Plant-Parenting 101: How to Keep Your Houseplants Happy This Winter
Caring for our houseplants in winter is much more difficult than it is during the summer months. The seasonal frosty temperatures, lack of sunlight and dry air make loving and tending to our plants that much harder.
Sadly, the winter months are probably the easiest time of the year to kill our beloved plant babies. To avoid their dreaded deathly decline, we’ve brushed up on the basics to keep your houseplants in tip top shape this winter. Here are 5 ways you can adapt your plant care routine to suit their new growing conditions, keep them stress-free, and help them survive the winter.
1. Cut Down on Watering
Contrary to what you might think, plants are less thirsty during the colder months. Even though the winter air is drier, houseplants grow more slowly in cold weather, with some even going fully dormant. With that in mind, they need less water to keep them hydrated (some succulents and cacti might not need watering at all!) Overwatering can lead to root rot, one of the major causes of plant death – so don’t kill them with kindness!
Aim to reduce watering to once every two weeks. Water succulents every three weeks and stop watering cacti until the Spring. Try to use room temperature water too, to avoid shocking your plants with icy temperatures.
2. Regulate the Temperature
Our homes experience huge differences in temperature in winter. From hot radiators to draughty doorways, these are all spots your plants should avoid. To keep them happy, move them to a place that has an even temperature throughout the day.
3. Boost Humidity
While central heating is a saviour for us humans during the winter months, it’s something our houseplants face an ongoing battle with, and plants that are close to radiators will dry out quicker. To give your plants a much-needed humidity boost, group them together to create their own humid environment, mist tropical plants regularly, or place them in a naturally humid room like a kitchen or bathroom.
4. Ditch the Fertiliser
Your plants aren’t actively growing in winter, so continuing to feed them could actually cause more harm than good. All those excess nutrients that aren’t being absorbed could damage their roots, so lay off the fertiliser for a while. They won’t need feeding again until the Spring.
5. Let the Light In
As the number of daylight hours decreases, it’s harder for our plants to get the amount of light they need to thrive. To combat this, move plants closer to windows and clean their leaves regularly to maximise their available light. As well as that, remember to rotate their pots when you water them. This will guarantee all sides of the plant get some light and grow evenly, instead of some areas stretching to reach the sun.
We love having plants around the home all year round – you can never have too many! But they’re especially great during winter, with some research showing that the boost our moods and even help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Essentially, keeping your leafy friends happy and healthy this winter will keep you happy and healthy! So mix up your plant care routine during these colder months and make sure they’re getting everything they need to thrive.