Bring the outside in: Houseplant care through the winter
It’s cold, rainy, windy, and maybe even snowing! So you’re probably missing getting your hands dirty in the garden. Having taken care of all your exterior to-do lists, now is the perfect time to turn your attention indoors to your beloved houseplants.
Real indoor plants can be difficult to manage for many people, especially during the colder months. Most common mistakes include lack of natural light and overwatering. That’s why we’ve assembled some quick and simple tips to see you through to spring.
1. Water less often
Watering less can seem counterproductive, but overwatering is one of the biggest causes of indoor plant wilting. Just like your outside plants, indoor plants grow more slowly in the winter. Therefore, will need less water to keep hydrated and prevent rotting. Research your plant to understand how much water your species needs. Watering tends to go from every few days to every couple of weeks during the winter.
2. Light is essential
With many less hours of natural sunlight in the winter, relocating plants to where they can get direct sunlight will give them the best shot of getting what they need in darker months. A conservatory or porch would be ideal locations but if none of these are available, any room with a sunny window will do. Again, make sure you research your plant type before moving as some plants survive in shade or won’t take well to the relocation!
3. Find the right temperature
The temperature of your chosen room is also something to consider! Indoor plants won't survive in a room that's either too hot or too cold. It’s unlikely any room will stay a constant temperature but it’s best to keep plants away from areas that have the most extreme temperature changes throughout the day. Avoid radiators or placing plants where draughts might occur.
4. Check for pests
Many plant pests like aphids, scale insects, thrips, and mealybugs can flourish and reproduce in a warm, damp, cosy home all winter long. Make sure to thoroughly inspect plants that have spent the summer outdoors in the garden to prevent the introduction of new pests. All through the winter, continue to give your plants regular inspections.
5. Try to not repot plants
Repotting works nicely for plants that are actively growing. Because of this, spring and summer are the ideal seasons to repot indoor plants. In the dead of winter, you might be tempted to get your hands in some soil and repot your plants ready for the growing season. Refrain from doing so as it could disturb dormant or sleeping houseplants.
6. Cut back on normal feeds
In order to avoid encouraging new growth while a plant enters its dormant season, you must alter your typical feeding practices. Reduce feeding during the fall and completely stop fertilising during the winter. When you notice springtime development, you can resume regular feeding. Again, research your plant to make sure you know exactly when its growing times are and what it needs!
Indoor plants are a terrific way to get your gardening fix over the winter. It's comforting to know that as you unwind, indoor plants are hard at work improving themselves.