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How to save a stressed out indoor plant that's struggling in the heat

By Amy Lyall|

With the heat and humidity much of Australia has been experiencing lately, your indoor plants might be struggling.

If you've found your plants are looking a bit sad C or let's be real, almost dead C don't give up hope just yet.

From what you should be doing to what you need to avoid, here are some really easy tips to help save your plants from a summery death.

READ MORE: A piece of rubbish could be the secret to thriving houseplants?

Move your plant

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Yellow or white leaves on indoor plants are a sign of sunburn. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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We all know that plants thrive in different conditions and while some do enjoy sunlight, too much of it can be harmful. One of the easiest ways to spot if your plant is getting too much sun is sunburn.

If you've noticed the edges of the leaves of your indoor plants have started to turn yellow or white, it's sunburn. Unfortunately it only takes a few hours for sunburn to kick in and there's not much you can do once the damage has been done.

Instead, move your plant to a new position, ideally out of harsh sunlight or away from areas in your home that really heat up throughout the day.

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Put down the watering can

If your plant is looking a bit sad, your first instinct is probably that it needs a big drink of water. But unfortunately going too heavy on this can do more harm than good.

Some plants may look like they need a drink, but a trusty check of the soil should tell you if you really need to do it. Stick your finger in the soil and if it's dry an inch or so into the pot, a bit of water is OK, if it feels moist, you don't need to give it a refresh.

Be mindful with how you water too. Going too hard and fast can drown your plants, instead water slowly, letting the plant drink up the water slowly.

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indoor plants
Always check the soil before watering indoor plants as it might look dry but could still be moist. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Now is not the time to trim dead leaves

You can't escape a few leaves or stems dying over time, but if you're thinking of a bit of pruning while your plant is struggling, stop right now. Firstly, because what you're going to cut off might not actually be dead and when the weather calms down it could perk back up.

Pruning can cause a bit of stress to a plant anyway, so let the plant calm down and the weather settle before going in for a trim.

READ MORE: The big indoor plant mistake you're probably making

Yellow leaf being cut off an indoor plant.
Wait until after the heat lets up before starting to trim in case the plant perks up. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Don't fertilise during a heat wave

Fertilising your plant is essential to keeping it happy and healthy, but if you've got a stressed out plant on your hands it's not going to end well.

When your plant is in summer survival mode it's not looking for extra nutrients or prepared to use them, and adding a fertiliser to your soil can just stress the plant out further. Instead, wait until the weather cools down a bit before adding in some fertiliser.

READ MORE: Fans to help you keep your cool in summer

Humidity is your friend

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Some plants love humidity and a gentle spritz of water is a great option. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

While we might enjoy sitting indoors with the air-conditioning blasting as the temperature spikes, your plants don't feel the same.

Pumping the air-conditioning can dry out the air and if you've got plants that thrive on humidity they are going to struggle. If you do have indoor plants that love a humid environment, misting them throughout the day can help keep them happy (and it'll help refresh them with no risk of overwatering).

Another option is filling a shallow dish with pebbles and a little water, and placing your plant on top to create an environment that will provide humidity and help your plants through summer.

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