3 Winter Care Tips for Your Indoor Plants
Houseplants are much less resilient indoors during winter months, and so this is the time of year we're most likely to damage our favourite plants with the wrong kind of care.
But fear not, for below are three handy tips to help you protect your green family over the festive season and keep each one as healthy as possible for another year.
01 Abandon Your Routine
We're constantly repeating ourselves when we say this, but it really is good advice: avoid watering your plants as a matter of routine. Overwatering is the biggest killer of houseplants, especially in colder months. During the winter, many plants will enter a dormant state in response to decreasing light levels, and therefore require much less water (or no water at all, in the case of cacti and other succulents).
Before watering, stick your finger in the top 5cm / 1 inch of compost, and only water if the soil feels completely dry. Some plants will need more water that others (particularly if some rooms in your home are cooler than others), so individually check each plant's compost to work out which are actually thirsty.
In the case of desert cacti, you can stop watering entirely until early spring. Do keep watering your Christmas cacti when it feels dry though, as it will continue to flower in autumn and winter months.
02 Keep 'Em Cosy
You ideally want to keep houseplants between 12 - 18⁰C, with as few fluctuations in temperature as possible. Avoid keeping plants next to hot fireplaces and radiators, which can scorch their leaves, or on windowsills, which may get very cold at night.
The humidity in your home can drop significantly over winter months what with regular blasts of central heating. Sitting plants on a layer of drainage stones within their watering tray will help to provide a reserve of moisture without damaging the plant's roots. You can also group your tropical plants together over winter so help reduce the effects of extreme hot or cold air.
Look out for brown leaf tips, which can signify too little humidity.
03 Let There Be Light
With the shorter days of autumn and winter, when sunlight is at its weakest, houseplants can suffer if they are already in a darker corner of your home. If you can, move plants nearer to bright windows or into a conservatory, being wary of draughty spots, of course.
It can also help to clean plants' leaves to remove any layers of dust or grime that might be preventing as much light to reach their leaves as possible. If you have very little natural light, you can invest in some fluorescent bulbs and position them a foot or two from your plants.
We hope that helps you, and good luck keeping your plant gang happy over the festive period!
Words by Ro Co, Photography by Erika Raxworthy