I know a lot of you have been gardening this summer, especially during COVID-19. Here are some tips from Horitculturilist, Melissa Brumm on how to keep your plants alive.
How to Keep Your Potted Plants Alive Through the Summer Heat!
It feels like we forget just how hot July and August can be until they get here. And oh boy do they show up with guns a-blazing!
With temperatures and dew points reaching into the triple digits across the country, we have to take extra care of ourselves to wear sunscreen and drink more water.
The same is true with plants. Well, not the sunscreen part… but the water part! Did you know that the same way we breathe heavier or pant when we’re hot, plants also have a similar function?
It’s called ‘transpiration’ and it’s when water is evaporated out of plant’s leaves through tiny pores. Plants draw water from the soil to use for growth and some of that water escapes through the leaves. When it’s hot out, plants lose a lot more water this way and they need a lot more water in the soil.
How Can I Solve This Problem?
One way is to put more water in the soil without you having to do anything. I love this part because all you have to do is re-use bottles to water your plants.
Whether you’re leaving town for a couple of days or you don’t want to go out and water your plants every day while it’s hot, this is a great way to protect your plants from drying out. And, it’s fun and fulfilling to help the environment while you’re doing it!
First, collect some bottles. Wine bottles work great and are also very easy to obtain. I also used a bourbon and water bottle. If you don’t drink wine, then just use water bottles and other large bottles with length so the water can take time to drain out over time.
But… if you drink wine or bourbon, once you have drunk enough bottles during your COVID-19 Zoom happy hours, you are ready to make them work for you. Simply rinse them out and fill them with water.
Next, dig a small hole with your fingers or a trowel next to the plant.
Block the opening of the bottle with your fingers and tip it upside down into the hole and push it in about two inches deep so it stays. See the picture below.
By doing this, water will release slowly from the bottle as the soil dries out. To get the best use out of this tactic, water your plants BEFORE you put a full bottle of water upside down. Then the soil will already be saturated and your extra bottle of water will start to drain once the soil starts to dry out.
This method works for potted plants, indoor plants, and the garden.
A Few More Methods
If you don’t want to use this method, or you want to try something else. Here are a few more tips and tricks to keep your plants alive.
- Keep plants out of the line of your A/C, it can dehydrate most house plants.
- Watch for bugs! If you see an infestation, treat it with the necessary products.
- Dust your plants. This allows them to absorb more light!
- Remember to fertilize!
- Prune when needed.
- Use mulch to keep your plant’s happy plants! Mulch provides a protective barrier to the soil and can prevent weeds from taking hold of your plants.
I hope all of these tips helped. Happy drinking to you and your plants!
Do you have any questions about how to take care of your potted plants and how to keep your plants alive? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page!
Melissa Brumm is a renaissance woman working as an event producer, web designer, musician, and horticulturist from Madison, Wisconsin. She runs a plant event company called, Horti-Craft which offers fun workshops to create plant-based arts & crafts for the home. She also builds websites for musicians, co-produces Abbey Road on the River, a Beatles, and 60’s inspired music festival, and plays cello in various cover bands.
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