How to Care for Indoor Plants During Warmer Weather

Updated on March 23, 2018
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna writes about the care of plants (indoors, outdoors, and in gardens). She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.

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How to Keep Your Indoor Plants Healthy

Plants need more water in the growing seasons—spring and summer. But don’t assume your indoor plants need more water just because it is summer. Keeping your indoor plants healthy in an air-conditioned house means they may need less water than you would think.

The best method I use is to examine my plants every three to four days at the beginning of any seasonal change. Your water awareness will gradually grow as the new season changes.

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Indoor Plants Like Drying Out

Knowing when your indoor plants need water during the seasonal changes is an ability to sense moisture with your index finger. The majority of the indoor plants like drying out on the top layer of the soil, which is approximately a half to one inch deep. You stick your finger about a half to one inch deep into the soil. If you feel moisture on your finger, the plant is fine and doesn't need watering. If you insert your finger into the soil and it is dry, your plant needs water.

There are exceptions to the rule where a few indoor plants like to go arid dry or stay soggy wet. Let’s keep to the rule for the majority of indoor plants. If the plant needs more water, proceed in watering your plant. If it is moist to the touch, you reexamine the plant in a couple of days.

Soon, you will know your plants' watering habits and know how often they need to be watered. But still, check the moisture before you water.

“I saw that animals were important. I saw that plants were even more important. I was also to learn that compared to many of the other species, we weren't important at all except for the damage we do. We do not rule the natural world, despite our conspicuous position in it. On the contrary, it is our lifeline, and we do well to try to understand its rules.”

— Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World
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Avoid Direct Sunlight

Just like humans, indoor plants get sunburned. Bright hot sun on an indoor plant will surely scorch the foliage leaves. Consider this: If you are cleaning the indoor plant or repotting them outdoors, make sure you are doing the task during the cooler periods of the day and in the shade. It is important your indoor plants avoid direct sunlight.

Imagine losing a beautiful dracaena because you were repotting at 10:30 in the morning when the sun was too hot (even in the shade), and the dear plant perishes a week later.

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Both Short and Tall Indoor Plants

During warmer weather, the sun tends to have an insidious effect on the indoor plants. Even if the plants are in the sun for a few minutes, hours later, the sunburn spots appear on the surface. By then, it is too late. The plants are damaged, and there is nothing you can do but give them kind words of apology.

Heat can have a debilitating effect on both short and tall indoor plants when sudden changes in the weather occur. During the spring, pay attention to the fluctuating weather, and use the thermostat so you can maintain an even temperature indoors.

Glass windows magnify heat, and as the days become longer the sun gets closer to the planet in your region. You need to move your plants away from the windows.This will ensure they will not get sunburned and overheated.

Indoor Plant Care

If you are going away for more than a day, don’t overlook the care of your indoor plants. It is best to set your thermostat at 70 – 75 to avoid unexpected or a dreadful outcome of a sudden rise in temperature. A sudden change in temperature can adversely affect plants indoors or outdoors.

Helpful Summer Care Tips

We have hit the century mark. Summer is here and the season is changing. It is important that you are aware of how the heat affects your plants. Here are some helpful tips that I use to keep my plants happy.

  • Indoor Plants need more water during the growing seasons, spring and summer. In air-conditioned spaces, you may need less water.
  • Keep your plants away for air-condition vents. Cold dry air blowing constantly is not good for the plant. Though, swamp coolers provide humidity.
  • Just like people, plants get sunburned. If you clean the plants or repot them outdoors, make sure you do it during cool periods of the day or in the shade.
  • Glass windows magnify heat. Don't forget to move your plants away from the windows.
  • Cut some of your plants' branches or vines back to promote branching out in multiples. Then, they can stay bushy in the ensuing seasons.
  • If you are going away for more than a day, avoid a starting outcome of sudden change in temperature. Set your thermostat at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Healthy Growth

With the above information in mind, you can enjoy having the best indoor plants with the treasures of healthy growth. You can even cut back some of your plants’ branches or vines. That way, they will stay bushy in the remaining seasons.

Questions & Answers

  • My family and I are going on vacation for a week. It gets pretty hot in central California. I would like to leave the A/C off. Will leaving the A/C off harm my Kentia Palm?

    Kentia palms make great houseplants. They are majestic and add beauty to any home. From your question, it sounds like your palm is used to having the A/C on in your home. I would maintain that while on your week vacation. You can set the temperature about 3 - 5 degrees warmer than what is usual for your home. If you normally keep your home at 77 - 79 degrees then set your thermostat to 80 - 84 degrees. I would invest in a self-watering system, but start the self-watering system a week or two before you leave to make sure the plant is acclimated to the new watering system.

© 2018 Kenna McHugh

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    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      2 weeks ago from Birmingham

      KM - We have aloe vera plants, the mint plant (mentha), lavender and also the Naga chilly plant if you're familiar with it.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      2 weeks ago from Northern California

      Zia, Thank you for the encouraging comments. I am sure your plants have forgiven you. : ) You're welcome. I am happy to help. Though, I am curious as to what kind of indoor plants you have in your home.

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      2 weeks ago from Birmingham

      Love this hub, will come in handy for me. I guess i owe my plants an apology for leaving it next to the window where the sun shines through the most. Thanks again.

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