Remember to prepare your indoor plants as well during the fall and winter months, even though your primary focus may be on the garden and landscape plants. When it comes to the seasons changing, they work as beautifiers and air purifiers, but aren’t given a second thought when they’re around. Changes in weather do mean, however, that you will have to adjust your care of houseplants just like you would for your garden. Don’t forget to give them a bit of TLC now to make sure they stay green and healthy over the winter.
Prepare Your Indoor Plants for the Cooler Weather
Be sure to inspect the leaves any time you bring indoor plants living outside on a porch or deck during the summer. If you notice any pests have made a home in the soil, you may want to replace it. Regardless of whether you’ve set your indoor plants outside or not, it’s a good idea to replace the soil or plant the plant in a larger pot to accommodate growth.
Let the Light in
The days are getting shorter, so your plants are getting less sunlight. Make sure your indoor plants get enough light every day by placing them in a spot where they’ll get plenty of sunlight. Because plants tend to lean toward the light, be sure to turn them periodically to ensure they maintain their shape. When natural light is scarce, turn up the lamps to provide light for the plants. As an alternative, you can choose plants that don’t require as much light to thrive.
Beware of Cold Drafts
A cold draft not only stresses out people, it also stresses out plants. Plants should be placed away from windows and doors that open and close frequently. Make sure they’re not near the radiator or heating vents, either. A drafty environment is not conducive to indoor plants.
We are spending more time indoors during this season, so dust accumulates. How does it end up? On your plants! Remove any buildup with a duster once a week. Although it may seem extreme to dust a plant, it is important to do so indoors where your plants are already fighting to absorb every bit of light they can get. Often, even a thin layer of dust can block the leaves’ access to sunlight, and thicker dust can hide signs of damage like discoloration or crawling pests.
Reduce the frequency of watering. During the winter, many tropical indoor plants go dormant. In other words, you won’t have to water them as much. However, you should still water them occasionally, rather than on a set schedule. Just check the soil, and when it’s dry after the last watering, it’s time to do it again. You’ll end up rotting the roots if you overwater.
Don’t Fertilize Until the Spring
Your plants are not likely to grow much during the off season, so don’t fertilize until the spring. It’s similar to how the dormant season affects water requirements. During this time of year, your plants may shed leaves. Don’t be concerned, as that’s totally normal and growth will resume in the spring when they fill out again.
Make Use of a Humidifier
The air inside the home is also dry during the winter. Humidifiers add moisture to the surrounding air, which is ideal for many plants.
How Will Your Indoor Plants Cope with the Winter?
The following are some of the most common indoor plants. Find out what yours will be like in the winter months by reading on.
- Ferns are low-maintenance plants that require little lighting; after all, they’re native to the forest floor. During the winter, you may need to water and mist the leaves of these plants frequently to keep the soil moist. Put them in indirect light.
- Succulents may thrive in the dry conditions of the home. If possible, situate them by a window that gets plenty of sun. In the meantime, do not water your plants. Growth may be paused until the warmer spring months. If your home remains warm and humid, cacti may still grow, but most will go dormant during the winter. Aloe is a tropical plant that prefers dry air and indirect light.
- Christmas cactus gets its name from the fact that it typically blooms during the holidays. The undemanding plant requires little water and little light while providing a bright pop of color to get you through the cold months. Poinsettias add a touch of color to the coldest months of the year; just make sure to keep them out of reach of curious pets.
- Philodendrons are another low-maintenance plant that only needs occasional watering. Give it a drink every other week. Prior to watering, give it a good lift. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering if the soil feels a bit heavy.
- Snake plants thrive in low light and low water. Water the soil only after it has completely dried out. Although snake plants are nearly impossible to kill, overwatering them can permanently harm them.
- The spider plant is a tropical plant that thrives in humidity. It’s best to move it to a sunny bathroom during the winter so it gets the sunlight and humidity it needs.
- ZZ plants require only indirect light and occasional watering. Plants like this one are very forgiving if you ignore them for a while.
- Winter brings color to the landscape with African violets. Plant them in indirect sunlight, where temperatures tend to be mild, and you’ll enjoy blooms all winter.
- Colorful bromeliads are easy to grow and require only a small amount of water and sunlight to thrive. Water it when the soil is dry and place it in a shady spot.
Even in cold weather, you can enjoy fresh herbs. Place small pots of herbs in a sunny kitchen that gets at least six hours of sunlight. If you do this, you can add fresh herbs to your meals even in the middle of winter.