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It’s Summertime. That means steamy evenings rocking on the porch, patio, or deck with your houseplants and containers gathered all around. Summer means soaring temperatures, beating sun, and flash thunderstorms. Absolutely, you want to send your houseplants outside when temperatures allow. And definitely, you want to surround yourself with containers spilling with flowers. But you also want to play the good host while your plants are at outside summer camp. Make sure your houseplants get the treatment they deserve.

Heatwave Houseplant First Aid

When the thermometer shoots up, your houseplants might need a little extra care. Although your begonia was basking on the table throughout spring and early summer, you should give its situation another quick assessment as the sun moves and temperatures rise. Check for leaves that are melting in high humidity, and quickly/thoroughly remove any casualties. Check flowering plants for fungus on spent flower stalks and yesterday’s blossoms. Whisk any schmutz away pronto. When removing yucky stuff, use a handkerchief or bandana that will contain any spores and keep issues from spreading. Remove yellow leaves before they become a problem.

Location, Location, Location

            Now would be a good time to make sure houseplants are getting the water they need…but not to the point of drowning. Make sure that containers are well-drained and nobody is sitting under a drip (roofs can be hot, hot, HOT; water that runs off roofs in a thunderstorm can scorch leaves in a blink). Make sure drainage holes are free to do their duty by raising up containers on plant “feet,” if necessary. And if a plant has really large and delicate leaves that could easily be ruined in a deluge or hail storm, keep that baby indoors or protected by a covered porch. Remember that a sunny day in midsummer can be twice as stressful for your plants compared to sunny spring or autumn weather.

Rain Dances

When it rains, you should pour. Rain is wonderful for your potted plants in small, periodic doses. All those houseplants that you’ve sent outdoors will lap it up, saving you lots of time wielding the hose. But when rain showers pound down hour after hour and day after day, they begin to wash the nutrients out of your soil. That’s when you need to come to the rescue with a feeding of liquid fertilizer such as Coast of Maine Liquid Kelp All Purpose Plant Food. Just dilute it according to directions and water it in—simple as that. The extra zing will keep your plants going strong until it’s time to bring them inside again.

While you’re at it, check the soil levels on your houseplants because heavy rain can wash potting soil out of containers. When soil levels are low, top off to an inch below the rim of the pot using Coast of Maine Organic Bar Harbor Blend Potting Soil.

Give Promotions Now

The best time to repot houseplants is now. Give houseplants a head start growing into larger containers before autumn by checking to see if root systems have filled their container. Don’t go crazy with the promotions. Just give them a container that is an inch or two larger than their current pot. And of course, pack that pot with Coast of Maine Organic Bar Harbor Blend Potting Soil. Hopefully, we’ll have plenty of warm weather left for your plants to send roots into their graduated home before frost puts the outdoor growing season to bed. Meanwhile, enjoy your moments in the sun.

Written by award winning author, Tovah Martin.  Photos also taken by Tovah Martin.  Find her books and more information on her website: tovahmartin.com.

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