The Garden Plant
Houseplants in Winter

How to Care For Houseplants in Winter

Most houseplants in winter have a hard time surviving the winter as a result of the extreme weather conditions. These plants tend to be ‘dormant’ and experience little to no growth in these conditions but require lots of care to sustain them throughout this period.

To ensure your plant does not fade away with the winter, you must adjust the care routine given to it to suit the seasonal conditions.
Conditions like temperature, which changes from the heat in the day time to chill/cold in the night, limited light, short day, and even dry air can inhibit the growth of a houseplant and also lower its chances of survival.

Here are a few steps to take if you intend to keep your plant alive in winter.

Overwatering your plant in winter can cause the root to rot, thereby killing the plant. Once you start noticing some weird insects flying around the plants, moldy soil, and yellow leaves, it indicates excess watering. Unlike in spring and summer, houseplants in winter experience a slow growth rate and so, require just a little amount of water to keep them hydrated.

Although the surface of the soil may look dry, that shouldn’t make you water it yet. Poke your finger into the soil to determine if the land is dry or not. You can also determine if the soil is dry by lifting the pot because the ground becomes lighter when dry. Also, if you must, use room temperature water when watering the plants. Be careful not to use ice water as you wouldn’t want to shock them.

Houseplants in Winter

Do not fertilize houseplants in winter.

The growth of most plants in winter is either extra slow or dormant. Fertilizers can ruin them altogether.
Winter days are short, and short days mean lesser light.

You may have to reposition your houseplant and move them to areas with enough light if they aren’t getting it where they are. You can place your plant close to the window during the day to help them get enough sunlight but ensure to remove them when it’s night.

Artificial lightings

Fluorescent bulbs can also be used to provide adequate light for your houseplants.
Excess dust particles accumulated on the leaves can hinder them from breathing well (impede the process of photosynthesis). You can clean with a soft damp cloth or a spray off in the kitchen sink or shower. (Before spraying, test the water to make sure it is lukewarm).

Hold off on repotting during winter. It is best to do so in spring.
Move your houseplants away from any source of direct heat (heating vents, heaters, or fireplaces) and from drafts that can cause a chill.

In winter, most homes use a humidifier or other means to raise the humidity level. Move your plants close to this humidity source so they can fully enjoy its benefits.
Follow these steps while keeping an eye on your plants, and they’ll survive through the winter.

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Brent Richard Dixon

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