It is important to know how to care for houseplants in winter. The best plants decorate our interiors all year round, but they give us the greatest pleasure during the winter months when the garden is dormant and satisfies our need for the natural beauty of foliage and flowers. Potted plants add color and interest to indoor spaces, but growing conditions change in your home during the cold, dark months of the year. You need to adjust how you care for your plants to keep them healthy and thriving. With these care tips, you can ensure that your green friends continue to fill your home with their natural beauty and lushness during the cold season.
Table of Contents
- Caring for houseplants in winter: reduce watering
- Care tips for houseplants in winter – do not fertilize them
- Care for houseplants in winter: put them in the light
- Care for potted plants in the cold months – temperature and location.
- Check the plants for pests
- Repot houseplants in winter
- Remove dust and spray the plants
Caring for houseplants in winter: reduce watering
When the days get shorter and growth stops, adjusting watering is essential. During the winter, houseplant growth slows, so they need to be watered much less – overwatering during the dormant season can even lead to rot. Watering needs depend on the type of plant, but generally watering once a week or even less is sufficient. Cacti and succulents need to be watered once every 2-3 weeks until spring. However, pay attention to the watering routine for plants in warmer, heated areas, as they may still dry out quickly. Depending on the location, plants can dry out more quickly, especially plants in heated soil or those near radiators. The soil should dry out completely before the next watering. A golden rule is not to stick to a schedule, but check the soil to see if it is moist.
Care tips for houseplants in winter – do not fertilize.
If you are wondering if you should fertilize houseplants in the winter, the answer is no. It is not necessary to fertilize them over the winter, but only when they are actively growing. Fertilizing plants in winter can actually do more harm than good. The plants don’t use as many nutrients then. Forcing plants to grow by fertilizing during the dormant season will result in thin stems and pale leaves.
Caring for houseplants in winter: put them in the light
One way to care for houseplants in winter, when the days get shorter and the light decreases, is to put them in a place where they get as much sunlight as possible. Replace plants regularly so that all the plants get light. If you have dark corners that don’t get sunlight during the day, adding bulbs can make a big difference. Light sensitivity depends on the type of plant, and some houseplants can be damaged by too much direct sunlight, so be aware of the light requirements of different species.
Drought-loving plants such as cacti and succulents need plenty of heat and light, so be sure to keep an eye on them in the fall and winter.
Caring for potted plants in the cold months – temperature and location.
Reconsider the location of your plants indoors, especially near drafty windows that can allow cold air to enter and away from heating that can raise the temperature above your plants’ preferences.
Most houseplants do not like fluctuating temperatures and in winter this can become a problem as they are exposed to heat from heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators, as well as cold drafts from doors and windows. The key to keeping plants happy is to keep temperatures constant.
Check the plants for pests.
Winter is the best time to track down tiny, sucking insects such as aphids and scale insects. Spider mites are another common winter pest because they prefer warm, dry conditions. Turn the leaves of plants over and examine their undersides each time you water them. Check the stems as well. If you find pests, try wiping them off with your fingers or an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. If the infestation is severe, neem oil is a safer way to get rid of pests.
Repotting houseplants in winter
Plants tolerate repotting well when they are actively growing. Therefore, spring and summer are the best times to repot houseplants. Repotting in the colder months can shake dormant or dormant potted plants, so resist that urge.
Remove dust and spray the plants.
Dust on the leaves of houseplants can clog their pores and also harbor pests. That’s why it’s important to clean the leaves regularly, especially in the winter. Dust your potted plants in the winter so they can absorb as much light as possible. A layer of dust accumulates on most plants over time, reducing the amount of light reaching the leaves. This makes it difficult for them to produce food through photosynthesis. To keep your plants healthy, wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or spray them with a little water.
Smooth-leaved plants should be dusted first with a brush and then sprayed with water. Hairy plants or cacti should not be sprayed or washed. Remove damaged, yellowed leaves by pinching out the stems at the base of the plant.