How to make sure your houseplants survive the heatwave

Depending on your opinion on hot weather, you will either be celebrating or despairing at the thought of this week’s heatwave.

But we all know who won’t be happy about the sudden burst of extreme temperatures – your houseplants.

If you have spent the last few weeks investing in gorgeous, leafy friends to brighten up your home – the impending heat is not going to be welcome news. And your thirsty plants will need even more love and affection as the temperature climbs.

So, if you don’t want a cluster of plant corpses on your hands, there are some things you can do to ensure their survival.

Interior and garden expert Felix Wilson, from, has shared his top tips for keeping your houseplants luscious, happy and, crucially, alive, during this extreme period of weather.

‘The common assumption is that when the UK is experiencing a heatwave, it is best to move houseplants into a cool spot near a fan,’ says Felix.

‘This is actually one of the worst things that you can do. A fan will dehydrate the air around the plant. This robs it of moisture and causes it to shrivel and even die.’

Felix says that the most important thing to do is to water your plants efficiently – and this will lead to a long and healthy life. 

‘Many people approach me with tales on how they cannot keep their house plants alive even though they frequently water them,’ Felix tells us.

‘More than likely, they are not following the proper rules.’

Felix says that these are the critical rules to follow to make sure your plants stay healthy throughout the heatwave:

Water the soil

Yes, it seems obvious however, plant growing novices often water their plants with a watering can directly above its leaves.  Leave the leaves alone and only focus on the soil. 

Plants should be watered with water that is at room temperature. Anything that is to hot or to cold will shock them.

To test if your plant needs watering, check the soil a few inches below the surface.  If that soil is dry then it needs watering. If it is just the surface soil that is dry, wait another day to water it.

Do not let your plant sit in water

This will lead the roots to rot and attract unwanted bugs and flies. 

Remove it from its decorative pot if it has one that does not have holes in the bottom so that it is in its original packaging.  

Once watered, leave to drain, and then place it back in the pot. If the houseplant is too big and heavy for removal, water gradually to ensure that the water reaches the bottom of the pot but does not flood the top.

Water your plants in the evening or early hours of the morning

They prefer being watered in cooler climates and this will also prevent the leaves from burning. It will also ensure that the water will not evaporate to quickly.  

Arm yourself with a spray bottle

Tropical plants such as cactuses, epiphytes and calathea like to be misted in the heat. 

If you do not have a spray bottle, move them to the bathroom when you are taking a shower or having a bath. 

The steam will replicate the humid climates that they are accustomed to.

Don’t place plants directly in the sun

In fact, if you can move them to the coolest room in the house. 

Perhaps close the curtains to keep the room cool.

It is tempting to start pruning your plants in a heatwave as leaves can appear dry and wilted. 

However, they are protecting the plant and proving some shade. It is worth remembering that if the stems are green then it is still alive. 

Pruning will cause stress to the plant and likely to inflict permanent damage.

Do you have any top tips for plants? We want to hear from you.

Get in touch: [email protected]

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