It’s that time of year again when temperatures are starting to fall. We all know houseplants thrive throughout spring and summer but the real challenge is helping them survive throughout the colder months.
Don’t worry though we are here to help! Here are our top seasonal tips:
Dust accumulates everywhere, even on the porous leaves of your houseplants. This dust can make it difficult for the plant to ‘breathe’ and conduct photosynthesis. To avoid this problem, simply dust the leaves lightly with a damp cloth every week or two.
The angle of the sun changes from season to season so now is the time to pay attention as winter settles in. Some of your plants may require a new place to live as the sun takes a more northerly aspect during the winter months. Try brighter places closer to north facing windows and doors. The little darlings still need the same amount of sun as they did in summer! Also consider rotating your plants so that they get sun on all sides.
Forgo the fertiliser
Foliage growth slows down quite a lot during the winter months so hold off on fertilizing until the start of spring to capture all the exuberance of the new growth season!
Because plants grow considerably slower in winter, they won’t need as much water as they did during the hotter months. You may need to cut your watering by half or even two thirds. Too much water can lead to mould growth and other fungal infections which will make your plants very unhappy. Follow your instincts and remember you can always add water but you can’t take it away.
Here are some tips on how to decide whether to water or not:
1. Eye it
Have a peak under the leaves and check the potting mix. Is it dark in colour? Moist potting mix is, of course, darker than dry mix.
2. Try it:
Use your finger to check if the potting mix along the edge of the planter is wet or dry. If the first couple of centimetres are quite dry, it’s usually a sign to give it a drink.
3. Lift it: Your pot plant will feel much heavier if it has been watered. If it feels a lot lighter than last time you watered it, it’s probably a sign it needs a drink. Doing this regularly will help you get a feel for your plant, literally!
When watering your plant, pour room temperature water into the planter where the stem of the plant meets the soil until some starts trickling into the saucer. Be careful not to overfill it though! Let the plant soak up the water for 15 minutes or so and then empty the saucer. Allowing your plant to sit in water may cause overwatering and root rot.
And finally, sing to your plants. This doesn’t actually do anything for the plants but it’ll make you laugh at yourself and feel good 😉 Happy green-thumbing!