Are you aware of some of the special things you need to be doing with your houseplants to keep them alive and well during this winter? Keep them thriving by modifying their care during the chillier months of the year.
Here are some of our best tips on how to prepare and care for your houseplants.
Adjust Your Watering Routine
It may sound counterintuitive, but houseplants need less water during the winter. While it's true that winter air is drier, plants experience a slower rate of growth during cold weather. Some even go completely dormant. Therefore, less water is needed to keep them hydrated, and overdoing it can lead to root rot. Keep in mind that different plants have different water needs.
The soil on the surface will dry quickly during the winter months, but that's not a good indicator that the plant needs water. Poke your finger into the soil and check to see if it is dry an inch or two below the surface—that's when it's time to pull out the watering can.
Use water that is about the same temperature as the air to avoid shocking the plant's roots.
Alter Humidity Levels
Low humidity levels may the biggest hurdle that houseplants must overcome during winter. The humidity level in heated homes can drop to 10 to 20 percent in winter, and plants prefer a level closer to 50 percent. If you have a humidifier in your home, move your plants to a spot where they will enjoy their benefits. If you do not have a humidifier, you're going to need to raise the humidity level by other means.
Start by clustering your plants into groups. Plants naturally release water through their leaves by transpiring, so grouping them together will put that moisture to good use. If you have room in the bathroom or kitchen, these are the best rooms to congregate your plants because they accumulate the most moisture from showers and boiling water.
Another good option is the old trick of placing your plants on or near a tray of water. Just don't let the plants sit in the water though. Raise the bottom 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.
Misting tends to be better at making the gardener feel good than your plant. You may think you are giving your plants some relief, but it's actually only a temporary blast of moisture. You'd need to mist multiple times a day to really see any benefit because the heat will evaporate the moisture quickly. If you have only a couple of plants and you think you will be very conscientious about misting, give it a try. It's hard to over-mist an indoor plant.
Pay Attention to Temperature
Most plants, like people, are comfortable in daytime temperatures between 18 to 23 degrees Celcius and nighttime temps above 10 degrees Celcius. To provide that for your plants, keep them away from both cold drafts and sources of heat such as radiators, ovens, fireplaces, and electronic devices. Fluctuations in temperature can kill houseplants just as easily as prolonged periods of heat or cold.
Give Them Enough Light
We all need light and it’s hard to get a lot of it when the days are so short like they are in the middle of winter. Plants are similar to people, they need light, even indoor plants. The amount of light that homes get during the winter months is short, and if your house doesn’t face the right way, you may need to get some grow lights to mimic the sunlight.
A grow light is an artificial light to help plants grow. Grow lights either attempt to provide a light spectrum similar to that of the sun, or to provide a spectrum that is more tailored to the needs of the plants being cultivated.
Otherwise, be prepared to move your plants to windows and areas that get light during winter. Make sure that the windows are cleaned off inside and outside for maximum light. Also, make sure that any dust that has gathered on the leaves has been cleaned off so the leaves can absorb that light better.
Go Easy on The Fertiliser
Our FabGardenMama Organic Fertiliser is organic and vegan friendly, you can still feed your plants using our fertiliser. It's the same concept of plants in your garden. The worms inside the soil did not stop feeding your plants with all the nutrients they need. You might need to reduce them to fortnightly. Then you can resume to once a week in early spring.
Watch for Pests
During the winter months, the increased heat from the heaters, lack of sunlight, and increased humidity because of humidifiers all can lead to pests. Pests like spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, and others. Be watchful of them on your plants and take steps to eliminate them when they appear.