Summer is Coming!
With the barometer readings soaring, Summer is officially here. Though it brings buds, blooms, and foliar growth, it also comes with its own set of problems. So it's time to switch your plants to summer mode for them to be better tolerant to the heat.
Sun tolerant plants like Cactus, Succulents and Croton varieties love to soak up in the Vitamin D goodness, indoor plants might not be a fan of such intense heatwave. Tropical indoor plants do better in indirect or filtered light since direct sunlight tends to curl and crisp the leaves of these shade-loving varieties.
Top 6 Summer Gardening Tips
All isn't dark in the tropical land. There are plenty of tips and precautions you can take in advance to make sure your plants survive the summers.
1. High Humidity
This might be a good time to invest in a humidifier. Okay, hear us out. Tropical plants like Fittonia, Ferns, Caladiums, and Peace Lilies love humidity, the absence of which causes issues like leaf curling and browning. Though misting several times a day is also an option to keep these leafy plants hydrated, if you are a busy plant parent, the humidifier will do your job just well. Club all your plants and put them together and keep a humidifier in front of them for a good 3-4 hours.
2. Deep Watering
Proper watering makes or breaks your plants. Literally. And when it is Summers, a little extra moisture goes a long, long way. Though over-watering has proven to be quite efficient in killing plants, the higher day temperature during this season evaporates the soil moisture faster, leading to dry root balls. Make sure you water your plants deeply and till the excess water is draining out of the drainage holes into the bottom plate. Post which, discard the water after 15-20 minutes to be sure that the plant has soaked up all the hydration it needs.
Some plants are more thirsty than others and need more frequent watering. Keep a close check on the plants that tend to droop down frequently with your watering schedule to adjust it accordingly. Similarly, always make sure the top 1/3rd of the soil is dry to touch before you water your pots next. If your plant is near the A/C vent, then it is a good choice to move it elsewhere. Dry drafts are just as bad as the summer heat and add a contributing factor to dried leaves.
3. Light Therapy
Not all your plants will love the shade, and not all of them will love the sun either. It is very important to know which plants prefer which kind of light, to ensure a happy and healthy plant. Not to mention, plants get sunburn as well! West and South facing windows/balconies get the most light. Move your sun-loving flowering plants, Crotons, Jades, Succulents, and Cactus to these spots for a warm microclimate. Shade-loving plants like Palms, Fiddle Leaf Figs, and Calatheas prefer filtered light and can be moved indoors or in North-facing zones.
4. Micro-Climate Adjustment
While summer, indeed, is an amazing growing season, your plants might not appreciate being kept in the hottest area of the house. As the heat increases, try shifting them to cooler zones to protect them from intense heat. Alternate options will include changing the micro-climate of your homes. Sheild the windows with sheer curtains and close them during the daytime and open them back during the night to keep your home cooler. You will feel a lot better and arguably, so will the plants.
5. Fertilizing and Re-potting
It is best if you can fertilize your plant prior to the peak summer heat and repot them before the plants enter the season. As the plants will be battling the heat to survive, repotting is an additional strenuous activity that might bring down the health of the plant. Early spring is the best time to repot tropical plants and late monsoon is the best time for winter varieties.
Your plants will need trimming, shaping, and pruning right before the growing season to develop gorgeous blooms and new shoots. Trimming off the dead parts of the plants that have perished during the dormant winters kick-starts the plant's growth. Not only does it help in the overall growth, but it also shifts the plant's attention to the newer nodes and branches. Make sure to prune your plants right before summer officially starts to ensure a happy and fruitful growing season.