Did you know that most plants go dormant during the winter months? This includes a lot of your favorite houseplants. Some of the most common houseplants that go dormant during the winter are:
During this period, your plants' growth naturally slows or stops completely to conserve energy for use when conditions are more ideal. So, what does this mean for your beloved houseplants? Even though your houseplants live in a temperature-controlled environment indoors, they can be affected by dry air, limited light, and fluctuating temperatures. Keep your houseplants thriving by adjusting their care during the colder months.
If your plant does not receive enough light, it can become frail and leggy. Since there are fewer hours of sunlight during the day, you may need to move your plants to a spot with more ample sunlight. A south- or west-facing window that remains sunny all day would be an ideal choice. Make sure not to move plants too close to a chilly window, since they could get a draft which could be damaging. Your plants will benefit from rotating the pots each time you water. This ensures that all sides of the plant receive an even amount of light, ensuring even growth.
Most plants will require less watering during the winter months. Make sure to double-check the level of moisture in the soil before deciding to add more water. Also, keep in mind that different plants have different water needs. For example, drought-tolerant plants such as succulents and cacti might not need watering at all during the winter months. Overwatering your dormant plants can lead to root rot.
Fertilizing is not necessary during the winter months and will not be needed until early spring. Over-fertilizing can upset the plant’s natural cycle.
Most tropical houseplants are comfortable between 65-75°F and cannot tolerate anything below 50°F for an extended period of time. It is important to keep them away from both cold drafts and sources of heat such as radiators, ovens, fireplaces, and heating vents. Prolonged periods of heat or cold can kill your houseplants.
The use of indoor heating often dries the air out in your home during the winter. Most plants need at least 50% humidity to thrive. You can increase the humidity levels for your plants by placing a humidifier nearby, using a pebble tray, and/or misting them multiple times a day. Moving your plants to the kitchen or bathroom during this time is also a great idea since these rooms tend to have the highest humidity in the home.
By following these tips, you can help your beloved houseplants conserve their energy and be ready to thrive this spring.