Adding plants in your lawn as well as indoors is not only pleasant for your eyes but is also useful for other purposes, such as cleaning the air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. Just add a touch of green and make your house look more beautiful. But you can only enjoy these benefits if you take care of your plants, especially during extreme weather. In one of our previous blogs, we have talked about gardening tips during summers to protect your plants from sunburns and rotting. This time we have brought you a few tips for caring for houseplants in winters.
Winter seasons are difficult not just for humans but for plants as well. The reduced temperature, lack of sunlight and dryness in the air are few things that can affect the health of your plants and, in a worst-case scenario, even kill them. It will help to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve to protect your plants during the season.
Caring For Houseplants In Winters
During winters you will need to pay a little extra attention to your plants and slightly modify their care routine to help them thrive. You will need to do following things:
- Alter watering routine
- Monitor humidity level
- Control temperature
- Relocate for sunlight
- Put your plants on diet
Let’s discuss in detail how to do all of this in a proper manner.
In winters, plants grow at a very slow rate and some even go dormant during the season. This is why plants don’t need frequent watering during the season. Watering your plants regularly as you do in summers or other seasons is a mistake because it causes roots to dry and it can be life-threatening for the plant.
Less water is required by plants during winters for hydration, as mentioned before, the growth is slower. Although the upper layer might dry early this is not the right indicator that your plant needs water, especially during winter months. Checking a few inches deeper in the soil will give you a better idea if it’s time to water your plants or not. Some plants like cacti and succulents have thick stems and leaves which store water and can sustain drought. These require even lesser water for growth and maintaining good health.
Monitor Humidity Level
The air during winters is dry and inside homes, it gets further drier if you are using any heating equipment like heaters. Plants need moisture in the air and the best humidity level for houseplants is closer to 50%. Plants with thick leaves can survive in less humid air but thin leaves will require more moisture. These methods will come in handy to increase humidity in the air:
Humidifiers: If you use humidifiers in your homes during winters, placing them closer to the plants will provide them with the required moisture in the air.
Plant Grouping: Plants transpire water through their leaves in a very low quantity. If you have more than a few plants, group them in the same space which will create a micro-climate around them. This will put evaporated water to good use.
Misting: Misting is a temporary method to moist the leaves and if you do decide to spritz water on the leaves, you will need to do it repeatedly after intervals. This will keep the leaves moist but the water will soon evaporate.
Placing plants in humid areas: Areas like bathrooms and kitchen in a house are relatively more humid than other rooms because these accumulate moisture from shower and boiling water. If you have extra space in these areas, put your plants there for optimum moisture.
Houseplants usually prefer tropical weather conditions and are comfortable in temperature between 18 to 26 degree Celsius in the day time and 10 to 18 degree Celsius during the night. Keeping them in both cold spaces or heated areas can be detrimental so you should know the temperature best suited for their survival. The placement of your plants should always be away from fireplaces and electrical appliances that emit heat such as refrigerators and ovens.
Relocate For Sunlight
Winter days are short and thus we get fewer hours of sunlight. Plants are similar to people in this regard because they also need light for their survival since photosynthesis occurs only in the light. You might have set plants in different corners of your house where they might not be exposed to sunlight. Another issue could be that the direction of your house is opposite to sunlight in which case you will have lesser sunlight in only fewer rooms that too through certain windows. Relocate them to a brighter spot where they can enjoy better light and don’t forget to clean the windows from inside as well as outside. For better absorption of sunlight, mist or water the leaves of your houseplants so that the dust cleans off.
Pro tip: Keep rotating the pot a few degrees after regular intervals so that all sides and leaves of the plant get sufficient sunlight.
Diet Of Your Plants
As most plants go dormant during winters, some of your houseplants may also undergo this natural process and grow new leaves in spring. Even if they don’t, their growth will be bare minimum until next season. When there are signs of new growth such as leaves and buds, resume fertilization but before that just stick to essentials like water, humid air and sunlight to sustain them through winters.
In addition to these, you will need to closely monitor your plants for any spider webs or any other pests and take immediate steps to eliminate the threat. Be mindful of the fact that excess of everything is bad. While caring for plants in winters, make sure you are not killing them with kindness. Pruning your plants is another trick to keep your plants out of harm’s way in which selective parts of plants like branches, leaves and buds, that are diseased, are removed.
Do check out our guide on indoor gardening tips for healthy houseplants which will be a good read for you, especially if you are a beginner. Indoor houseplants are also natural air purifiers and bloom all year round by taking very little space. Bringing plants in your interiors will reduce stuffiness and make your home feel light and pleasant looking.