Houseplants during winter will require slightly different care, which can make them a little more difficult to look after, as you try to understand their new requirements.
During winter your houseplants will enter a dormant phase. Dormancy is similar to us humans sleeping every night, but instead your plants will declare bedtime during the winter. This is when your plants will take time to rest and conserve energy until the more favourable growing period in Spring, Summer and Autumn.
Below are some tips to help you care for your houseplants during winter.
Find the light
Short winter days unfortunately don’t bring much light. Even though your plants are dormant, they still require sunlight to survive. Rearrange your plants and find a space in your home which gets the best sunlight. Try moving them near to a South-facing window which will typically receive the most light, or a West-facing window which will receive sun in the afternoon.
Clean their leaves
It’s always a good idea to clean your houseplants as they tend to accumulate dust on their leaves. Plants use their leaves to photosynthesis, they absorb the sunlight and produce oxygen, sugars, and carbon dioxide. When your leaves are dusty they can’t absorb as much sunlight, which can be a problem in winter when there is less natural light.
Houseplants during winter require very little water. The most common reason for houseplants dying during winter, is due to too much water. As houseplants go dormant during winter their growth rate slows down and they don’t require much water. Cut back your watering routine by half, for example, if you usually water a houseplant once a week, change it to once a fortnight. Always check the soil before watering which will give you a good indication on whether it needs more water.
Check the temperature
During winter it’s best to move your plants away from cold draughts or anyplace where they are exposed to cold air. However, you must also keep your houseplants away from radiators as the heat could burn the leaves.
Check for pests
Houseplants during winter are more prone to pests. This is because we have turned on the heating in our home and made a nice cosy environment for many plant pests. You can check for pests by looking underneath the leaves. Inspect your houseplants throughout winter, you can use neem oil* to help remove pests.
Don’t worry too much if you see some leaves turn yellow and drop off, this is normal and is the circle of life for plants. Old leaves will drop to make room and energy for new leaves. Just keep an eye on your plants during winter. Keep them away from droughts and radiators, don’t overwater and check for pests.
Good luck plant parents, you’ve got this!
Laura, Those Positive Plants
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