We adore plants, simply for their nurturing and pleasing existence. These green leafy babies are one of those things in life that make us feel proud, not to mention when your space is becoming more and more into a jungle that impresses your guests all the time. Keeping plants around you is undoubtedly beneficial. We want to have them all year round. However, taking care of plants can be daunting when daytime gets shorter, the temperature drops and the air turns dryer. A combination of all these stress factors makes it difficult for plants to thrive in winter.
Don’t let all these worries intimidate you, we’ve gathered 5 simple key points for you to make sure you keep your plants healthy and happy in winter.
- Reduce your watering schedule
Let’s keep it simple, plants don’t actually need that much water. When it comes to watering, you won’t want to kill them by giving them too much water, especially during the winter months. Some plants need their soil to become completely dry before taking in more again. You can do this to check if they really need a drink: go down a few inches more to see if the soil down there has already dried out. Generally speaking, you can reduce watering to once every fortnight for most dormant plants. For plants like succulents, once every 3 weeks shall be enough, whereas, for cacti, you might want to put them on a diet entirely. If you don't bother, you can easily get the soil moisture meter. It will tell you when the plant requires watering.
- Be mindful of the temperature
In most cases, your indoor plants come from tropical areas. Despite their difference in sizes, shapes, patterns and colours, they find themselves in the best mood with a temperature of 15-24°C. Houseplants are not a fan of big temperature fluctuations, and they are sensitive to cold air. To prevent them from getting shocked by cold drought, move the plants away from open windows. Another thing to keep in mind is that any heat sources like radiators or fireplaces create too much heat that damages your plants as well.
- Increase humidity levels
Another hidden challenge that indoor plants face in winter is low humidity. Just like us, the human, cold and dry conditions can be an issue. An average level of 40-60% humidity is what most houseplants thrive from. This is actually higher than what our homes naturally provide, particularly in winter with the window shut and heater on. If you have a humidifier at home, keep it running and put it close to your plants. Not to worry if you don’t have one, simply gather your plants together and move them to the most humid rooms. Yes, you’ve got it right. Bathrooms are an ideal place in this case. The increase in transpiration and humidity can easily solve the problem.
- Follow the sun
Sun, needless to say, is the energy provider for all. When winter comes, daylight time shortens and the rays shine at a lower angle too. Make sure to relocate your plants to certain spots according to the sunlight and rotate the pots from time to time. This will allow a fair sunbath for all leaves, with none forgotten. Moreover, if you’re situated in the southern states, such as Victoria and Tasmania, where morning frosts are not surprising, placing your plants close to the window is the best way to ensure they get warm afternoon sunlight.
- Keep it nice and clean
Last but not least, always remember to let them “breathe” by cleaning the leaves properly. A layer of household dust prevents the leaves from absorbing the amount of light they can normally get and affect efficient photosynthesis. A tip for you to keep the leaves nice and tidy without too much hassle is to give them an occasional shower when you take them to the bathroom. This not only rinses away the dust but also clears out any potential pests and their eggs that love sticking around dusty leaves. Or just wipe the leaves with a damp towel.
The final takeaway, caring for your plants can seem both easy and difficult. The suggestions mentioned in this article should be a helpful guide instead of a definite answer to your problems. With multiple variables playing parts, some changes need to be reversed. The process is just like watching and learning about actual lives. Bear in mind that it takes patience, and trial and error are involved.
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