Most of us struggle with plant care in the monsoon. While some of our plant babies are lost to overwatering/flooding, we also lose plants to pests and physical damage due to strong winds and rain. We understand how heartbreaking it is to lose a plant that you have tended to for the better part of the year. So we have prepared a comprehensive guide to help you take care of your plants during the monsoon.
One of the four major seasons very particular to the Indian subcontinent, monsoons play a very important role in the horticultural world. Monsoon in India is directly equated to months of heavy tropical rain, lower temperature, low sunlight, and an extremely humid climate.
The standard months of monsoon in India are June to September, and while the southern part of the country gets more rain than the northern part, the monsoon departs completely by October. It’s in these 5 months (give or take) that we need to care for our garden more.
How does the monsoon affect plants?
Monsoon is essential for the replenishing of natural water bodies and groundwater tables, for the flora it spells new growth. Plants love the rains, the temperature is optimum, the air is humid making the leaves plumper, everything is clean, and the plants are happy. While the rains are great for outdoor plants as the excess water always runs off, it’s the home gardeners who suffer in the rains. So here are some tips to take care of your plant in the monsoon.
How to care for your indoor plants during Monsoon?
- If your plants are out in open spaces like patios, balconies, or terraces, move them to an area where they get the right amount of rain and not drown in it.
- If you don’t have a sheltered space outdoors, consider erecting a makeshift shelter for your plants with either green horticultural shade, or thin transparent plastic sheets that allows light to reach the plants but not too much water.
- To protect your outdoor potted plants against heavy rain and strong rain, huddle them up in a corner with the delicate plant closer to the wall and the taller sturdier plant forming the outer protective boundary.
- In the monsoon season, the light intensity is very low on most days. Bring your indoor plant closer to the natural source of light (doors, windows) to make the best of whatever light is available.
- If you have some exotic plants and you get almost no light in your home in these months, consider buying a grow light. You can group together your most light-sensitive plants and use one grow light for them.
- Before monsoon truly sets in, make sure that all your plants are potted in well-draining potting mixes to avoid excessive storage of water in them. Loamy soil will take more time to dry out, essentially flooding the roots and causing ng root rot. Ugaoo Pot-o-mix is a great option for this.
- Water your plants only when the top 3 inches are dry to touch. While this is a blanket rule for all tropical plants, keep your desert plants out of the rain. Shift them to a dry corner of your home and water only when the potting mix is dry till the bottom of the planter.
- Keep your plants well-ventilated and avoid wetting the foliage of your indoor plant while watering. With the air already humid, it is a breeding ground for fungal infestation and other pests. So keep the foliage dry while watering.
- Spray your plants, both indoor and outdoor, with neem oil solution every two weeks. Rain also means pests, so every chance you get, when the rain stops for at least 5-6 hours, spray your plants with a neem oil solution. At Least once in 2 weeks.
- Rain means weeds springing free from the ground. Uproot the weeds as soon as they start popping up. Weeds use up the nutrients meant for the plants and need to be removed before they take over the entire garden.
- Try staking the delicate plants to give them support during heavy winds and rains.
- If you see gnats (small flying insects) on your topsoil due to constant moisture, upturn your topsoil and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon or spray neem oil to keep them at bay.
- Regularly empty out the base plate of your plans to avoid water stagnation.
- Remove dead foliage that breaks down due to the rain as soon as possible so that it does not decay and becomes a fostering ground for insects and worms.
- Use a thin metal skewer or a similar thing to poke holes into the potting mix from time to time. This allows extra water to drain quicker and avoid waterlogging.
The best Indoor plants for monsoon
While rains are great for almost all plants if proper care is taken to avoid overwatering. There are some monsoon plants for a home that enjoy the rain more than the others. Some of Ugaoo’s best selling indoor plants that thrive in the rain are as follows:
- Anthurium: Also known as the flamingo plant, the anthurium loves rain. It grows rapidly, shooting new leaves and flowers in these 4 months.
- Ixora: a flowering plant for Indian monsoons, the Ixora flourishes in the monsoon.
- Fern: Ferns and rain go hand in hand. Fern seems to flourish in rain and if you have them planted in a well-draining semi-epiphytic potting mix, you can leave them out in the rain and they will thank you for it.
- Trailing philodendron varieties – Philodendrons love the rain, Just give them a well-draining potting mix and they will live their best life.
- Fittonia: The ‘drama queen’ of the plant world is a monsoon baby. They rank right next to the fern in how good they do in rains
- Green ivy: Ivy does very well in monsoon with rapidly growing new leaves.
- Bird of paradise: They love the rain, make sure to give them ample light and they will reward you with stunning flowers.
- Peace lily: This NASA-certified air-purifier loves the humid climate and flowers profusely, just give it good light.