When the days get shorter, colder, and darker i.e. WINTER, many plants go dormant so their care needs change. That means it's time to make a few adjustments in your plant care.
Here is what you need to keep in mind when taking care of your houseplants during the winter.
1. Scale Back the Watering
With the lack of light during the winter and the colder temperatures plants don't need to be watered as often; they are not taking in as much water as they do in those hot summer degrees.
Before you reach for the watering can, stick your finger in the soil a couple inches down to make sure it's dry. If not, give it a little more time.
(ZZ Plant, Aloe Gal Plants & Decor)
If the plant gets watered excessively it can lead to root rot which is a really good way to kill your plant. At the very least, it ends up being a lot of work to try and save it.
If normally you water a plant once a week, you might need to cut down your watering frequency to twice a month instead.
Of course, make sure to take into consideration your specific plant when it comes to watering as each one has their own watering needs.
Also, keep in mind that you always want to use room temperature water. This actually goes for watering all year round. You don't want to shock your plants with cold water.
Trust me, they won't be very happy about that.
2. Move your Plants
The weather is getting colder and the days are darker so it's time to assess the temperatures and light that your plants are getting and move them if necessary.
If you have plants that are now in the way of a draft, such as from your windows or front door, adjust them so they are not feeling the icy air.
With that said, keep your bright sun loving plants as close to the source of light as possible.
If you find that your plants are starting to lean towards the light, that's a good signal to rotate your plants so that all sides get the light they need.
You can rotate them every few days to keep your plant straight.
If your space is especially dark, you may want to consider adding some artificial light with one of your lamps or getting an actual grow light for your plants.
On the other side of the cold temperatures coming from the outdoors, you've also got hot dry air from the heaters indoors.
You want to make sure that none of your plants are in the way of the hot air coming from your heaters.
At this time of year it's only natural to turn on the heat but it's not ideal for your plants. The heat can drop the humidity and it can dehydrate them. Which leads us to #3...
3. Increase the Humidity
As the temperature increases indoors during the winter, the humidity level typically drops so it's important to give your plants the humidity they need.
One of the best ways to do this is to have a humidifier running around your plants.
If you are not planning on getting a humidifier there are other ways to achieve some extra humidity for your plants.
If you group your plants together they will create their own humid environment.
To make it even better you can use a pebble tray. As the water evaporates from the pebble tray it creates a humid environment for the plants.
4. Forget about Fertilizing or Re-Potting until the Spring
House Plants tend to go dormant in the winter so they are not growing much, which means that they don't need those extra nutrients provided by fertilizer right now.
Now is also not the time to worry about re-potting your plant. They are not growing and don't need the extra space.
If you move them into to a pot that is too big for them (because they won't be growing into it for the next few months), you can actually end up overwatering and eventually killing them.
Another reason not to re-pot during this time is that if their roots get damaged during re-potting it's much more difficult for them to recover.
(Ivy, Aloe Gal Plants & Decor)
5. Give them a Clean & Trim
It can be easy to forget about your plants when you change your routine and are "not needed" as much but this is a great time to actually give your plants a little attention.
If you haven't done so in a while, this is a great time to give them a clean. Wipe them down, give them a spray and get rid of any dust and dirt build up.
Plants need every bit of light they can get at this time year and the build up can prevent the them from soaking up the light they needs.
Now is also a good time to remove any dead leaves that might be lingering and trim them if needed so that when growing season starts again your plants are ready to grow! 😉
Do you have any tips on caring for your plants during the winter? Share them below in the comments.