The bright sunshine and warm temperatures of summer make for easy plant care, but fall and winter are a different story. These seasons at the end of the year bring colder temperatures, lower light levels and drier air, making it a tough time for houseplants. There are so many benefits to having houseplants in your apartment from cleaner air to classic aesthetics, so we want to ensure they live from season to season. There are a few secrets to successfully caring for your houseplants so they not only survive the winter months but thrive. Here is what you need to do with your houseplants before winter.
Bring them inside
It’s nice to have plants out on your patio in summer to let them enjoy more sun and the warm breeze. If you’re in an area where day or night temperatures dip below 45 degrees, plants need to be brought indoors to avoid damage. Ease this transition by slowly moving your plants farther away from the sun so they will not be shocked when going inside for the colder months.
Scale back watering
When it comes to water, less is more for indoor plants. Over-watering is a common problem with houseplants anytime of year, but especially as winter sets in. The majority of houseplants need their soil to be completely dry in between watering. A good rule of thumb is to stick your finger about 2 inches into the soil. If it’s dry, give your plant some water.
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Consider the light
When bringing your plants inside, think about the amount of light they will receive. In winter, the days become shorter and the sun starts to slip lower in the sky. It’s best to put plants that require a lot of bright light in a windowsill with south or western exposure. It’s also important to clean your windows so your plants can take in the maximum amount of sunlight. If windows are not an option for you, consider adding artificial LED grow lights. Position your light source 12-inches away or less for the best results.
Spring and summer and necessary feeding months for plants. However, most plants become dormant in winter and do not require fertilization. Once you see that the plant is starting to grow—typically in March or April—you can start fertilizing again.
Keep plants away from drafts
Exposure to heating vents or cold drafts can be big problems for houseplants in winter. Many tropical plants will not tolerate these fluctuating environment factors. If your windows get drafty, consider moving your plants a few inches back where they will still receive the sun, but not the cold air. Heating vents can also dry out your plant more than usual, so keep that in mind when picking out an indoor spot for your houseplant.
Before bringing your plants inside for the winter, it’s important to inspect them for bugs and to give the leaves a bath by spraying them down and removing debris. This will help your plants to breath better and make them look good. If you notice bugs, soak the pot in a tub of warm water to force out any unwanted pests, then re-pot with fresh soil.
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