Temperature Guide

Temperature and House Plants

Temperature gageTemperature is an easy topic to get right most of the time. Simply because if it's too hot or too cold for us, then it's more than likely the same story for our house plants. The general rule to follow is that when the plant is growing it needs to be relatively warm, and when it's resting (normally in the Winter months) it likes a slightly cooler temperature.

No house plant likes very cold conditions and even the briefest exposure to frost can be fatal. As with everything to do with plants there are exceptions and if you want the exact range for your particular plant, head over to the Plant Hub.

When nature doesn't get its way (too Hot)

As mentioned in the introduction, Winter is normally the time for rest and cooler temperatures and this is achieved naturally due to the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun during this time of the year. However you may run into difficulties if you like your home as warm as Summer in Winter, or you pick a spot that is just too hot for your plant to cope with.

Hot Spots

Central heating can dry out the air dramatically and therefore decrease humidity. Our humidity guide provides some solutions to reduce the negative effects of this. Other hot spots can be created by your choice of location:

Location

Where you decide to put your plant plays a big part in regard to the temperature it experiences. The area near a South facing window will heat up massively if the window has no shields i.e. from a blind. Unless you have chosen your plant carefully this amount of light along with the generated heat that comes with it could be too much. Our light guide talks about the benefits and pitfalls of North, East, South and West facing aspects.

The effects of too much heat

  • Wilting leaves.
  • Flowers fade rapidly.
  • Edges of leaves dry up and become crispy.
  • Constantly needing water.
  • Active growth in Winter which becomes spindly or in anyway different to what you see at other times of the year.


When nature doesn't get its way (too Cold)

You might get away with a too hot temperature for a while, but plants can be less forgiving if things turn cold for any great length of time.

Cold Spots

The most common cold spot in homes is the window ledge at night. Between the window itself and any type of curtain you might have. This creates a pocket of air that can become very cold in WInter (or on the flip side, very hot in Summer).

Location

North facing windows and the rooms they light up are typically cooler than any other aspect. Rooms with other aspects can be also be cool if they are un lived in for much of the day, have small windows or for some other reason don't get a great deal of natural light, such as in a dark corridor. If you have located your plant outdoors during the Summer be sure to bring them back inside before the first frost. That first bout of freezing can literally turn your prized specimen into a mushy slimy mess overnight.

The effects of too little heat

  • Leaves curl.
  • Leaves fall off.
  • Plant death, especially if left outside or trapped in a frosty zone between window and curtain.
  • Rarely need to water the plant but the soil is constantly damp and develops mold or fungus.
  • Very little growth.

Let's get it right

If you think the temperature is wrong, the easiest solution to remedy matters is to do one of the following:

  • Move the plant to a warmer / cooler spot.
  • If this isn't practical consider ways in which you can alter the temperature. Such as increasing the heat, or providing more ventilation to reduce the temperature.

Also on OurHousePlants.com

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