In many areas this time of year the snow is falling and the pavement is frozen. You know that there are benefits to having plants indoors, particularly during winter.
However, are you aware of some of the special things you need to be doing with your green friends to keep them alive and well during winter?
Here are some tips for caring for your indoor plants during winter:
Give them 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 only get light in certain rooms and through certain windows.
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.
Give them water
During the winter months, most of the time the issue is not that plants don’t get enough water, but that people give them too much water. This can be particularly true if you have an indoor succulent garden.
Make sure to test more than just the top of the soil in your plants. Some plants need to totally dry out before being watered again, so go down a few inches and see if the soil is dry.
A dry home can lead to problems, too. During the winter months the air often gets dry and it gets drier if you crank up the heat. To counteract this, some people use humidifiers to try and keep the air moist. If you have plants in rooms where a humidifier is working overtime, then you probably don’t need to water them as much.
When you water plants, it’s often best to remove them from the saucer you keep them in and run them under a tap. Let the water run right through the soil and out the bottom. Put each plant back in the saucer and check again in about 15 minutes. If there’s any water sitting the saucer, get rid of it.
Watch the temperature
Houseplants usually come from tropical regions. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes, and they can be particular about the temperature they prefer. Make sure you know the ideal temperature for the plants you have and keep an eye on the thermostat. Temperatures somewhere between 55 – 85 Fahrenheit are usually good for tropical plants, but it can vary depending on the species of plant you have.
Prune and repot
Now is the time to prune. Again, this can depend on the type of plant you have, succulents tend not to need much, if any, pruning. However, if your indoor plants include vining plants, now is the time.
Succulents also do not tend to need repotting, but if you have woody plants, they tend to go into dormancy during the colder months. Now is the time to repot woody plants so that they are ready to start budding and grow when spring comes around.
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 the appear.
Why Plants are Worth the Winter Care
Having plants around your home is great all year round. Indoor plants can even help deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, for them to be effective, plants need to be cared for during these months, as well. Keep this in mind and take the necessary steps and you’ll have an indoor garden that lasts.