It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Winter is the season to enjoy the holidays and the snow. However the dry wind and low sunlight are not in the plant’s favour. The conditions make it our duty to pay even more attention and provide extra care for our plants. Indoor plants face several challenges. Fluctuating temperature from daytime heat to evening chill, dry air, short days and limited light are not the ideal growing conditions.
1. Watering Routine
As the air is drier during winter, indoor plants need less water. Plants also experience a slow growth or complete dormancy in cold weather. Since the air is dry, the soil surface tends to dry up quickly indicating the need to water the plants. The water used should be of the same temperature as the air to avoid shocking the plants.
The biggest problem to overcome during winter is low humidity. Plants prefer a humidity level closer to 50%. Grouping the plants can help to maintain the humidity naturally as plants transpire through leaves and releases water. Also you can provide moisture to plants by placing them on or near a tray of water.
Fluctuations in temperature can be just as damaging as prolonged periods of heat or cold. Therefore it is necessary to maintain a constant optimum temperature. Use of heaters can serve as a good option.
4. Provide The Sunlight
As the day becomes shorter in winter, the amount of sunlight decreases. Hence it is essential to relocate the houseplants to a brighter spot or even add supplemental light to ensure all sides of the plants get some sun.
5. Say NO to Fertilizers
Since the plants are barely growing, they don’t need any fertilizer. Feeding them now will just upset their natural cycle, so hold off until early spring. Then resume fertilizing, to give them a boost for the growing season.
6. Watch for pests
During the winter months the increased heat from the heaters, lack of sunlight, and increased humidity because of humidifiers all can lead to pests like spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs and others. Keep a watch of them on the plants and take necessary measures to eliminate them.
See also: Ice Cube Trick to Watering Houseplants