Winter Care for your Houseplants
Winter is a difficult time for your houseplants - the days are shorter with less sunlight and much cooler temperatures. All in all, not ideal growing conditions for your houseplants. So this season it's important to pay extra attention to your houseplants to ensure that they're surviving the cold. Below are some fantastic winter care tips to help you do just that!
Put your houseplants on a Christmas Diet.
Yes, believe it or not, your houseplants will actually benefit from a Christmas diet. But of course, it has to be a healthy and well-balanced diet, just like all good diets are... Helping, professional home cleaners, spoke to us about putting your plants on a Christmas diet to help them out a bit over the winter period. ''Put your plants on a diet during the holidays. Your houseplants have no need for extra nutrients over the winter months when light levels are low. Avoid using too much fertiliser or plant food, as it will only accumulate in the plant pot and burn your plant's roots.''
Give them a winter home.
When you first purchased your beautiful houseplant you more than likely had the perfect plant placement premeditated. Somewhere that just yells 'put a trendy plant here'. If so, it can be slightly heart-breaking ruining a room's vibe or style by moving that plant elsewhere. However, it may just save your plant... Roberta Gleicher, agricultural industry professional who has been growing indoor houseplants for decades, discussed with us the importance of maybe finding your house plants a winter vacation. ''Days are shorter in winter and the angle of the sun changes. Therefore, plants that need a lot of light may have to be moved to another room or closer to the window to get enough light or they'll rot and may die.''
Ensure the leaves stay a vibrant green.
When you bought your houseplant you visualised a fresh, green beautiful plant. You didn't visualise ugly, drooping brown leaves. So don't let that happen. Keep a close eye on all your houseplants this winter to make sure that they're thriving, if they're not, find out why and how to change it. Justin Hancock, garden expert from Costa Farms, chatted with us about making sure your plants look great during winter. ''Keep leaves green. Brown leaf tips or edges mean a houseplant isn't getting enough moisture. Fix this by placing a humidifier near plants, clustering plants together or placing the plant on a tray of pebbles and water.''
When temperatures drop move houseplants off the window sill.
Although we mentioned finding your plant a new winter home, it may be wise keep them away from the window sill. As if we do experience very cold, frosty weather conditions then the plants will more than likely experience more of a draught being so close to the window. Erin Sowell, expert on how to care for plants and plant innovator for Air Releaf, finds that when the weather does get very cold the window sill may not be the way to go. ''Window sills are a lovely place to keep your houseplants during warmer months. However, during cold months, window sills are prone to icy drafts and cooler temperatures. I recommend taking non-hardy plants away from window sills during these months. ''
You may think as it's winter and the growing conditions are pretty bleak that your houseplants need extra water. This, however, may not be the case. As when we do experience colder weather, evaporation rates decrease meaning that your plants will 'keep' the water for longer than they would than when we experience warmer weather. Kristin Nikodemski, Dirty Girl Gardener of The Dirt on Dirt discussed the importance of knowing how much water your plants require during winter. ''Indoor plants need less water in the winter and some go dormant. Don't judge if the plant needs water by just looking at the top layer of soil. Stick your finger in the soil and see if it's still dry two inches below the surface. If it is, water it with mild temperature water to not shock the plant.''
Keep the temperatures in your home cosy.
Just like us, plants don't want to be cold. Consider which of your rooms will be the warmest this winter as this may also affect where your house plant temporarily lives. Kristin Nikodemski also discussed with us the importance of handling the temperatures in your home to ensure the plants don't suffer; ''Keep it cozy. Certain places in homes during the winter can be known for being drafty. Be sure your plants aren't near a drafty door, window or vent so the plant won't be shocked.'' Justin Hancock also offered us a tip on this matter; ''Houseplants are happiest when temperatures are between 70 and 80ºF during the day and 10-15 degrees cooler at night, but thrive in basically the same temperatures you're comfortable in.''
Make sure the air isn't too dry from central heating.
It's all about balance. Although you need to make sure that your plants are warm enough, the heat coming from radiators can also dry out the air and be damaging for them. Roberta Gleicher chatted to us as well about what to do if you feel the air in your room may be too dry for your plants and is negatively affecting them. ''Heat can make indoor air too dry for some plants. Therefore, group them together to raise the ambient humidity surrounding them. Also, most plants with slick, flat leaves enjoy a gentle spray of water on their leaves. The frequency depends upon the dryness of the air and the plant species. (Don't spray plants like African Violets or cacti.)''