Potting up plants in your favorite pots can bring out all their glorious beauty. However, potted plants have greater exposure to the elements compared to when they’re left to grow in the soil. Especially in the summer. Read through our top tips on how to protect plants from the sun and heat and how to keep them thriving during the hotter months.
It’s creeping towards that time of year of blistering heat waves and scorching sun. As great as that is to get our tan on, trying to keep your green babies luscious, green, and even alive can be a demanding challenge. With summers getting hotter and the weather becoming more sporadic, it’s up to us to keep our plants as healthy as possible. white flowers are best in summer to keep the environment fresh and cool.
Methods To Protect Potted Plants from the Sun
If you want to keep your plants thriving this summer, follow these simple tips on how to protect plants from the sun and heat. You’ll also find some top tips on how to conserve water and make the most of the resources you have around you. After all, a handy gardener is the best gardener!
Water in the Evening
As tempting as it can be to spray your plants with H2O in the blazing heat, this often does more bad than good. If you get water droplets on your plants, they can act as magnifying glasses and increase the heat.
Of course, if your plant is looking very sad, dry, and wilted, by all means, water them. Try to water the soil directly, but the odd splash here and there won’t cause them to die. The best time to water your plants is either early in the morning a couple of hours before sun exposure, or later in the evening shade.
Keep your Soil Moist
Keeping the soil nice and moist before any heat waves helps protect plants from the sun and heat stress. After all, a well-watered plant is a happy plant. If your plant doesn’t have sufficient water, it’ll burn and scorch much quicker than well-watered plants.
Of course, keeping your soil moist is essential for your plant’s health. However, doing this can quickly wrack up those water bills and waste sacred water. Make sure to follow these tips below to help save money and reserve water when you protect plants from sun stress!
To help reduce water loss, mulch around the roots and add a good layer on top of the soil. This helps create a physical barrier from the intense sun rays and reduces moisture loss from the surface, using a natural and resourceful method. You can use grass clippings, leaves collected from last Autumn, garden compost, or even newspapers and cardboard!
Choose Lighter Coloured Pots
To protect plants from the sun, it’s best to choose lighter colored pots that reflect the suns’ heat. Dark pots can get blazing hot in the sun, which can dry out the roots and even scorch them when left unattended
You can also double layer the pots by placing potted plants inside larger pots. This gives them some well-needed shade and insulation – but make sure that both have the right drainage systems, or your green babies will quickly drown!
Keep Your Plants Part Shaded
If your plants are outside, buying some snazzy plant shades or going DIY can help protect plants from the sun and heat. You can use pretty much any material, from cardboard boxes to a large umbrella and even old bedsheets. Just prop them up above your plants to give them some shade from the intense heat.
When choosing a shade, it’s best to avoid dark-colored materials. Dark materials attract heat, and if it gets too close, it can easily scorch your plant’s leaves. If that’s your only option, make sure to keep them at least a foot away from your plants and they’ll be just fine.
If you don’t have a wall, tree, or fence you can use to drape your cloth from, plant some bamboo stakes around your plants and use that instead. One key thing to bear in mind is to make sure your shade props allow air to freely move around your plants, as this helps keep them cool and protected from the heat.
If you’ve noticed your plant’s roots popping up from the soil, it’s because your plants have trained themselves to drink from the surface. Like humans, plants get a bit lazy! If they’re watered a quick few minutes a day, they’ll keep their roots at the surface to get the maximum amount of water, making them sensitive to temperature changes.
Deep watering is the best way to restore and protect plants from the sun, as it trains them to grow deeper into the ground. That way, if you get the odd spell of scorching heat, your plant’s roots will be nicely protected by the cool soil around it.
To train your roots to grow deeper, give your plants a long, deep soak so the water saturates the soil a good foot down. The best way to do this is to get a deep watering tool and stick it into the soil. Once a week, attach the hose to the end and leave the water running for five minutes to get those roots soaking!
Essential tips: Make sure the water is running at half the strength, otherwise it may damage the root system underneath. Also, always check to see whether the soil needs deep watering. If the soil is wet, leave it until the following week and see if it needs it. Giving your plants a good soak before a heatwave is also a good way to protect plants from the sun and heat.
Only Prune in Spring and Autumn
To protect plants from the sun and heat stress, it’s best to do all your pruning in Spring and Autumn. With the weather getting incredibly hot and unbearable during the summer months, many plants will be under stress, and pruning further adds to it. So just let them grow au naturel and prune them back earlier or later in the year.
The only exception: If your plants are susceptible to pests and diseases, like roses, make sure you prune back all the dead foliage and flow heads. This will help them stay much healthier and avoid any nasty pest outbreaks.
Choose your spot carefully
Where you put your plants will affect how much heat they receive. For example, putting them in a South or West facing spot will be much hotter in the summer compared to North and East facing spots.
You also want to avoid placing them where light is reflected from walls and faces, as that’ll intensify the sun and heat exposure. Try to place your plants on lighter colored surfaces or grass, too, as this will stop the soil from heating bottom up.
It’s fair to say that during the summer, our house’s environment drastically changes. If you want to protect indoor summer plants from sun and heat stress, place them away from direct sunlight, move them to a cooler room (North or East facing that still gets bright indirect light), and keep them well watered.
Avoiding AC use
Whilst the temptation to crank up the AC is tempting, this can often be at a cost to the health of your plant’s babies. This is because cold air blowing directly on the plant’s leaves strips them from moisture, and your plant can quickly start to fade, become wilted or start going crispy.
If you can’t avoid using the AC if you can avoid using it in one room, place your most sensitive plants in there. With your other plants, place them strategically around the room, away from direct airflow so they don’t get blasted with cold air.
A cheap and cheerful way is to frequently mist your plants in the morning, or get a pebble tray and sit your plants on top of it. Clustering your plants together during hotter periods is also a great way to increase humidity, as it creates a humid microclimate around them. If you’re using AC, there isn’t much point in using a humidifier
Whether you’re caring for your indoor or outdoor plant babies, following this guide will help your plants get through even the hottest of days. Just remember you don’t always need to buy new fancy equipment, you can make the most out of what you already have and make it creative and fun. And don’t forget, always remember to protect yourself when heading out into the scorching sun!