The last few days have been hot. Really hot. The UK has just welcomed a three-day heatwave, culminating today with temperatures expected to reach 39C.
While the heatwave has meant many sleepless nights, it’s our plants that have been suffering the most.
Living in London, indoor plants are a way to breathe some life into our small living quarters, but the heat has meant many of these plants have wilted beyond the point of return.
The reason for this, explains Patch founder Freddie Blackett, is that UK homes aren’t as equipped to deal with heat as homes in other countries and don’t have the means to cool down.
Blackett told the Standard: “Most British homes don’t have the kit in place to cool down when it gets really hot, so our plants have to cope with the high temperatures. This dries out their soil more quickly, so our plants end up gasping for a drink. That being said, make sure to keep them away from air conditioners if you do have one – they won’t like the cold air either.”
Plants like cacti are generally fine in the heat as they are used to desert-like conditions, but tropical plants are used to a cool, humid air rather than hot, dry heat.
“This kind of heat is actually the most extreme weather change that most of our indoor plants will ever experience, as we are pretty good at keeping our homes a consistent temperature for the rest of the year,” Blackett revealed.
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Never keep indoor plants in direct sunlight (Patch)
Cacti and succulents are the best heat-resistant plants as they can last a long time without water, but most indoor plants are okay to keep in your home – you just have to pay extra attention to them when the weather’s hot.
So how do we do this? Below are Blackett’s top tips for keeping your plant alive during a heatwave.
1. Water your plants more regularly
“Soil dries out more quickly in the heat, so your plants will probably appreciate a bit more water. However, make sure you don’t overdo it.
“Overwatering is the fastest way to kill a plant, and the damage done by overwatering is much trickier to undo than that done by under watering. Make sure to feel the soil to make sure it’s dry before you water them.”
2. Check the soil every few days
“Make sure to stick your finger into your houseplant soil every few days to check if it needs to be watered. When the soil is dry at your fingertip then it’s time to soak the soil until water runs out of the holes in the bottom of the plant’s pot. If you’ve got a couple of plants, a good tip is to pop them all in the shower to save time and avoid any mess.”
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3. Never let your plants sit in water
“Although you are watering them more often, never let them sit in water, always tip away the excess that runs out into their decorative pot.”
4. Don’t keep plants in direct sunlight
“Some plants are quite sensitive to sun, as the intense rays can scorch their delicate leaves. If you find that your plants are developing brown, dry patches on their leaves this could be the cause, so move them to a spot with slightly less direct light.”
5. If necessary, move your plants to the bathroom
“Dry heat reduces humidity, so consider moving tropical plants to the bathroom or misting them daily.”
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6. And what to do with your plants while you’re on holiday
“Grouping all of your plants together creates a humid microclimate which is less likely to result in sad plants – we like to pop ours together in the bath, give them a good water, and then you’re all set.
“Some gadgets are available which promise to keep your plants alive while you can’t tend to them, such as water bulbs which gradually drip water into the soil to keep it moist. Of course, there’s always the option of asking a plant-loving friend to pop in to check on your plants every once in a while.”