Why you should never leave a fan on next to your houseplants, according to experts

Proud plant parents, beware of this simple mistake as the weather warms up

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As the weather warms up this summer, you might be wondering how to care for houseplants in hotter temperatures. We know not to overdo it with watering our plants, but experts have highlighted a less obvious threat to our favorite houseplants - fans.

Daniel Bruce, CEO of indoor plant store Nature by Letterbox (opens in new tab) warns that a fan or air conditioner can be a bit of a death sentence for houseplants.


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'If you’re worrying about your green friends in the heat, you may think moving one in front of a fan will cool it down during the day,' Daniel says. 

'But many plants - especially tropical ones - don’t work well with dry, cold air on their foliage, so a fan (or worse, an AC unit) will deny your plant of the room temperature and moisture it needs to thrive.' 

However, Daniel also says that having plants in the same room as a fan will be fine, as long as they're not positioned too close together. If you're concerned about moisture levels, mist the leaves with a spray bottle.


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We also asked Anna, the founder of houseplant subscription service Plant Pet Club (opens in new tab), if a fan will harm houseplants. She agrees that fans won't be a problem as long as they're not positioned close to them or blowing directly at them. Anna points out that air circulation and ventilation are actually beneficial to plants and can help them to grow. 

'Fans are widely used in greenhouses for exactly that reason,' she says. To enjoy your jungle and stay cool in a small apartment or house, Anna suggests positioning the fan as far as you can from houseplants. 

She also says to make sure that the fan isn't drastically changing the temperature of the room, as plants won't enjoy significant fluctuations in heat over the course of the day.


(Image credit: Getty)

Speaking of fans, if you don't yet have one, head to our guide on the best fan you can get your hands on. You'll thank us later.

Some plants like cacti are perfectly happy in a heatwave and won't need any extra care. You can check to see if your plant is dehydrated in the heat simply by putting your finger into the soil and reaching two to three inches into the soil.

If it's dry, it could do with some watering. Fans are a lifesaver in the heat, but just make sure they don't get too up close and personal with your plants.

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.