Hot summer weather can be hard on garden plants , especially in India. Though some plants such as succulents and cacti can adapt to the high temperatures, indoor plants in India are not acclimated to summer heat wave. In general, leafy tropical plants are prone to damage from heat, and if the damage is too extensive, such plants may not recover. While you cannot undo the damage, you can definitely make sure that your plants stay safe from the sweltering summer heat using these simple, yet effective tips.
1. Mulching is Important for So Many Reasons
Direct sunlight can be harmful for most of flowering plants in India. You can, however, save your plants by incorporating mulch such as dry grass clippings. Other popular mulching options include straw, newspaper, alfalfa, black plastic sheeting, and seaweed. Mulching also helps save water by reducing evaporation and retaining water, and encourages plant growth. Therefore, you will need less maintenance and watering for your garden plants.
2. Water Your Plants Early Morning
Heat waves in summer can quickly dehydrate shallow roots by pulling moisture out of soil. By watering your plants early in the morning you will ensure that the roots are sufficiently hydrated before the day gets warm. This also helps prevent heat stress, or sunburn for plants that have brittle leaves and are unable to fight off the sun.
3. Keep Your Plants in Shade
Another way to reduce heat stress and protect gardening plants in India is to place them in shade. In general, plants that are placed in west and south-facing windows get too much exposure to summer heat wave. Therefore, it is best to move them a little further into the house and spare them from direct sunlight. This goes for cacti and succulents too, if they aren’t acclimated to direct sun.
4. Promote High Humidity
Most epiphytes and tropical indoor plants in India such as Calathea, Fittonia, and Ferns prefer high amounts of humidity. Therefore, you need to frequently mist them through periods of heat. You can also fill a shallow dish with water and pebbles, and set your plant on top to create a humid micro-climate for the plant. This will help your plants get humidity and survive through summer.
5. Avoid Re-potting During a Heat Wave
Reputable vendors selling bonsai plants online advice that you should avoid re-potting indoor plants when there is high summer heat. First, the leaves are always damaged and a lot of root mass is trimmed away during re-potting. Furthermore, Re-potting also causes stress to plants especially when outside temperatures are soaring. Therefore, you need to wait for surrounding temperatures to get down before you take up changing pots for your plants.
6. Wait to Prune
You need to delay pruning off damaged stems and leaves until the heat wave passes. Just like repotting, pruning too puts the plants under tremendous stress. While a little pruning helps spur plant growth, doing that immediately before or after a heat wave isn’t the best choice. You should wait for conditions to get back to normal, otherwise the discoloration and wilting of the leaves might rebound.
7. Keep It Cool
During summer, it is important to keep the flowering plants out of areas in your home that remain hot. You can either move them away from windows or into rooms to protect them from the heat waves. Contrary to popular belief, keeping the windows closed during daytime in summer actually helps keep the house cool. You can open them back up once the sun sets and the exteriors cool down.
8. Learn to Recognise Stress in Plants
Lastly, it is essential that you learn to recognise whenever your plants feel stressed. This will help you take remediation steps before the stress ravages your indoor plants. In summer, most gardening plants depict easily identifiable stress signs whenever they experience too much heat and less water. While leaves of many tropical plants wilt when exposed to excess heat, those having bright green foliage may also pale. Furthermore, sunburn in plants often manifests in the form of yellow patch or rough brown on leaves and stems. The flowers and leaves of many flowering plants also drop off or turn yellow whenever the plant is under stress.