5 images: houseplants with humidifier, watering can, a moisture meter, a woman smiling, and someone setting the thermostat to 70 F.

Summer Houseplant Care: Thriving with Air Conditioning

During the hot days of summer many of us retreat from the heat to enjoy the cool comforts of home.  Having houseplants can be a wonderful way to experience nature even while you're indoors. But, keeping your house cool can present some challenges for our potted friends. Here are some practical tips to keep your houseplants healthy and happy—even with the air conditioner on!

1. Watering

  • Check Soil Moisture: Regularly check your plant's soil moisture by using a moisture meter to determine if your plant needs more water.
  • Deep Watering: Generally speaking, when watering, do so thoroughly until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. This ensures the roots get enough moisture. Make sure excess water drains out of the pots so that your plants' roots aren't standing in water—which can cause a variety of problems.
  • Frequency: How often and how much water your plant requires depends on the variety of houseplant. For example, succulents and cacti need less frequent watering compared to tropical plants.

2. Humidity

  • Use a Humidifier: Place a humidifier near your plants to combat the drying effects of air conditioning.
  • Pebble Trays: Set plants on trays filled with pebbles and water. As the water evaporates, it increases humidity around the plants.
  • Mist the Leaves: For tropical plants, lightly mist the leaves with water a few times a week to maintain moisture levels.

mossify led plant light for houseplant showing product highlights3. Lighting

  • Bright, Indirect Light: Place plants that prefer bright light near windows—but out of direct sunlight to avoid leaf scorch.
  • Low-Light Plants: For plants that thrive in low light—such as ferns or pothos, keep them in shaded areas away from intense sunlight.
  • Artificial Lighting: Consider using grow lights to supplement natural light, especially if the air conditioning affects natural light exposure.  Your local SummerWinds Nursery sells Light & Moisture Meters to help determine if your houseplants are getting the light and water they need.

Tip: Did you know that lighting is the first aspect of plant care that should be considered? Without the proper lighting, your plant won't thrive...

4. Temperature Control

  • Avoid Drafts: Keep plants away from direct blasts of cold air from vents. Sudden temperature changes can stress plants.
  • Consistent Temperature: Aim to maintain a stable indoor temperature between 70-75°F (21-24°C).

An unpotted houseplant on a table between 2 different sizes of nursery pots.5. Soil & Potting

  • Well-Draining Soil: Ensure all plants are in well-draining soil to prevent root rot. You may need to repot plants in soil mixes suited to their plant type (e.g., cactus mix for succulents).
  • Drainage Holes: Make sure pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.  

Tip: If you have favorite pots without drainage holes, we recommend replanting your houseplants into nursery pots with drainage holes. Use these nursery pots as liners inside your decorative pots for easy watering. After watering, simply slip the nursery pot back into your favorite pot. 

6. Fertilizing & Essential Nutrients

  • Regular Feeding: During the growing season, feed your plants with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every 4-6 weeks; follow the specific instructions for each plant type. Your local SummerWinds Nursery has a variety of houseplant fertilizers to choose from.
  • Reduce in Winter: Cut back on fertilizing in the fall and winter when plants typically enter a dormant phase.

Tip: Did you know that houseplants can also benefit from essential nutrients like those found in hakki Organics' Houseplant Bliss. It's like a probiotic... for plants!

Houseplant with Scale Pests on Leaves.7. Monitoring for Pests

  • Regular Inspections: Check plants regularly for signs of pests like spider mites, aphids, and scale. Look under leaves and at the base of stems.
  • Prompt Treatment: Use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or other appropriate treatments if pests are found.

8. Air Circulation

  • Ensure Good Airflow: Use a fan to promote air circulation around your plants, which helps prevent mold and mildew.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Give each plant enough space to allow air to circulate freely around them.

9. Pruning and Maintenance

  • Remove Dead Leaves: Regularly trim off dead or yellowing leaves to encourage new growth and prevent disease.
  • Support Growth: Use stakes or supports for tall or vining plants to keep them upright and healthy.

Houseplant Accessories & Tools

Follow these tailored tips to ensure your houseplants thrive during our hot summer months in the Valley of the Sun!

Questions or need help troubleshooting? Talk with a Trusted Garden Advisor at your favorite SummerWinds Nursery location... We're always happy to help!

At SummerWinds, We Guarantee Success!