It’s the middle of summer and you’re running around trying to get ready for your weekend. You stop to pick up a few things from the grocery store, and on your way out you remember that you meant to buy some plants for your wife.
You toss them in the car and head out, but when you get to your destination several hours later, the plants aren’t looking great. What happened? Will the plants survive?
In this article, we’ll explore what happens to plants when they’re left in a hot car, and whether or not they’ll be able to recover. Let’s get started…
Will Plants Die in a Hot Car?
Leaving a plant in a car for a short period of time probably won’t kill it, but if the plant is left in a hot car for an extended period of time, it will likely die.
Whether or not plants survive being left in a hot car depends on a few different factors, including the type of plant, the temperature inside the car, and the amount of time the plant is left in the car.
For example, succulents and cacti are much more tolerant to heat than other types of plants, so they’re more likely to survive being left in a hot car.
On the other hand, plants that are already stressed from too much heat or not enough water are more likely to die if they’re left in a hot car.
The temperature inside a car can get incredibly hot, even on days that aren’t particularly warm outside. On a sunny day, the temperature inside a car can reach up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and on hot days it can be even higher.
This is a problem for plants because they can only tolerate a certain amount of heat before they start to experience damage.
How to Keep Plants Alive in a Hot Car?
There are a few things you can do to help your plants survive being left in a hot car.
1. Park in an area of shade
First, try to choose a shady spot to park the car. This will help to keep the temperature inside the car from getting too hot. If you can’t find a shady spot, cover the windows of the car with blankets or towels to help keep the inside of the car cooler.
2. Place plants in the footwell
You can also place the plants on the floor of the car instead of on the seat, which will help them stay cooler. The sun is less likely to reach the plants in the footwell, but it’s still going to be pretty hot down there.
3. Keep windows slightly open
Plants need airflow to stay alive, so make sure to crack the windows of the car open a bit. Not only will this give them the air they need to survive, but it will also help to keep the inside of the car cooler.
4. Water the plants well before you leave
Make sure to water the plants well before you leave them in the car. The plant will need a lot of water to survive the heat, so give it a good watering before you go.
You should also consider giving the plant a light misting with water before you put it in the car. The leaves are prone to burning, so a light misting will help to keep them from drying out too much.
5. Drive carefully
Finally, be careful when you’re driving. Avoid making sudden stops or sharp turns, as this can cause the plant to fall over and possibly break its pot. Try and position the plant so that it won’t fall over if the car stops suddenly.
If you follow these tips, your plants should be able to survive being left in a hot car. Just remember that the hotter it is outside, the more likely it is that your plants will suffer damage.
On days when the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to leave your plants at home where they’ll be safe and cool.
Benefits of Keeping Plants in a Car?
There are actually a few benefits to keeping plants in your car, as long as you manage the heat properly.
1. Air purifying
One benefit of having plants in your car is that they help to purify the air. Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can help to improve the quality of the air inside your car.
This is especially beneficial if you have allergies or asthma, as the plants can help to filter out pollen and other allergens from the air.
Additionally, plants can help to absorb pollutants from the air, such as car exhaust and fumes. This can help to make the air inside your car cleaner and healthier to breathe.
2. Creates a relaxing environment
Another benefit of keeping plants in your car is that it can help to create a more relaxing environment. The presence of plants has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, so having them in your car can help you to feel more relaxed while you’re driving.
Looking at plants has also been shown to improve mood and focus, so if you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, taking a moment to look at your plants can help to improve your mood and increase your focus.
In conclusion, plants can die if they’re left in a hot car for an extended period of time. The type of plant, the temperature inside the car, and the amount of time the plant is left in the car all play a role in whether or not the plant will survive.
There are some things you can do to help your plants survive being left in a hot car, like parking in a shady spot and covering the windows of the car with blankets or towels.
I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.