Summer Heat: How to Retreat with Houseplants
Posted on: Thursday, May 10, 2018
When things heat up in the Valley of the Sun and that means hot, hot temperatures. Before it gets too hot, it’s time to start thinking about creating a calm, cool and relaxing retreat from the heat indoors. One of the best ways to escape high temperatures is to sit among fresh houseplants. Keep reading for tips on how to create a hideout from the heat and top plants for hot summer days.
Indoor Retreat from the Heat: What You Need
Once you get inside your home, you want to come down from the heat and relax. While it may be too hot for you to garden, you can still enjoy houseplants and flowers.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a sanctuary in your home. How can you do this? Keep reading for our recommended items you need for a relaxing botanical getaway in your own home.
Selecting Pots for Houseplants
When you buy new houseplants, do you keep them in the plastic containers they come in or transfer them to new pots?
At SummerWinds Nursery, we recommend that you transplant any overgrown plants into new containers that are 1-2 inches larger than the container they have outgrown. In addition to looking out of proportion in a container that's too small, plants that have outgrown their containers become rootbound, can topple over, and grow poorly because there is not enough soil for the plant. As a result, the plant will dry out faster and not receive the water and nutrients it needs for healthy growth. Conversely, if you place a plant in a pot that is larger than the recommended 1-2 inches larger than its existing pot, the soil will stay too moist because the roots have not yet expanded/grown in order to be able to absorb all the moisture being held by the excess soil needed to fill the larger pot. This is also be detrimental to your plant's health and growth.
Along with sizing, it’s important to consider drainage holes! Pick a container that has plenty of holes in the bottom that allow excess water to get out. This is crucial because if water sits at the bottom of the pot, it can cause root rot and kill the plant. When size allows, we recommend watering your plant at the sink (be certain to use a sink waste catcher to ensure any loose soil or plant debris doesn't go down the drain). After you water the plant—using water that is neither hot nor cold, wait for the excess water to drain out into the sink. Once it has stopped dripping into the sink, simply place the plant onto a plant saucer that is under the pot so that it can collect any water runoff. This will help protect your furniture and your flooring. If your plant is large and cannot be watered in your sink, make sure that you don't over water it. Experiment so that you use the right amount of water so the plant receives the water it needs without having excess water in the plant saucer. Check back several minutes after watering to ensure you don't have any water in the plant saucer. If you do, we recommend that you immediately drain the saucer of any excess water so that it does not cause root rot or get reabsorbed by the plant unnecessarily.
If you do choose a decorative container, pay attention to the bottom of the pot; it may or may not have drainage holes. We recommend using a pot that has drainage holes whenever possible. If the pot you want to use doesn’t have drainage holes, be careful to know how much water your plant needs and give it the correct amount so it is not overwatered.
If you are looking for a gorgeous, bright and colorful pot for your houseplants or even stunning decorations, Talavera pottery is the way to go. Stop by your local SummerWinds Nursery for garden balls, planters, wall hangers and more.
Could you use a little help keeping your indoor plants healthy? There are many wonderful products that are designed to help plant owners keep their indoor garden healthy and thriving. Some of our favorites are:
- Never Dry Plant Pal™ by Syndicate – uses a recycled glass bottle filled with water to help control soil hydration. The dry soil conveniently soaks up the water without the fear of overwatering.
- Scheurich Bordy and Froggy Water Reserves – Fill the "bordy" or "froggy" with water through it's beak/mouth. The reserve slowly releases water into dry soil through its clay pointed end for up to four days.
- GrowOya – If your houseplant is large enough, you can use an Oyas pot. The Oyas is buried in the soil, and then filled with water weekly. Water is slowly absorbed by the plant's roots through the terracotta, producing a water savings of up to 70%.
Stop by your local SummerWinds Nursery to explore the wonderful watering aides we have!
Macramé Plant Hangers
Macramé is the art of knotting way, which has become stylish way to hang houseplants! If you lean towards boho-chic, this is a perfect look for you; stop by your SummerWinds Nursery to pick up this fun and stylish plant hanger for your own indoor garden retreat.
When it gets too hot, don’t use your spray bottle on you more than your plants! Some plants prefer a little extra humidity, which is where spray bottles come in. To add humidity to houseplants, HGTV recommends, “Add moisture by grouping plants together, or putting them on top of pebbles in trays or saucers filled with a little water (don’t let the pots touch the water so the roots don’t stay constantly wet). You can also mist your plants or even add a humidifier.”
Including sculptures and figurines is a wonderful way to personalize your area to exactly your needs and tastes. Do you love garden gnomes or cats and butterflies? Whatever you prefer, add it to your indoor summer sanctuary for a fun and pleasing environment.
Have you seen an air plant before? According to Gardeners:
These tropical plants are epiphytes, which means they don't need potting soil and require only minimal care. Tiny scales on their leaves, called trichomes, absorb water and nutrients directly from the air, and even help shade the plant from scorching sun. The plants' "roots" are used only for clinging and do not absorb water and nutrients like earthbound plants.
To best take care of them, Gardeners offers this bit of helpful information:
Air plants do best with at least a few hours of bright, indirect sun daily. Placement within 1 to 3 feet of an east- or west-facing window, or within a foot or two of an artificial light source is ideal. Avoid dimly lit locations.
Succulents are perfect for your summer retreat because they need little water! Make sure you don’t over water them; only give them a drink when the soil is completely dry.
There are all sorts of fun things you can do with succulents; check out our recommendations here!
Chinese Money Houseplant
Are you obsessed with the Chinese Money houseplant on Instagram? This popular plant is gorgeous and can add a fun flair to your space.
Learn more about this viral sensation here.
Houseplants that Cool Your Home
Along with your AC unit, the plants you have in your retreat area can cool your home. Here’s a great list of houseplants from PopSugar than can keep you and your house cool.
1. Aloe Vera
Along with being a great aid in treating sunburns, this plant purifies the air and emits oxygen, which helps to cool the indoor temperature of the air.
2. Snake Plant
This plant is great to help you sleep at night (even more about these plants below) because it emits oxygen at night; it cools the air while you sleep.
This classic houseplant increases oxygen levels in the air, which cools the temperature in your home.
4. Spider Plant
Another traditional houseplant, this one purifies the air and cools it at the same time.
Also known as the Money Plant, Pothos removes formaldehyde in the air and is hard to kill; it’s great for gardening beginners.
6. Boston Fern
This plant is a natural air humidifier and purifier, which is great for keeping air quality high.
7. Areca Palm Tree
This houseplant is an all-star at purifying air, keeping your home’s air clean, cool and humid.
8. Rubber Plant
No matter the size of your home, a rubber plant makes a significance difference in air quality. According to PopSugar, “It releases high levels of oxygen, helping to cool the ambient air temperature, and excels at purifying toxins such as formaldehyde from the air.”
Houseplants to Help You Sleep
Many of us have trouble sleeping when it’s hot; it’s nearly impossible to get comfortable when you’re too hot and tossing and turning. Check out this list of plants that can help you drift off via Simple Most.
This plant is famous for helping people to relax and reduce stress and anxiety; it can also induce sleep. Don’t forget, it has a calming smell, too.
As Simple Most notes, “German researchers found that the scent of jasmine is as effective as Valium and similar drugs for relieving anxiety and promoting sleep.” We’ll keep this next to our bed!
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera makes its way in this post twice! If you’re sensitive to chemicals from cleaning products, this plant purifies the air, leading to a peaceful sleep.
4. English Ivy
Don’t let the heat or even mold stop you from getting a good night’s sleep. English Ivy helps remove the mold in the air, which can lead to better sleep.
Houseplants and Air Conditioners
When you’re escaping from the heat, you’re likely setting up your relaxing area as close to your air conditioner as possible. While this may be good for you, it can be harmful, even deadly to your houseplants. As COOLRAY notes:
Cold temperatures can freeze the cells in a plant, which blocks the natural pathways for water and nutrients. Basically, cold temperatures cause plants to starve. If the color of your plant’s leaves is fading or if the leaves are wilting, it could be because the plant is too close to an air conditioning vent. Cold air blowing directly on plants often strips it of its moisture.
Keep an eye on your houseplants and move them away from the cold air as needed.
Creating a Summer Retreat with Houseplants
Before summer hits and the temperatures really rise, now is the time to create your sanctuary. Head to your local SummerWinds Nursery to get all the houseplants and accessories you need for your retreat. How will you relax?