Just because you are spending the winter in temperature-controlled interiors does not mean that your potted plants (including houseplants and those you moved indoors) are immune to winter’s worst. In fact, temperature and lighting (as well as a bunch of other factors) can certainly impact your indoor potted pretties both in a positive and negative way – but how do you know which is which before it’s too late?
Let’s see how to take good care of your indoor plants this winter before it gets even chillier…
Although winter air is drier, plants grow much slower during the cold weather (some even go completely dormant), which is why less water is needed for hydration. Overwater your plants in winter and you’re likely looking at rotting roots.
homify hint: Don’t just check how fast the soil on the surface dries; stick your finger in the soil to see if the ground is dry 2.5 – 5 cm below the surface.
Heated homes’ humidity levels can drop to 10 – 20% in winter. Plants require levels closer to 50%. Thus, move your indoor plants to a spot where they can enjoy your humidifier’s benefits.
If you don’t have a humidifier, group your plants together to boost moisture levels (plants naturally release water through their leaves). And/or place them in the bathroom or kitchen to benefit from the moisture from showers, baths, and boiling water.
Most people and plants are quite happy in daytime temperatures ranging between 18—25°C, and night-time temperature above 10°C. Keep your plants happy by moving them away from cold drafts and heat sources (radiators, fireplaces) and aiming to keep your indoor temperature as consistent as possible.
Here in the UK we know how precious sunshine gets in wintertime. And so do our plants, which is why you may need to move them to a brighter spot (remember the sun’s rays come in at a lower angle during winter), or opt for supplemental light.
We recommend placing them near a south- or west-facing window that gets plenty of sun (and no drafts).
As your plants are barely growing in winter, feeding them fertiliser will just upset their natural cycle. Pack that fertiliser away until early spring or until you see signs of new growth or the leaves starting to perk up.
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Depending on what type of plants you have (like vining ones), now might be the time for pruning (succulents, for instance, don’t require much, if any, pruning).
Also, use this time to repot your woody plants that tend to go dormant once the temperature drops.
Due to the increased heat (from heaters), very little sunshine and boosted indoor humidity, plant pests can thrive. These include spider mites, fungus gnats, etc. Keep an eye on your plants for any suspicious happenings and should you need to spray plant pesticides, opt for all-natural and organic options like salt spray, onion and garlic spray, eucalyptus ail, or chrysanthemum flower tea.
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