Summer Pilea Care: Best Tips To Keep Your Plant Fresh And Healthy
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Summer is finally here! While we all love the hot season, the three months ahead might become a challenge for your Pilea. Don't worry! By following this guide, you will get your plant ready to handle the heat.
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Water More Often
Though over-watering is the most efficient way to kill your Pilea, heat and sun cause water to evaporate from the soil at much faster rates. That's why in the summer you want to water your Pilea more often than in the fall or winter.
Check soil moisture level more frequently than usual, either by using a moisture meter or the “finger test” – and water when the soil is dry at 1-2 inches down.
Another key indicator of low moisture levels is when the soil pulls away from the sides of the pot. If there's a gap between the soil and the side of the pot, it's time to rehydrate!
Give water in the early morning or evening, when the sun is least intense – you will avoid water evaporation.
Make sure to give your Pilea a deep watering – if you water too quickly or not enough, only the top of the soil will get wet. Make sure the water is actually absorbed by watering slowly and allowing the plant to soak up excess water in a bowl for 10-20 minutes after watering.
Monitor Humidity Levels
Pilea likes high humidity and should be frequently misted through periods of heat.
Keep in mind that the air conditioning can dry your plant out just as quickly as the sun, so you want to regularly check the humidity in the room by using a moisture monitor.
If you have other plants, group them with your Pilea to turn up the humidity levels.
If you have the space for it, move your Pilea to your bathroom or kitchen where it tends to be more humid.
You can also fill a shallow dish with pebbles and water, and set your Pilea on top to create a little humid micro-climate for your plant.
Even better, consider buying a humidifier: it will easily bring up humidity levels in your home.
Avoid Direct Sun
Pilea can get sunburn exactly as you do. If your Pilea is in a spot that gets bright, direct sunlight, always draw a sheer curtain over the window. Also, remember to rotate your plant once a week so each side can get equal sun exposure.
If you are not sure the light your Pilea is receiving is too hot, place your hand under the light midday. If it is too hot for you, it's probably too hot for your plant as well.
Beware Of Air Drafts
Avoid leaving the A/C on for too long or set the temperature a little higher, and keep Pilea away from A/C units.
Also, do your best to keep Pilea out of the hottest spots in your home, and away from hot air drafts. Make sure the temperature around Pilea stays below 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).
Summer is growing season for Pilea, and feeding the plant every month is essential for its long-term health.
Choose an all-purpose liquid fertilizer with a 20-20-20 NPK ratio. N for nitrogen, P for phosphorus and K for potassium – the three macro-nutrients your Pilea needs. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength and feed your hungry plant regularly!
Don't choose an 80+ °F day to repot your Pilea. Leaves always get damaged during repotting, and the process will cause your plant to get a bit stressed.
Unless extremely necessary, consider repotting your plant on a cooler day, and keep in mind that spring is always the best season to repot your plant.
How To Understand If Your Pilea Is Suffering
Be ready to recognize any sign of stress, so you can catch problems early and stop them before it's too late.
Leaves are curling inward and forming a cup.
Foliage that was once bright green is now looking pale.
You notice brown or yellow patches on leaves or stems.
Leaves are dropping off or getting yellow.
If you notice any of these symptoms, your Pilea could be too close to high-intensity light, or it might be in a spot where temperatures are persistently above 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). Remember to monitor the temperature: not just in the room, but also around the plant, and always maintain enough air circulation.
Maintain constant ventilation and leave enough space between your Pilea and the light source. Place your Pilea near to a North or East-facing window or use sheers or blinds if facing south or west windows.
It's good to prune any dying foliage to boost future growth, but better doing it once the summer is over.
And If You Want To Move Your Pilea Outdoors...
Your Pilea can benefit from time outside if you have some outdoor space. However, keep in mind that a shady spot outside is like the sunniest spot inside, especially in the summer: always keep your Pilea in a shaded area.
Also, you want to make sure the move is gradual: start by placing the plant in the shadiest place you can find for a few hours a day, and then, as days pass by, increase the time the plant spends outside. Always avoid direct sunlight!