Winter hasn’t really set in yet, those bitter cold temperatures of last year haven’t surfaced and the frosts have been rather non-existent, the central heating isn't up to 100 and the windows and doors may still get opened once in a while without the military precision required in winter. All of these factors affect how indoor plants survive during the winter and to make sure that their lives go on, the way we care for them needs to be adjusted too. Here are a few basic tips to keeping your house plants alive this winter.
- Watering is the single most important thing a plant needs but is also the single biggest killer.
- Keep the soil moist and wait until it has almost dried before rewatering. One easy way to check is push your finger an inch into the compost, if its wet, its ok.
- In the winter your plants will need watering less than during spring and summer as they go into a dormant phase with less active growth. Adjust any watering schedules to only water when necessary.
- Water from above direct to the soil and also allow the water to drain away. Leaving the plant over watered can rot the roots and the plant will die.
- If the plant is still growing or flowering maintain watering to suit its needs.
- Reduce feeding over the winter period while the plants have reduced active growth and do not feed plants that are resting.
- If the plants are still growing and flowering keep feeding the same.
- Remove dying or dead flowers, leaves and other foliage by pinching them off with your thumb and forefinger.
- Sitting around the house all day plants like all other objects will aquire dust. Build up of dust is not only rather ugly but it can prevent the plants from growing properly
Bugs and pests
- Keep your eyes peeled for bugs on the stems, tufts of white fluff at the base and yellow speckling on the leaves. All three of these are signs common pests have got to your plant and are doing it some harm. Remove with organic soap sprays or rubbing off with some cotton wool.