During the winter, tropical indoor plants are at the mercy of drafty windows, drying furnaces, and colder temperatures in general. To help your indoor plants survive the cold winter months, follow these tips from Plant Mom!
TIP 1: WATER LESS FREQUENTLY
Your plant will not need as much water during the winter months since most plants growth rate slows down considerably during this period. Overwatering can lead to rot root, especially in the winter. This does not mean to completely ignore them, push your finger into the soil about 2” down into the soil and only water if its dry. When you do water, be sure to water thoroughly—the roots need the water. Keep in mind, just as in the summer different plants have different needs, so get to know your plants’ individual preferences.
TIP 2: HUMIDITY IS KEY
Your plants will appreciate an increase in humidity during the winter months. Many homes are very dry due to heaters and fireplaces, and most plants are very sensitive to dry air. Grouping plants together is an easy way to create more humidity because it can create a micro-climate since plants naturally transpire by expelling water from their leaves. You can also use a humidifier near your plants or place your plants near a tray of water or even on top of stones in a tray filled with water. The idea is to add moisture to the air, not have your plant sitting in a tray of water! Misting can also help, but you really need to be consistent and do it often.
TIP 3: KEEP THE TEMP CONSISTENT
Be conscious of where your plants are sitting. You may need to move them to avoid drafts or cold window panes to protect them from the cold. It is equally important to be aware of heat sources such as heating ducts, radiators, and fireplaces. Average day temperatures should range from 65-75 degrees and night no lower than 50 degrees.
TIP 4: DON’T FERTILIZE
There really isn’t a reason to fertilize your plants during the winter months because they are basically in a resting phase. Plant food at this time can do more harm than good because they will not use up the food and it will upset the natural growth cycle of the plant.
TIP 5: DUST REGULARLY
Keep your plant clean and dust free. Insects love to hide out in the dust on the leaves, which makes it hard for you to find them too. Your plant is more vulnerable in the winter because they go into a state of dormancy, which makes them prone to attacks. Also, the humidity is much lower and it becomes a perfect breeding ground for spider mites and other pests who love to hide in the dirt on leaves. Wipe your plants’ leaves regularly with a damp cloth and be sure to remove any dead or yellowing leaves with a pair of clean, sharp scissors.
ASK FOR HELP
No matter what your question is or what kind of plant you have, I am here to answer your questions and give you the encouragement you need to be the best plant parent you can be. I want to share my love and knowledge of plants with you. So let’s chat about plants!