Winter has well and truly arrived! As you’re donning your scarf and hat, and cranking up the radiator to keep warm, don’t forget to show your houseplants some love, too. The cold weather, sparse daylight and dry air generated by central heating can all cause upset to your green family. But worry not, the team at Beards & Daisies have the following tips to ensure your plants breeze the winter months.
- Reduce watering
The majority of plants will have a dormant period in winter – think of this a little bit like them going into hibernation – they use this time to rest. This means their growth will slow down (so don’t expect them to sprout any new flowers in this time), and they won’t need as much hydration. Instead, only water when the top two inches of soil feel dry to touch. By continuing to water them as regularly as you usually would, you risk putting them under strain which can lead to weak growth.
- Increase light
We’re not the only ones who dread the lack of sunlight in winter. Your plants will want to make the most of light before the sun disappears mid-late afternoon, so move them to the sunniest spots in your house and nudge closer to your windows. Aim for east-facing for morning sun that's not too harsh. You could also consider moving them into a conservatory as that way they will receive light from all directions, or invest in an LED growing light for a more concentrated hit.
- Avoid fertiliser
To echo tip one, winter isn’t a time for your plants to be making mass growth, therefore using fertiliser is a little redundant and even counterproductive during the cooler months. Allow your plants slide into winter slumber and hold off using fertiliser. Springtime is when you can reintroduce food to them with a weak amount of fertiliser.
- Dust them
It might sound odd, but dust building up on your plant’s leaves will clog its pores (also known as stomata) – meaning they’ll struggle to access the already sparse winter light. Having dusty foliage decreases the amount of light that can reach the leaf surface, making it difficult for your plant to make food. Remedy this by taking a damp cloth and gently wiping away and dirt from their leaves. Alternatively, you could even treat your plant to a shower at a lukewarm temperature to clean away dust.
- Top up the humidity
Whilst we love to crank up the central heating and radiators on cold days, your plants on the other hand, won’t be so appreciative as the dry air decreases their humidity levels. Keep them moist by misting regularly with tepid water. A pebble tray or humidifier are also a great help to your plant pals during the colder months.