Colder days are ahead and slowly but steady we are layering up to get ready for those freezing winter months. It is not just us that have to change our routine – houseplants have other needs too during winter. Taking care of your houseplants can be tricky, we often feel that we need to take extra good care of our green buddies to get them through the harsh months, while we should actually lovingly neglect them. But what does that mean? Dive into our short guide full of top tips and become an expert on winter houseplant care.
1 Water less during winter times
While it’s true that winter air is often very dry, you should water your houseplants less over the winter period. Why? During the colder months, your plants will grow slower or even enter dormancy (it’s like a winter sleep for plants). To stay hydrated, they will need less water in the winter. Don’t overdo your watering as this can lead to root rot i.e. killing your botanical friend. Some Cacti and Succulents don’t need any water at all over the winter months!
TOP TIP: To check if your plant is in need of hydration, poke your finger 1 or 2 inches into the soil to see if it’s dry. Don’t just check the surface as this is not a good indicator – the dry air will vaporize most of the water on the direct surface.
2 Increase the level of humidity
Because of the dry wintery air, your houseplants will be grateful for a bit of extra humidity during winter. There are a few ways to make sure of this, have a look:
- Make use of a humidifier – Place it near your plants and you will notice that they will thrive by the extra bit of humidity.
- Locate your plants in moist areas – Like in the bathroom or kitchen, where they can take up moisture from the air.
- Group your plants together – They can make use of the water that each of the plants naturally releases through their leaves.
- Place your plants on (or near) a tray of water – Just make sure the pots do not touch the water.
3 Protect them from cold, draught and heat sources
As we already told you, plants really don’t like the cold, dry winter air. Protect them from it by not placing them near draughty windows or doors. On the other hand, they can’t stand heat sources like radiators, ovens, fireplaces etc. We get it – they might seem hard to please now, but once you take these tips into consideration your plants will be eternally grateful.
TOP TIP: When watering, try to use water that is about the same temperature as the air. This will prevent your houseplants from getting a ‘brain freeze’.
4 Locate them in a sunny spot
Like during spring and summer, your plants need enough (direct) sunlight in the colder months too. Consider relocating them to a brighter spot – south or west-facing windows for example – to ensure they get enough light. Just be aware that they should never lean against a frosty window, or else they might get a ‘cold’. Also, remember to rotate your plants to avoid distorted growth.
TOP TIP: Did you know that plants take (sun)light in through their leaves? As sunlight is already in short supply during winter, make sure the plant’s leaves are dust and dirt-free to make things easier for them.
5 No repotting, cuttings or fertiliser
Fertilising your plants equals boosting their growth and that is exactly why they don’t need it over the winter period. Consider winter as their resting period. Start fertilising again in spring, to boost their natural growing season. Don’t re-pot your plants or start taking cuttings either – let them rest.
Follow these 5 top tips and you will be a winter houseplant care master. Looking for more general plant care top tips? Then consider reading our article about 4 common plant care misconceptions.