Get ready for Winter!
Shorter days, less sunlight, and colder temperatures may have a negative impact on us and our plants. If you are a new plant parent and this is your first winter or you want to refresh your knowledge make sure to read and follow our few simple rules!
During winter most houseplants will grow slower and go dormant. As a result, they will need less water. Always check the soil before watering and use room temperature water.
Plants grow slower in winter so won’t need a lot of fertiliser. You can stop using it for a few months and wait until spring but if you really have to use it then reduce the amount and frequency.
When it is getting colder outside, our homes get warmer, it is important to keep our houseplants cosy, but it would be good to move them away from radiators and other sources of higher temperature like a fireplace. The perfect temperature for houseplants is around 18-24 C so if you are cosy and comfortable then your plants will be too!
Check your windows and doors for cold drafts and move plants away from those which are usually open during cold months. Most houseplants don’t like fast temperature changes so if you keep plants next to entry draughty doors it would be worthwhile to consider moving them somewhere else during Winter.
When you have the heating on the humidity at home will reduce. Dry air is not good for plants (or us, and definitely not our skin!). Keeping humidity around 50-60% will keep everyone happy. If your home is not very dry, you don’t have to invest in a humidifier.
You can put a wet towel on the warm radiator to release some moisture into the air.
You can also bunch plants together on top of leca pebbles in a tray. Fill it with water to halfway up the pebbles so the plants aren’t touching the water itself.
This will add to the humidity for the plants without making your whole home humid.If you have a moss pole then spray it regularly or even give it a soak if it is easy to remove. This will increase the humidity around the plants too.
Some plants require very high humidity so check the care advice and if necessary you can move them into a greenhouse, terrarium or under a bell dome (cloche).
Don’t try to make your whole home a greenhouse as it may not be great for your health and your house is not designed for it and you may end up with mould. We call them houseplants because they can thrive in our homes so don’t overdo it!
To take advantage of shorter days and less sunlight move plants where they will get as much sun as possible. Clean leaves as dust can block light which is very limited this time of the year.
Often, people ask me if they need growing lights, and my answer is no. There are specific plants that need a very high level of light all year round, but I was successfully growing plants (including cacti and succulents) all my life without full-spectrum lights. But if you feel that you need it then go for it!
Some houseplants not only grow slower or stop entirely during winter but also shed leaves. This is the natural lifecycle of plants and if you water the plant correctly and there is no sign of pests then don’t panic.
Remove old leaves and leave the plant to live its own way. I noticed that some people try to “fix” the plant by using plant food and watering more.This is the worst thing to do in this situation.
If you are not sure of the reason for your plant losing leaves, take a picture, describe the situation and send us a message! We are here to help!
Let’s take an example from nature which slows down during winter and relax. Your plants will grow slower so don’t need to be repotted or watered very often.
You were working very hard the whole spring and summer. Treat this time as well-deserved holiday and time to sit with a cup of anything you like under a warm blanket and look at your green babies!
Most plants do pretty well when neglected during winter and you will be surprised that maybe your upset looking plants will turn better after weeks of not giving it any attention. Take rest and get ready for next spring, when everything wakes up and will keep us busy for months.
Spend the evening reading about pest treatments and other things to make sure you are ready for next growing season!