Houseplants In Winter
When Winter comes, it is quite difficult to keep your houseplants well indoors as they also suffer the climate changes as we do.
They face several challenges: temperature fluctuations- from daytime heat – to evening chill and dry air, short days and limited light.
All of these circumstances are not ideal growing conditions for houseplants.
How to keep them happy during Winter ?
Indoor plants need less water during Winter.
The air is drier and plants experience a slower rate of growth during the cold weather. Some of them even go completely snooze.
In this period, less water is needed to keep them hydrated and overdoing it can lead to root rot.
Still, you don’t have to wait until the leaves drop off, or start to dry before giving them any water.
The soil on the surface will dry quickly, but that’s not a good indicator either.
Put your finger into the soil and check if it is dry an inch or 2 below the surface. That will show you when it is time to pull out the watering can again.
For that matter,try to use water that is about the same temperature as the air, so you can avoid shocking the plant’s roots.
Also keep in mind that different plants have different water needs in Winter as in Summer.
Check Humidity Levels
Low humidity at this point is probably the biggest pain to overcome during Winter. The humidity level in heated homes can drop to 10 – 20% in Winter and plants prefer a level closer to 50%.
If you have a humidifier in your home, then you should move your plants where they will enjoy it’s benefits.
If you don’t have a humidifier, then you’ll need to find another way to raise the humidity level.
1. Start by clustering them in groups. They naturally release water through their leaves, and grouping them together will put out that vaporized moisture into good use.
2. Another good option is placing your plants on, or near a tray of water. Don’t let the plants sit in the water. Raise the bottoms of the pots above the water level by placing stones in the water (higher than the water level) and sitting the pots on the stones.
3. Misting seems to be a good option too. Remember, you will have to mist multiple times a day to really see any benefit, since the heat will evaporate moisture quickly.
Most plants are comfortable in daytime temperatures between 65 to 75 F, and night time temp. above 50 F.
If you want to provide that for your plants, then you should keep them away from both cold drafts and sources of heat, like radiators, ovens, fireplaces and electronic devices.
Fluctuations in temperature can be just as damaging as prolonged periods of heat or cold.
Where Is The Sun
Since there is less sunlight during Winter, it comes in at a lower angle. You may have to relocate your houseplants to a brighter spot or even add supplemental light.
A good spot would be a South or West facing window that remains sunny all day. Just don’t move them so close to a frosty window where it is drafty.
It is advised to rotate the pots when you water them, so they can get some Sun from all sides by keeping them growing evenly.
Less Or No Fertilizer
Since your plants are barely growing in Winter time, they don’t need any fertilizer.
Feeding them will just upset their natural cycle, and it is better to wait until early Spring. Then continue fertilizing, so you can give them a boost for the growing up coming season.
Give your houseplants the basics to keep them alive through Winter, but don’t fuss over them or kill them with your generosity.
Keep an eye out for early signs of problems, which can still include insect pests even in Winter.
You might consider Winter an off season for your houseplants.
Let them rest for the period and make them bloom at spring time all over again by taking good care of them.
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