Winter Care for House Plants

 

So, winter has well & truely arrived once again. 

You've begun to notice your house plants have slowed down, producing less new growth and maybe dropping a leaf here or there.

Now's time to switch up your house plant care routine!

I know there is A LOT of different advice out there on how we can best look after our plants during these colder months, but I'm here to (hopefully) simplify it all for you.  

Our house plants naturally go through a so called 'Dormancy' period over winter.  This means their care requirements change quite dramatically and it's important that we keep on top of it!

By dormancy I don't mean that they all die back and you will have bare shelves for the next few months!  It simply means that they are going through a period of rest, storing all their energy up for spring!

Whether you are a first time winter plant parent or a seasoned (😂) professional, here are my top tips for house plant winter survival!

Watering

Watering is one of the most important areas in which you need to switch up your routine during winter.

It's extremely easy to kill your plants with kindness, aka overwatering so make sure to get on top of this first! 

  • Reduce your watering! I would start by HALFING the amount of water you are giving your plants.  The water in the soil doesn't evaporate as quickly as it does during summer, leaving your soil wetter for longer.  If they're not left to dry enough, hello root rot!
  • Individual plants have their own watering needs! You're much better off ditching any kind of 'routine' and seeing if your plants need watering one by one.  Yes, this can be quite the mammoth task for those of us with (hundreds) of plants, but you will see better results!
  • Don't leave your plants sitting in water! Check your cache pots for any water left over from watering & get rid of it!  Better yet, water your plants in the sink/shower/bath and leave to drain fully before returning to their spot.  This is the #1 cause of root rot in plants over winer!
  • BONUS TIP: If you haven't already, I highly suggest using clear nursery pots to help you keep on top of your watering needs!

Humidity

Humidity can drop dramatically over the winter months!

As the air is colder, it holds onto less moisture and as we know, our house plants prefer a humidity level of around 45% or higher if possible.

  • Pick yourself up a humidifier!  It's one of the most obvious solutions, but they truely do make the biggest difference!  Less humidity in the air? Add more moisture!
  • Cluster plants together in groups!  Plants naturally release water in a process called transpiring.  By grouping all your plants together, you mark good use of this water!
  • Misting plants is more fun for you, than beneficial for your plants!. It only last a short amount of time, not making it worth your while. However, if you do enjoy it, go for gold!
  • Keep plants out of heat pump drafts. The air that comes from heat pumps can be super dry and nasty.  Avoid them at all costs!

Lighting

 

 During the winter months, the sun sits lower in the sky which means our homes get less daylight. Not to mention the sun has disappeared by about 5:50! 

  • Move your plants around. This is one of the simplest solutions! If you find a room is becoming too cold & dark, move them to a brighter spot in your home.
  • Buy a Grow Light. Grow lights are REALLY beneficial for your house plants! If you have a dark & dingy spot in your house, the addition of a grow light will extend your plants daylight hours, making them much happier!
  • BONUS TIP:  Make sure to regularly wipe down leaves! Plants photosynthesise through their leaves so to ensure they get the maximum amount of light, wipe them down with a soft cloth & water, or even neem oil to get in your pest prevention at the same time.

Fertilising

 

Our house plants go into a 'hibernation' state during winter. They do this to preserve energy for the spring growing season!  This means they don't require as many nutrients!

They may also begin to drop a few leaves as they store the energy away, this is completely normal so no need to worry!

I recommend that you continue your regular fertilising routine, but make sure you use one that isn't soo intense.

I highly recommend the Growth Technology range! They are free Urea & chlorides which burn fragile roots, which make them safe for continual use!

You can also continue using soil enhancers such as Kiwichar & Groconut! These directly help the soil, rather than the plants themselves.

Temperature


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The drop in temperature is one of the more obvious signs that winter has arrived, and can be one of the most crucial parts of caring for your plants!
  • Avoid large fluctuations.  Keep the temperature in your home as even as you possibly can.  The general rule of thumb is that if you are comfortable, your plants will be too!
  • Keep plants away from drafts. This includes from under doorways &/or open windows.
  • Keep plants away from intense sources of heat. This includes fireplaces, ovens, candles & heat pumps! With fireplaces, be aware of radiative heat too.  If the top of your fire gets hot, keep them away from there too!

Re-Potting

If you haven't already, now is the time to stop re-potting your plants! As they have now gone 'dormant', they no longer have the energy to adjust to a new substrate or pot. They may go into shock so best to leave re-potting to spring.
The same goes with any propagations you have going.  Ensure they are kept warm (preferably on a heat mat in a prop box) so they also don't go into shock!

THANK YOU!

Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this blog post! I hope you learnt something new/found it useful!

Join the conversation by leaving us a comment below on what you think is most important thing to remember about surviving a winter with house plants! 

-Rachel.x

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