This simple mistake could kill your houseplants this summer - and how to avoid it

Three plants sit on window frame of open bi-fold window of high building in sunlight looking down onto other houses.
Indoor plants have a wealth of benefits -Credit:Getty

With warmer weather on the way, experts are warning Britons of the simple mistake of leaving houseplants in windows.

Indoor plants have a wealth of benefits. From elevating a room to encouraging mindfulness and reducing mould, plants are key for any home, but most owners place them in the wrong levels of sunlight, ultimately causing them to die.

As we see temperatures rise this summer, popular plants such as the peace lily will wither away if left in direct sunlight.

To prevent owners from losing their precious plants over the coming months, Katharine Allison, an expert at Independent Advisor Windows, has listed the plants you must move away from windows, the plants that love the sun, as well as some other considerations to bear in mind.

Plants you must move away from windows:

  • Snake plant

  • Peace lily

  • Lucky bamboo

  • Dracaena

  • Heart leaf

Plants that thrive in windows:

  • Spider plant

  • Aloe vera

  • Basil

  • Jade plant

  • Geranium

Katharine Allison, windows expert at Independent Advisor Windows, said: "Having house plants near windows is a great way to bring the outdoors inside and add life to your home. However, keeping them alive can be a struggle for even the greenest thumbs.

"Having your plants directly next to a window often feels like the safest way to ensure they receive the sunlight they need to stay healthy and grow, but every plant has different needs. And there are several factors to consider when matching your plants to the ideal window in your home."

Top tips for looking after both your plants and your windows

Spider plant.
Spider plants thrive in windows -Credit:Getty

1. Window positioning

The positioning of your windows can significantly impact where you should place different plants throughout your home, as the window's direction will determine how much light it receives and when.

Just like in your garden, south-facing windows will receive the most direct sunlight regardless of the time of day. East-facing windows capture the morning sun, which tends to be a little cooler and less harsh on plants, whereas west-facing windows receive afternoon sunlight which is often warmest. Any north-facing windows will typically receive indirect or diffused light, making them the ideal placement for plants that thrive in low-light conditions, such as ferns and ivy.

2. Window size

The size of your chosen window plays a large role in how much light your plants will receive. Smaller windows won't receive as much light as a floor-length window, and as the sun moves throughout the day, your plants may get "cut off" from the light. If you’re unsure of how much light you get by a certain window, monitor the amount of sunlight at various times throughout the day to determine if your plant is getting enough natural light.

3. Seasonal changes

As the seasons change, so should the position of your houseplants. In the summer the sun sits higher in the sky, meaning that south-facing windows may only get a few hours of sunshine, and the sun won’t reach as far into the room as it does in winter. Additionally, the east and west windows may get several hours of direct sun each day because the days are longer.

4. Humidity

The humidity near windows can be higher than in other parts of your home, especially during summer, due to the direct sunlight. This elevated humidity benefits plants that thrive in high-moisture environments, such as ferns, mosses, and certain tropical species; however, not all plants thrive in these conditions.

Air humidity also typically varies by room. A bathroom or kitchen, for example, will often have high humidity, whereas a living room will tend to have less moisture, meaning you should be strategic in matching your plants to their chosen room. The easiest way to check the humidity in each room is with a hygrometer. The device measures humidity and temperature and is easy to use as a simple thermometer.

5. Consider the Glass Type

Some windows may have coatings or tints that affect the type and intensity of light that passes through. Be aware of these properties and choose plants accordingly. Some plants may thrive better with filtered light from frosted or tinted windows.

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