Posted 27 Jan, 2020
4 Tips To Care For Your Plants All Winter Long
Plants are more than just beautiful décor pieces. Our leafy green friends purify the air we breathe, boost our mood, help us sleep and certain plants are even delicious to eat. However, keeping indoor plants alive during the coldest months of the year can be tricky.
When sun exposure is limited, the atmosphere is dry and temperatures fall, your plants are at risk and it’s important to exercise extra caution when caring for them during wintertime. Exercise winter plant care by using these helpful tips to keep your greenery alive and well when it’s cold outside.
1. Bring potted plants inside before the first frost
Before the end of the fall, your potted plants might look and smell their best. Extend their lifespan by bringing them inside your home over the winter and continue to enjoy them during the coldest months of the year.
First, select the healthiest plants to bring indoors. Second, begin bringing your plants indoors overnight while the temperature outside is still close to the temperature inside. This will help to gradually introduce your plants to a new atmosphere. When the temperature reaches 0°C, usually near the beginning of October in Ontario, leave your plants indoors until spring. Make sure to debug your plant and clean off any excess dirt and dust before taking it inside.
2. Give your plants as much time in the sun as possible
Plants need a mixture of oxygen, nutrients, water, and sunlight to grow and survive. Shorter daylight hours during the winter means that your plants may struggle to stay alive. Make sure that your plants receive adequate amounts of sun and rotate them for maximum exposure. You might notice your plants leaning in the direction of sunlight. Remember that a plant bending towards sunlight will also crave it on its opposite side.
However, just because a plant needs the sun does not mean that it requires heat. Keep your plants at room temperature and away from fireplaces during wintertime since most greenery is flammable. It’s also important to move plants away from heating vents and radiators to prevent them from drying out. If you find that your plants need more sunlight than your room allows for, consider investing in a grow light for extra support.
3. Remember to take care of your plants before leaving for vacation
Winter usually means a holiday break and if you’re planning on leaving home for your vacation, don’t forget about your plants. While you’re away, your plants are likely to dry out, so it’s essential to keep them hydrated. If you are unable to ask a friend or neighbour to water your plants when you’re away, consider creating a houseplant water-wicking system.
Before leaving for your holiday, adjust the temperature in your home so that it’s comfortable for your plants and gather them in an area the receives adequate but not intense sunlight. Worried about your plants receiving enough moisture and sunlight during your vacation? Create a DIY mini greenhouse for them to hang out in when you’re away. A mini greenhouse makes efficient use of heat from the sun and moisture from the soil and fellow plants.
4. Only water when absolutely necessary
During the winter, colder atmospheres means moisture from plants takes longer to absorb and evaporate. Check the top two inches of your houseplant’s soil before watering. If the soil is moist, there is no need to add more water. If the soil two inches down is dry, it’s time for a drink. Make sure to distribute water as evenly as possible instead of flooding the same area of your plant over and over again.
You might be tempted to leave your plants sitting in water for daily absorption from bottom to top. However, letting your houseplants continually soak can lead to root rot, mold and fungus. Save yourself from a wet mess by watering your plants only when necessary during the winter.