Gardening enthusiasts and novices alike know that houseplants can provide a sense of peace and calm to any indoor space. However, in regions where temperatures can soar, choosing the right plant can pose a challenge.
Heat and direct sunlight can cause significant harm to houseplants, potentially leading to damage known as “sunscorch” or “leaf scorch.” When exposed to excessively high temperatures or intense sunlight, the plant’s cells may begin to break down.
Biologically, excessive heat can disrupt the process of photosynthesis, the mechanism by which plants produce food from light, water, and carbon dioxide. High temperatures can cause the plant’s stomata – small pores used for gas exchange – to close, hindering the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and respire. This can lead to reduced growth and can impair the plant’s overall health.
Furthermore, intense sunlight can cause photoinhibition, where the rate of light absorption exceeds the plant’s ability to utilize the light in photosynthesis. This can damage the photosynthetic machinery of the plant, particularly the chloroplasts, leading to a reduction in the plant’s energy production.
Visible signs of heat or sun damage can include leaf discoloration – often yellow or brown patches, wilted or curled leaves, and stunted growth. If left unchecked, this can lead to the death of the plant. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the light and temperature requirements of your specific houseplants to ensure their healthy growth.
Here are some of our favorite houseplants that not only withstand high temperatures but thrive in them:
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Black Dragon’, Snake Plant
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Snake Plant or Sansevieria Trifasciata is renowned for its tolerance to a variety of environmental conditions. Its pointed, tall leaves are uniquely adapted to endure high temperatures, making it an ideal choice for a warm indoor space.
Aloe Vera, a succulent from the Arabian Peninsula, is a popular houseplant well-suited to hot climates. Known for its health benefits, the gel inside its leaves is used in many skincare products. This plant is undemanding and prefers bright light and well-drained soil.
ZZ Plant – Natural Form
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
Native to Eastern Africa, the ZZ plant is a resilient houseplant that can endure temperature fluctuations. Its waxy, smooth leaves can retain water, allowing it to thrive in hot, dry environments.
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Spider Plants are well-adapted to varying conditions and can handle high temperatures if kept well-watered. These plants are fast-growing, and their arching leaves look beautiful cascading from a hanging basket.
Crassula Jade Plant
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
The Jade Plant is a succulent that prefers hot, dry conditions. Its round, glossy leaves hold water, making it drought-resistant. These plants can also thrive in indoor areas with bright, indirect light.
Red Bunny Ears Cactus, Opuntia microdasys, Prickly pear cactus
No list of heat-tolerant plants would be complete without mentioning cacti. These desert natives are the perfect choice for a sun-drenched spot in your home. With a multitude of varieties, each with its unique shape and size, you’re sure to find a cactus that fits your style.
The Yucca plant, with its rosette of spiky leaves, is a hardy houseplant that’s perfectly adapted to hot, dry environments. Native to arid regions of the Americas, this plant can tolerate direct sunlight and prefer a well-drained potting mix.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)
Despite its name, the Ponytail Palm is not a palm but a succulent. It gets its name from the long, thin leaves that cascade from its top like a ponytail. It has a bulbous trunk that stores water, allowing it to endure hot and dry conditions.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
Pothos is an easy-to-care-for houseplant that thrives in varying conditions. It can tolerate high temperatures as long as it is not placed in direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. This plant is a rapid grower and can create a beautiful trailing display.
Each plant listed here not only survives but thrives in high temperatures. Choosing any of these will help ensure your indoor garden remains lush and vibrant, no matter how hot it gets. However, remember that even heat-tolerant plants require appropriate care, so make sure you water them when needed and provide the right amount of light. With a little bit of attention, these heat-loving houseplants can add a touch of green to your space, purify your air, and even boost your mood.
Looking for more on the Science of Light and how it affects your houseplants? Click here.