Tips for Winter Houseplant Care
With the mild autumn temperatures behind us and winter officially here, you may have moved some of your plants indoors or added some houseplants to liven up your home during the long winter day. Here are our top tips to help your indoor plants reach their full potential this season:
- Water Smart: Most plants are in hibernation mode this time of year, requiring less water. Your plant doesn’t necessarily need a deep soaking just because the top layer of soil is dry. Overwatering can result in root rot. Poke your finger an inch below the surface to ensure it’s dry all the way through. We recommend the finger test over an electronic water meter because their readings can be skewed by soil types and fertilizers. On the other hand, you also don’t want to wait for leaves to dry out before you water. Monitor your plants regularly to find your ideal watering schedule.
- Cut Back on Food: Being in hibernation mode, and receiving less sunlight, heathy plants can often survive on the nutrients they’ve stored up through the year so there’s no need to fertilize in the winter. If you feel your plants need a boost, dilute the fertilizer with 50% water.
- Pay Attention to Light: Many plants require a steady supply of sunlight, but that can be hard to come by in the winter. Make use of any window space you have, especially facing south or west. Rotate plants each time you water so they receive even light. Depending on how many plants you’re housing this winter, you may want to invest in a plant lamp from your local home improvement store for supplemental light.
- Regulate the Temperature: Like humans, most plants prefer a temperate environment of 65-75 degrees during the day and no lower than 50 degrees at night. Keep them away from extreme temperatures and drafts near doorways, vents, fireplaces, ovens and the like.
- Consider a Humidifier: Low humidity can be a major obstacle during the winter months thanks to our heating systems. To raise indoor humidity levels from the 10-20% range they hover around this time of year to approach the level plants crave, 50%, add a humidifier in the area where most of your plants are kept. Another option is to liven up your bathroom space by storing some plants there for the winter!
- Add Rocks to Saucers: Allowing your plants to sit in drainage water in the saucer results in saturated soil in the bottom portion of your pot, which in turn prevents deeper root growth. Empty your saucers as often as possible and alleviate this issue by filling your saucers with pebbles and sitting the plants atop the rocks, above the water’s surface. This can also help to achieve the more humid environment your plants need to thrive.
Houseplants provide a variety of benefits, including purifying your air and boosting your overall mood through these dreary months! These tips will help you make the most of your indoor gardening venture.