The weather is finally due to brighten up across the UK and it’s been a welcome change, especially after one of the wettest Mays on record.
And while the parting of the clouds and that very warm ball of yellow in the sky mean more time outside for us, beer gardens and picnics and trips to the beach - it can spell disaster for our leafy friends if they’re not given the right care.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our top four tips to care for your plants - both inside and out - in a heat wave:
Signs your plants are getting too much sun
Although all plants need light and warmth to survive, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
If your plants have droopy stems, have suddenly started flopping over and/or suddenly have brown spots and shrivelled leaves then they’re getting too much sun and need water and shade ASAP.
Stay on top of watering
The best time to water is early in the morning when it is cooler. The moisture will be slower to evaporate, and your plants can get the most of the water you’ve given them, leaving them recharged and hydrated ahead of the heat of the day.
For outdoor plants, check soil regularly – every day if you can – and water if it’s dry at finger depth then it’s time to top up. Remember, it’s better to really drench the soil once every few days, rather than merely dampen the surface daily.
A similar rule applies for our indoor buddies - water when the top layer of soil looks dry. However, if your plant looks fine in the morning and by the afternoon is showing any of the signs of dehydration then you’ll need to have another think about how much water you’re giving and probably increase the amount you’re giving.
Be careful with direct sunlight
Even plants meant for full sun can struggle in the hottest rays of the day in a heatwave. Think about moving potted plants - both indoor and outdoor - into the shade for those very hottest hours around 12pm-2pm.
If your plants are directly in the ground have a think about whether there’s any way to provide them with a bit of shade - do you have a parasol you could shelter them with? Even a cleverly placed wheelie bin could provide a bit of shade during the hottest hours of the day for a vegetable patch or bed.
Keep the humidity up
Heatwaves can go one of two ways - they can either make it really hot and humid, or they can dry out the air. The latter can be a bit of a worry, especially if you have tropical indoor plants like String of hearts/beads/pearls, Snake plants and Calatheas.
These guys like it humid, and usually the humidity in our homes is enough, but in a heatwave if the air is particular dry, it’s a good idea to spray them regularly throughout the heatwave with a mister bottle.
Put mulch or bark down
Putting a layer of bark or compost mulch down throughout your borders will provide a damp layer of insulation that will lock in moisture and help keep your lovely beds hydrated.
It’s particularly important to cover any surface roots to stop them from burning and to be extra generous around vegetables which require a lot of water. And don't forget your pots, too! Large plants can really benefit from a layer of mulch.
A colourful freebie, whilst stocks last!
Do you feel like life has picked up again recently? I am certainly feeling that I have had less time to switch off - it’s almost funny how the tables have turned!
That is why this month’s free gift is aimed at helping you find some mindfulness through colouring. This therapy colouring book should help you switch off and focus on the simple enjoyable task at hand. Colouring has been proven to decrease stress and increase relaxation, similar to working with plants, so we hope you'll feel extra zen this month.
We hope you enjoy your moments of serenity this month. We would love to see your masterpieces so feel free to share them with us on Instagram and Facebook @LazyFloraUK