Summer has been in the country for a good while by now and you've probably noticed: this is your plants' favorite season. But it's also sometimes the hardest. In this blog post we would like to give you some tips, for the health of your plants and your mental health (so you can really get the most out of your holidays - no stress!).
Summer has been in the country for a good while by now and you've probably noticed: this is your plants' favorite season! They make new leaves every week, they grow like never before and happiness splashes off the leaves. (Not happening? Then you may have been too late repotting them - read all about it in this blog post and hurry up, as this is the perfect season to give your plants a little more space).
And even though this is your plants' favorite season, it's also sometimes the hardest. Are you giving them enough water? Isn't the sunlight too harsh? Do you need to move some plants to another spot? And maybe your vacation also comes with a whole lot of stress: how will your plants survive your long stay elsewhere? In this blog post we would like to give you some tips, for the health of your plants and your mental health (so you can really get the most out of your holidays - no stress!).
SUMMER : adjust your routines
It may seem strange - your plants are finally getting enough sunlight and now those girls from GRUUN are going to take a moment to say it's too much. Well ... some plants do like a lot of sunlight, but remember that summer sun, especially coming from south facing windows, is particularly harsh.
Notice your plants' leaves turning a bit brown? It could very well be that they are getting too much sun. Whereas in spring, fall and winter your plant is bound to be happy in a south-facing window, now is the time to move your plant several feet away from the window anyway. The leaves are going to thank you!
Plants that do like full sun? Of course, there are those too, and chances are that at the natural slow pace of the change of seasons, your plants have simply already become accustomed to the higher levels of sunlight. Still having doubts? Rather be safe than sorry: rotate your plant a little every few days. That way you reduce the chance of burns ánd your entire plant gets enough sunlight.
And temperatures? Can it simply get too hot? For some plants being in a greenhouse now is really out of the question, but that has more to do with too much sunlight than with too high temperatures. The chances of your plant being too hot in your living room are slim (unless, of course, you're melting down too). But be careful, as temperature changes are never good for plants. If it stays warmer than 32° for a longer period of time, make sure your plants get refreshment as well. Just like you take care of yourself, don’t forget to give your plants a break of the heat from time to time.
What is a typical summer problem is that your potting soil dries out very quickly. You've probably already noticed that your plants are a little more thirsty than during other seasons. This is partly because the water in your soil evaporates quickly due to the higher temperatures. And also because your plant is growing so fast! So give your babies more water than in other seasons.
Make sure you do it in the morning or evening, when there’s less sunlight. Water on the leaves can cause severe burns, so better to be safe than sorry. Are you afraid of drowning them? Then please know that giving your plants little water more frequently doesn’t really help. This way, only the upper part of your roots get water. You want the whole root system to get wet. Did you drown your plant this way? Then the problem might be a wrong size of pot, or bad quality potting soil. Looking for that more frequent & stable watering? Think about using a Champi or Olla. You can find those in our webshop here.
Okay, temperatures: check. Water: check. Sunlight: check. What else do you need to consider in summer? Humidity is almost always an issue, so keep spraying your plants with fresh water. Just make sure NOT to do this when the sun is full on shining on your plant's leaves - especially with the high UV now, you can bet your leaves will get burned. Same goes for watering your outdoor plants: do this in the evening or morning, when your plants are no longer baking in full sun.
Okay, sun: double check. Anything else you need to consider? Yes... your plants are growing hard right now, and summer is their favorite season because that's when they get the most energy. But, it's also the season in which they use the most energy. Oops. So: give your plants, especially in summer, some extra nutrition on a regular basis. Some plants need a little extra nutrition, especially when they bear fruit or flowers, while other plants (such as cacti or carnivorous plants) should not be given extra nutrition. You can also give too much food to your plants, so it's best to respect the quantity indicated on the packaging. Do you use Botanopia drops? Then two drops per 250 ml of water per week should be enough.
All factors checked before summer? Good job! But now you're leaving on vacation... hmm. What about your green friends?
SUMMER : Vacation, your plants' worst nightmare
Okay okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but your plants are obviously not waiting on total neglect. You, on the other hand, may have been mentally on vacation for a while and obviously want to fully enjoy those few days (or weeks) away. So what can you do to keep your green friends alive during your absence? Fortunately, there's no need to panic: Here are some tips that will make your life & leave easier.
Water: (self)supply your plants with water
Self-sufficiency, we love it. No friends to look after your plants? Or just no friends that are able to NOT kill your plant? Then you probably have more confidence in a system that allows your plant to soak up water itself if needed.
At GRUUN, we have some nice gadgets you can use for this purpose. We have Le Bon Vivant's Champi's & Olla's - age-old technology from the top terracotta shelf that allows water to be slowly released into your potting soil. Tested and approved by the ancient Romans and here at GRUUN we're quite a fan of them too. You can find them here in our webshop.
And then you have the Plantstraws, all the way from faraway Scandinavia. A sleek, timeless design (occasionally in a cheerful color) brings all the necessary water from a reservoir to your plant by means of a wetted string. You can find them here in our webshop.
On social media you can find a lot of tricks to provide a reserve of water for your plants in other ways as well, which they can slowly absorb themselves. Making a gel that dissolves slowly, or perhaps even planting a bottle of water with holes in your potting soil - you can try it all, but be sure to test everything before you leave on your trip. Which makes sense, because then you'll really know if it works and exactly how much water your plant needs from these little systems.
Sun & humidity: move your plants
Want to lower your plants' water needs? Hey, great idea: move them further away from the window. They’ll just really need less water and it's the easiest way to get this right quickly.
Humidity can also become an important factor in the survival of your plants. If you move them, it's best to put them all together. This will be an odd spot, sort of like a plant gathering point, but by doing this you will keep the humidity very high locally. Your plants will thank you!
Do you have some Calatheas, or other plants that like to be watered and stay in high humidity levels? Then a great idea is to put them together under a (transparent!!! They still need light, ha yes) plastic bag. By doing this, you create a kind of mini terrarium: the water that evaporates is held back by the bag and, as the temperatures cool down at the end of the day, the drops alls back down. Just a kind reminder: temperatures may also rise (too high!) in this newly created environment. You can also pour some water on a saucer full of pebbles (as we show you in this video): your plants are not directly in the water, but they can absorb it as soon as it begins to evaporate. Again, this way you keep your humidity at peak levels.
Pretty handy tips and small things you can easily and quickly apply to keep your plants alive. Less stress to go on vacation now, right?