Find out the 3 top tips to keeping your indoor plants happy this winter.
With winter in full swing outdoors, there’s nothing better than basking in a cozy tropical paradise inside your own home. During the winter, however, the needs of your indoor plants change and keeping them happy means making changes to your houseplant care regime.
Winter can be a stressful time for your plants. Temperatures fluctuate drastically, and there’s suddenly far less daylight. Plus, the air in your home is drier, which can be especially shocking to tropicals that are used to a highly humid environment. All these factors mean that you, as a loving plant parent, will have some creative problem-solving to ensure your plants are still getting everything they need in these colder and darker winter months.
This handy guide will help you learn everything you need about how to take care of your indoor plants!
How to Take Care of Your Indoor Plants in Winter
For most plants, the winter season is a period of rest and dormancy. This means that growth rates slow, which alters their needs in terms of basic care. Because all needs are different, you must do a little research beforehand. In a general sense, the best thing to do is mimic your plant’s native habitat as best you can. How you can best take care of your indoor plants is by ensuring they stay warm, get enough light, and are given the right amount of water.
Cut Back on Watering
During the winter, most plants need less water. Learning when to water and how to water during the winter is key for survival. New plant parents often undergo heartbreak during the winter by accidentally overwatering, but this doesn’t need to happen to you!
Because the air is drier in your home, the surface soil of your indoor plant can dry out quicker. Take care not to use dry topsoil as an indicator of how thirsty your indoor plants are. Poke your finger deep into the soil—if the soil is dry two or more inches below the surface, then it’s safe to water.
Generally, you should always use room temperature water on your plants, but that’s especially so during the winter months. Tap water is often much colder during the winter and can shock your plants. For the best plant care, take a large container and fill it with water to sit overnight, then use the tepid water.
Boost Your Humidity
When you turn on your heat in the winter, the air in your home instantly becomes drier. Humidity levels can drop as low as 10 to 20 percent, whereas most plants prefer 50 percent humidity or higher. Investing in a humidifier is the easiest and most effective way to help boost humidity levels in your home during the winter. Your plants will thank you, and you may benefit from the boost as well!
Photo credit: https://leafylittlehome.com
Of course, if you don’t want to run a humidifier, there are alternative methods of increasing your humidity.
- Group your plants; they naturally transpire, so clustering them together is an easy way to bump up the humidity.
- Place plants in the right spot. Through everyday activity, kitchens and bathrooms are the two most humid spots in the home. If you have bright, sunny windows in either of these rooms, they may be the perfect location for your plants during the winter.
- Pebble trays. A tried-and-true method of boosting humidity is to place your plants on a pebble tray allowing water to evaporate around your plant.
Light, Light, Light!
With fewer daylight hours, you may need to either move your plants around the house to locations that get better sun or invest in some artificial lighting. Ideally, your home should have either south- or west-facing windows that get ample light for much of the day. Your plants should be receiving at least 6-8 hours of light a day; anything less, and you’ll want to opt for a grow light or two!
By following this how-to guide, you’ll be ready to take care of your plants this winter! For all your gardening needs, stop at Wallace’s Garden Center. We’re open year-round to help you with all your plant needs!