How To Care for your Houseplants in the Winter
It’s that time of year again, the nights draw in, the radiators are on and you need at least 5 layers to leave the house. Funnily enough, your houseplants are also well aware of this change.
With less light coming into the house for less of the day, cold draughts from open windows and dry air from central heating, winter poses new problems for the average plant parent. We’ve set out a few things to do and a few things to definitely avoid.
Watering, but not as we know it!
You might’ve noticed it already, but when things get a bit chillier, indoor soils will stay moist for longer than usual. Your plant is starting to enter a dormancy period, so isn’t growing and isn’t as thirsty as usual. The drop in temperature also means that there’s less evaporation taking place.
So instead of looking out for dry plants like in the summer, you need to be looking out for wet ones. Still put your finger into the soil and feel for any moisture; if it’s damp leave it alone for a few days and check again.
At this time of year, it’s much better to give a good drink to a dry plant than a sprinkle little and often. If there's any excess water in the saucer or decorative pot 30 minutes after watering, make sure to pour it away.
(Don't) Feed Me Seymour
As explained above, your plant isn’t as hungry in the winter and won’t need any feeding. So put your houseplants onto a diet and resume their feast around the start of spring in March/April.
If your plant is flowering, you can make an exception to this rule and give it a feed every week or so.
And you thought Goldilocks was fussy...
Be on the lookout for any fluctuating temperatures. Most houseplants are originally from tropical environments and won’t like to be too cold, especially if it comes on them by surprise. Keep them away from any draught ridden corners or windows that stay open for extended periods. They like to sit at around 15c but can go lower providing that they’re not stuck in water.
This doesn't mean that they can be left next to a radiator! The dry air that’s pumped out of most central heating systems can be fatal for your floral friend. (We’re looking at you, Calathea) Try and keep them a good few feet from any heat source and provide a morning mist if you can.
Another trick is to place your plant’s pot on a bed of clay pebbles within a saucer, which is then filled with water. This little pool will evaporate and create a faux humidity around the plant.
These rules also stand for under floor heating. Whilst it may not be as harsh on the foliage, it will cause your plant to dry out quicker than usual, so keep an eye on the soil.
A seat belt and a blanket
Speaking of temperatures, if you’re buying plants from us or bringing one round to a loved one as a gift, try to keep them as warm as you can! Hide your new friend in a bag or just keep them sheltered from harsh winds, it’ll stop the journey causing any unnecessary stress.
One last thing!
Light is limited in the winter, so if you can, move your plants towards a window during the day (providing that there’re no draughts or heat sources present). The winter sun is also a bit weaker and is unlikely to cause any sunburn.
Even though they’ll be relaxing until the spring, they’re not dead and still need the basics.
Not too much to remember then. You’ll be fine, trust us.