Hot or Cold? How Soil Temperature Affects Houseplants
- by Leah Hiller
Let's be real, your indoor plants aren't just a pretty face! In fact, what's happening below the surface is just as important as those leafy greens and vibrant flowers. Yep, we're talking about soil temperature! If the temperature is off, it can cause some serious problems and limit your plant's growth potential.
Let’s delve “beneath the surface” of soil temperature and discuss how both hot and cold temperatures can impact your plant. Plus, you’ll learn some helpful tips on how you can keep your plant's soil at the perfect temperature for optimal growth.
What’s the Problem with Cold Soil?
Living in a small home has its challenges, and our houseplants are no exception! Even small changes in their environment can have significant impacts on their health. Most houseplants prefer a soil temperature between 15-24°C/65-75°F.
When the soil temperature drops too low, it can slow down the plant's metabolic processes such as nutrient absorption and photosynthesis, resulting in stunted growth for both roots and leaves, delayed flowering, and reduced fruit or seed production. It's a tough life being a plant!
Temperature also plays a crucial role in seed germination, and if the temperature is too low, the seeds will remain dormant.
What’s the Trouble with Hot Soil?
When the temperature gets too hot, it's not just uncomfortable for you, but it can be harmful to your plants too. High temperatures can cause plants to lose too much water through transpiration, leading to wilting and even death in severe cases.
On top of that, warm soil can create a breeding ground for harmful microorganisms, putting your plant at risk for root rot. High temperatures can also reduce the amount of oxygen in the soil, hindering root growth and nutrient absorption.
Just like cold temperatures, high temperatures can have negative effects on seed germination. If the soil temperature is too high, seeds may become damaged or not germinate at all. Each plant species has a preferred temperature range for germination, and the appropriate temperature is essential for successful germination.
So, What Can You Do About It?
Maintaining the perfect soil temperature for your indoor plants may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be! Check out these tips from the creators of the Plantee smart indoor greenhouse to help make it easier.
Monitor the Soil Temperature
To ensure that your indoor plant's soil temperature is just right, the first step is to monitor it regularly. This can be done using a soil thermometer, which allows you to check that the temperature falls within the ideal range for your particular plant species.
Adjust Your Watering Frequency
Consider adjusting the frequency of watering. If the soil temperature is too low, watering the plant less frequently may help. On the other hand, if the soil temperature is too high, watering the plant more often can help cool the soil down.
Change the Soil Type
Yes, even your type of soil can affect its own temperature. If our other tips aren’t helping, try changing your plant’s soil to one that retains more or less heat.
Repot Your Plant
The size of the container your plant is in can also affect the soil temperature. Smaller containers tend to heat up more quickly than larger ones.
Relocate Your Plant
Try changing the location of your indoor plant. If your plant is too close to a heat source, you can move it further away. Better air circulation in a different location can also help to regulate the temperature.
Monitoring Soil Temp Made Easy
Don’t go it alone! There are helpful tools available to make monitoring your plant’s soil temperature easy as pie. Here are just a few:
- soil thermometer – a soil thermometer is the perfect inexpensive tool for regular soil temperature checks
- heating mats – placing a heating mat under the plant container can help warm up your plant’s soil, just be sure it doesn’t get too hot!
- cooling fans – you shouldn’t blow air directly onto your plant, but fans can help create circulation and regulate the air temperature which in turn will help cool your houseplant
- Plantee – Plantee is a smart indoor greenhouse with a custom-made soil heater designed to create the perfect soil environment for your exact plant!
Eliminate the Negative Effects of Soil Temperature with Plantee
Maintaining the perfect soil temperature for your indoor plants can be a challenge, but with Plantee's custom-made soil heater, you can create the ideal environment for your plants to grow and thrive.
Plantee's heater board delivers just the right amount of heat for optimal root growth and development, ensuring a happy and flourishing houseplant. With Plantee's temperature probe, you can be certain that your plant’s roots won't be too cold or too hot. Don't wait any longer to give your indoor plants the perfect home in Plantee!