In the winter your plants are quiet and resting as the sunlight is limited and they put their life on pause. Even though you don't have arctic weather and whipping winds in your home, there are changes in your plants' environment. This is meant to be a guide to helping you keep your Indoor house plants thriving during winter months.
Slow Down on Watering
In the winter months, our natural lighting from outside grows less. When there is less light, your soil will remain wet longer. That means less watering! A plant that you may have watered twice a week in spring and summer may only need it once a week in the winter. It would be best to check the soil with your finger. This will help prevent overwatering which could lead to root rot and yellowing leaves. A great tip for when you do water your plant, use room temperature water to help prevent shocking your roots this is great to do all year round!
As we mentioned above lighting changes in the winter months. Your plants may need more lighting. When adjusting your lighting there are a few things to keep in mind. If you move them near a window make sure there are no drafts and the leaves are not touching the cold glass. Rotating your plants will ensure they receive good lighting throughout. Grow lights really come in handy when you are limited on space that has good lighting. When getting a grow light, we recommend a full-spectrum light.
Avoid Drafts & Heat Vents
It's never fun when you're leaving your warm home and open the door to suddenly get hit in the face with a blast of cold stinging air. Our plants don't enjoy it either. Try and avoid keeping your plant where extreme temperature changes happen. Near a drafty window, back door, or a heating vent. Cold air can cause stress, and too much hot air can dry your leaves out turning them brown and crispy.
Leaves can drop or yellow more!
This tip is more for your plants that live outside that you bring in during the winter months. When your plant moves to a new area with new lighting it takes some time for it to adjust. This adjusting process can cause the leaves to yellow or drop. Your indoor plants also know that it's winter due to the light changes which can cause them to also drop. So do not worry, your plant is just adjusting to change. Come spring when new growth begins to appear you can remove any leaves that may not look as good.
No need to feed
Your plants are going through a season of rest also known as dormant. This is where they're not growing if so it's very little. They do not need fertilization since food gives plants energy to grow. Your indoor tropical plants can be fertilized at a reduced rate since they continue growing.
Watch for pests!
Winter is the time for pests to make their appearance. Pests like mealybugs, spider mites, & even fungus gnats. They like warm, dry conditions. When you turn on the heat this brings the perfect environment for them. Do not worry though! Just check for these pests regularly during these times. If you find an infested plant, isolate it immediately. Give it a shower, then spray a horticulture spray & wipe down the leaves. Using a Neem Oil spray once a week will help prevent pests.
Up The Humidity!
Turning our heaters on makes our houses dry! Humidifiers are great during this time. Indoor tropical house plants prefer a humid environment with ranges of 40% to 50 %. If you don't have a humidifier a simple budget-friendly idea is a pebble tray. Simply add pebbles to a tray, and add water to cover the pebbles slightly. With too much water your plant may end up getting root rot. You can also mist your plants, just make sure you are doing it in the morning so they have time to dry, preventing fungal disease.
Keep The Leaves Clean
Dust can block your plant's leaves from breathing. When we turn our heaters on dust gets stirred into the air thus landing on your foliage. Also when we water, hard water stains can get left. A great way to keep your leaves clean is a microfiber dusting glove. Spend a cold winter evening indoors cleaning your plants. Not only does this help them breathe but it makes their beauty stand out even more!
Don't Re-pot unless it's Tropical
If your plant is tropical, winter is a great time to repot. After a spring and summer of growing your plant can become root-bound making this the perfect time to check. Other indoor house plants or plants you brought in for winter may not like being repotted. It can cause shock to them if they are dormant or resting.
Do your plants have a layer of moss on top?
Some people enjoy adding a layer of moss, or decorative pebble rocks along the top of the soil for appeal. During winter since our plants dry slower it would be beneficial to remove them or pushed to the side. This can help prevent a build-up of fungus gnats, and your soil from molding.