellow, however, that’s a sign they’ve had too much water.
That’s not all — the following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of plant stress.
- Salt Buildup
- Brown Tips
- Limp Leaves
- Burned Foliage
- Leaf Stretching
- Ragged Foliage
- Bleached Foliage
- Blackened Leaves
- Off-Color Foliage
- Dried Leaf Margins
- Growth Deficiencies
- Leaf or Flower Drop
6. Keep Them Clean and Pest-Free
While it’s true that open windows let in more fresh air, they also make way for undesired things such as dust, pollen, and (sometimes) insects.
When dust collects on leaves, it may stop air and sunshine from reaching the plant, preventing it from growing healthy.
However, the good news is that you can easily get dust off your indoor plants with minimal effort by using a moist cloth or paper towel and a weekly “bath time.”
A moist sponge is the best tool for cleaning plants with glossy, thick leaves, such as ficus and peace lily.
However, cacti and other plants with fuzzy leaves, such as African violets, should not be watered; instead, use a dry, soft paintbrush to clean them.
Inspect your houseplants for stealthy pests such as gnats, mealybugs, and mites that may conceal themselves in the dirt or on the reverse surfaces of the leaves.
They leave behind telltale indicators such as specks, faint patches, or webs made of silk or cotton. So, if you see any evidence of a pest infestation, you should immediately take the sick plant, clean it well, and set it apart from the other plants until you can determine the issue and find a solution.
7. Repot If Needed
The summertime development of your houseplants, especially Aloe Vera and Succulents, may be so robust that they may begin to overrun the pots in which they are grown.
If you notice that your plant is growing more slowly than usual, observe roots or water pouring straight out of a pot’s drainage holes, or discover that you have to water it more often than usual, your plant is trying to tell you that it is feeling suffocated and needs more room.
It is best to repot houseplants throughout the spring and summer months when they are actively developing and healthy.
However, if a houseplant shows symptoms of stress or is in bloom, it is preferable to wait to repot it until the problem has been resolved.
8. Feed Them Well
When was the last time you gave your houseplants water and fertilizer? If not recently, it is likely time to break out the fertilizer and thoroughly combine it with the soil.
Indoor plants grow like weeds in summers. As a result of the longer days and increased sunshine that plants get throughout the summer, they need extra nutrients to maintain their health.
Since growth spurts require a lot of energy and work up your plants’ appetites, you want to make sure the soil is adequately nourished and fertilized with a water-soluble fertilizer.
However, be aware that when average summer days suddenly transform into a heatwave, plants enter a state of “survival mode.” They cannot take in any nutrients during this time since all of their energy goes into surviving in extreme temperatures.
It may be too much for your plants to take if you fertilize them during a heatwave. Therefore, you should hold off on fertilizing until the heatwave passes.
9. Propagate When Needed
Propagation is an economical method of producing more plants. Houseplants thrive when replicated on a semi-regular basis by division or other means, benefiting the overgrown plants.
Some plants, such as bromeliads, stimulate new growth or offsets at the base of the plant. These offsets and new shoots may be separated from the parent plant and replanted in other containers.
Climbing plants such as Pothos and philodendrons produce new roots where their stems contact the soil. As a result, cuttings taken from them may be used to grow new plants successfully.
Other houseplants, such as the strawberry begonia and the spider plant, reproduce by sending out “runners” that eventually give rise to new plantlets.
America’s Most Popular Houseplants
|Indoor Plant||Botanical Name||Popular States|
|Aloe Vera||Aloe Barbadensis||Arizona, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Virginia|
|Succulents||N/A||Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, California, Florida, Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Arizona, Ohio,|
|Snake Plant||Sansevieria Trifasciata||West Virginia, Nevada, New Hampshire, Kansas, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Utah, Michigan,|
|Pothos||Epipremnum Aureum||Oregon, Columbia, Washington|
|Philodendron||Philodendron||Montana, Washington, Oregon, Alaska|
|Peace Lily||Spathiphyllum||Alabama, North Dakota, Nebraska|
|English Ivy||Hedera Helix||Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana|
|Peperomia||Peperomia||Colorado, Connecticut, Maine|
|Calathea||Calathea||New Mexico, Pennsylvania, NY|
|Bromeliad||Bromeliaceae||Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana|
|African Violet||Saintpaulia||New Hampshire, Montana|
|Lucky Bamboo||Dracaena Sanderiana||Iowa, Tennessee, Wisconsin|
Bonus Pointers for Creating Personal Plant Sanctuary
An indoor plant serves as a haven from the stresses of the outside world. The best thing about houseplants is that they come in various sizes and fit anywhere—regardless of the size of your living space, whether it is a studio apartment or a sprawling mansion.
It is good to invest a little bit of time studying which plants are most suited for each area and what sort of atmosphere to construct your ideal green hideaway.
This will allow you to design your perfect green space. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Plants are an inexpensive way to jazz up even the dullest spaces.
- Always buy houseplants from registered dealers or sources.
- Some plants like it hot, while others prefer a cooler temperature.
- Prefer buying ornamental foliage plants for indoor gardening.
- It’s best to avoid plants with exceptionally glossy or shiny leaves.
The Final Cut
Gone are the days when gardening was more of a pastime that people took up after they had more free time after retirement. Nevertheless, the times have changed.
These days, you may find a patch of grass or a garden in front or behind almost every home in the United States.
People tend to take up gardening not so much as a pastime but more as a necessary daily task—and that is the way it should be.
In the summertime, when you are forced to spend the day indoors, plants can add a spark of fresh colors to your interior space.
However, this is possible only if you take the time to care for your houseplants throughout the summer. Happy planting, and happy summer!
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.