Inside-out guest blog - Julia’s Five Top Tips To Keep Your Plants Tip Top

Welcome the inaugural Inside-out guest blog, courtesy of the lovely Julia, who is a plant enthusiast extraordinaire. There is a probably a term for that...(actually, there really is: I just looked it up because I'm a curious creature and I couldn't help myself, and in conclusion she is without doubt 100% an anthophile!)

I have had the pleasure of working with Julia in the past and she has helped me with some potential plant casualties more than once, recently giving me some magical advice to water my boat-dwelling plants - in particular a droopy looking Monstera - with river water (so obvious when you think about it!). They are now loving life again, so I thought 'Who better, to give some top tips on looking after your house plants through summer than Julia?!'. 

So here we are!!

A crowd of at least six plant that reside in one corner of Julia's plant filled bedroom


Julia's Five Top Tips To Keep Your Plants Tip Top Through Summer

 1. Beware of strong sunlight

As the summer months bring stronger sunlight, reconsider the placement of your plants. Whilst some plants may have been happy on a windowsill in the winter and spring, the direct sunlight in the summer may be too intense for them. Personally, I don’t have plants other than succulents, cacti or sansevieria on my windowsill in the summer.

Equally, do not be tempted to give your plants a sunbathing session outside. The sunlight is much more intense than what plants receive indoors, so the quick shift will leave your plants very prone to sunburn. Some may benefit from being moved outdoors for the summer; however, the shift should be gradual, slowly exposing them to more sunlight. I would advise taking your plant back indoors for the night when you first start acclimatising it to outdoor conditions. If you do let your plant live outdoors during the summer, beware of environmental factors such as excessive wind, rain, and pests. For the latter, I recommend thoroughly checking your plant and giving it a pest treatment before reintroducing it to your indoor environment, to prevent pests from infesting your other indoor plants.

2. Fertilise unless there is a heatwave

For most plants, spring and summer are when they do most of their growing. This is the time of year when you should give them an energy boost to support this growth. If you are experiencing small, leggy growth, not enough fertiliser could be one of the possible issues.

However, beware of heatwaves, when plants put effort into coping with the high temperatures instead of taking in nutrients. Instead, wait until slightly cooler days to start fertilising again.

Also, be careful not to overfertilise, as this can lead to irreversible damage. Always follow the instructions and, if in doubt, dilute the fertiliser slightly more than instructed.

3. Worried about pests? Use diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic way to prevent pests on houseplants. I add it into my soil mixes and, if I’m a bit more concerned, I will also sprinkle some on top of the soil.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is considered safe around animals and children, although it can cause lung irritation when you breathe it in, so be careful when handling the powder.

I limit my use of diatomaceous earth to indoors only. As it is so effective against pests, it can sadly also hurt beneficial insects, such as pollinators.

4. Keep plants hydrated

Unsurprisingly, increased heat means that soil dries much faster than in the colder months. Make sure you are checking your plants more frequently. If your plant’s leaves start to curl or droop and their soil seems dry, give the soil a good soak.

There are a few mistakes you should try to avoid:

  • Do not water your plants with cold water. This is not helping the plant ‘cool down’ and, instead, could put them into shock. Try to use water that is at room temperature.
  • Avoid misting your plants. Despite how satisfying this seems, it is likely to do more damage than good for your plant. Misting does very little to increase humidity around your plants. Instead, if the water lingers on your leaves for a little too long, it can encourage infections.
  • Avoid tap water, if possible, as this can lead to yellowing leaves. I use water from my water filtering jug, but you could also use distilled or rain water. Alternatively, you could fill up your watering can with tap water and leave it overnight, as this can allow time for some of the harmful chemicals to evaporate.

Despite plants needing water more frequently in the summer months, remember that it’s better to underwater than overwater. Always check how dry your soil is before watering. It can vary from plant to plant but, generally, I would not advise watering if the top two inches of the soil are still moist.

5. Beware of air conditioning

Plants thrive in heat and humidity, which are the two things that air conditioning is designed to regulate to keep them to a minimum. Therefore, avoid placing your plants too close to air conditioning.


Julia's Bio

Julia is a university student and a marketing and communications professional, working in the charity sector. Passionate about animal welfare, she is a vegan and mum of a yorkie named Adi and a cat called Bella. Julia also volunteers for her local Cats Protection branch and is due to go on a trekking challenge in September to raise funds for the branch. She also loves everything to do with nature, hence she has tried to bring home as much of it as possible, by filling every spare corner with a house plant.

Five photos: Julia with tropical yellow flower, one of her pot plants, Adi her dog, another pot plant, and walking down a plant lined path on holiday

I'm always looking for interesting new things and fabulous people, to focus in on. So, if you'd like to feature on the Found by Dawn blog, social media and inner circle monthly email, drop me an email today.

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