If you’ve got a garden, chances are the heatwave is stressing you out a little at the moment.
And if you’ve got potted plants – even so much as a balcony box – it turns out that the stark warnings continue.
Here’s why you probably need to move your plant pots ASAP, where to put them, and what you can do if your soil is already dried out.
Direct sunlight is too much for your leaf baby’s soil
Anyone who’s spent a sweaty night tossing and turning lately will know how distressing this heat can be.
And yes, your plants feel the same way.
Just as you’re probably hiding out in the coolest, shadiest parts of your home right now, your plants need somewhere to hide from the heat too – if not, they risk dehydration.
“Container plants will be the first to dry out in a heatwave so you need to take extra care to ensure they do not perish in especially hot spells,” gardening expert Rachel Crowe told Home & Gardens.
This is because “The small soil space and the construction of the pot mean the container stores very little moisture.”
That means that if your potted plant is facing direct sunlight and heat right now, you’ll need to move it to a shady area immediately.
As Crowe says, it’s important to ensure your plants “will be protected from the heat of the midday sun.”
OK, is any shade good?
Yes – any shelter is better than direct heat.
But bringing your potted plants to a completely different area – i.e. by bringing outdoor plants indoors and vice versa – can shock them, leading them to get burnt or stop growing.
Experts also recommend making sure your pot is sturdy before you move it, monitoring your potted plant after shifting it around, and making sure its new environment is comfortable and easy to water in.
What can I do if my potted plant is already drying out?
If your beloved plant is already stressed, fear not – there are some tips to help you revive drying soil.
“If your plant has dried out because you forgot to water it or it has got too much sun, the first thing to do is place the whole pot in some water and thoroughly soak it,” says Houseplants Corner – though you’ll want to double-check that this is appropriate for your plant, and only use it as a last resort.
If your plant is looking a little more lively, experts recommend trimming away any dead matter and watering the soil according to your species’ specific irrigation needs.
It’s also worth looking into buying a moisture gauge, so you can check if your plant’s soil is over- or underwatered.
In the meantime, though, take your plants out of that direct sunlight ASAP.