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How Do You Keep Plants Healthy in Summer?

Written by Naomi Cleary

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Posted on August 27 2020

Summer brings stronger and longer daylight hours, and if you do things right your house plants can grow a ton in the summer months. There are some pitfalls to look out for though. We detail them here along with tips to help your plants stay healthy and happy.

Repotting

Illustration of how much potting soil to put in a pot

Spring is the best time to re-pot, but early summer is not too late if you are a little behind schedule. To see if repotting is necessary, look underneath the plant pot. Are green or white roots peeking out of the drainage hole? If so, your plant is root bound and needs a bigger home. If your pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, it is a miracle your plant has survived this long and it’s definitely time to re-pot into a container with a hole. Remember to also use a top quality organic potting soil made specifically for indoor plants.

Choosing Your Pot

We always recommend choosing clay pot for plants, for multiple reasons:

  • They are strong and will last a long time.
  •  They are heavier than plastic and less likely to tip or be knocked over.
  • They look really good. Plastic can look cheap and degrades over time.
  • Once broken, clay pots can be used as shards to assist with drainage
  • Contrary to what you might think, plastic pots cannot be recycled.

What's The Difference With Terracotta Pots Anyway?

The main difference between terracotta plant pots and other clay pots is porosity. Terracotta plant pots allow water to evaporate through the walls. If you are an attentive plant parent who loves to water, porous clay pots or clay pots with drainage will ensure the roots of your green babies will not drown the way they can in conventional plastic pots. The bonus with terracotta is that you can see when the plant pot is wet or dry by the color, lighter equals dry and darker means wet.

Tips for Using Terracotta:

  • Terracotta allows water to evaporate through the walls, allowing the soil to dry.
  • Terracotta is great for those who like to overwater
  • Terracotta plant pots can even add some humidity to the air in your home, which lots of plants really love.
  • Terracotta saucers can let moisture through to surfaces below. Always use a non- porous trivet or tray underneath if using indoor terracotta pots.
  • Non-porous clay pots for plants, such as stoneware or porcelain, are really great for people who like to water less often.

Location

In the summer we run our air conditioner a lot, which our plants really don’t like. The cold air will cause the plants to crumple and wilt if left in the path of the freezing blast. Take the time to feel how the cold air travels throughout your rooms and move plants out of the cold zone.

Feeding

Now that your plants have the perfect home and are snuggled in with their top notch organic potting soil that you are keeping carefully watered, go the extra mile and feed your plants to keep them energized during the summer growth months. We recommend an organic liquid fertilizer that can be added when watering. This gives you a lot of control over how much food your plants are getting. If that doesn’t work for your schedule, slow release spikes, like a popsicle stick you put in your plant pot, can be a good option.

Enjoy

Houseplants grow like crazy in the summer months, once you have given them all they need to thrive. It is so rewarding to see new leaves shooting out left and right, unfurling all shiny and new. As your plants grow in the summer, their ability to purify the air in your home grows too. Your efforts end up making your own environment both beautiful and healthier. Well done!

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