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Why Too Much of a Cool Thing Is Bad for Houseplants

A philodendron birkin houseplant in a white pot sitting on a table.
Monster e/Shutterstock

If you’re generally a good plant parent, but yours seem to be suffering recently, it might be for one simple reason. With the weather heating up, fans and air conditioners are back in full force, and those indoor winds aren’t great for foliage.

Daniel Bruce, CEO of Nature by Letterbox, explained that fans and cold winds can actually spell death for plants. Those who are concerned about their plants being exposed to too much heat might even place them in front of cold air, which is never a good idea.

“Many plants—especially tropical ones—don’t work well with dry, cold air on their foliage,” Bruce said in an interview with Real Homes. “So, a fan (or worse, an AC unit) will deny your plant the room temperature and moisture it needs to thrive.”

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to suffer and endure the heat just for the health of your plants. Having a fan or your AC on in the same room as a plant is just fine. Just avoid grouping your plants too close together or too close to fans or vents. You don’t want your foliage to be directly in the path of the cool air.

In fact, according to Anna Waterfield, founder of Plant Pet Club, having some circulating air in a room creates a more greenhouse-like effect.

If this advice comes too late, you might want to start over with a few plants that anyone can keep alive.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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