Winter care for houseplants
We know it’s a chilly time outside for plants to grow but it’s important to remember to look at how you care for your indoor plants.
We have 5 tips for you to get the best out of your plants this winter.
Keep them cosy
Most house plants need a temperature of 12-18°C. They really aren’t fans of large temperature fluctuations, so position them away from cold draughts and open windows or doors. If they’re on a windowsill, leave the curtains open if you can, as they trap cold air at night. Equally as important keep them away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces, which can scorch foliage.
For most house plants, you’ll only need to water them once every fortnight. Dormant plants need very little water – too much and they’ll either produce soft, weak growth or will rot as water gathers in the soil. Succulents will only need watered every two to three weeks, and for cacti, stop watering entirely. However, if you have any winter-flowering plants, such as Christmas cacti and poinsettias, they will need watered whenever the compost feels dry. You can tell when the compost is dry by sticking your finger into the soil.
Just like humans need exposure to sunlight, plants need to benefit from light. Try and place them in a sunny spot, i.e. a porch or sun room. Alternatively pop them on a west- or south-facing windowsill. It’s also worth cleaning your windows inside and out to let in as much light as possible.
Keep them clean
Hands up if you remember to dust your houseplants! Houseplants can accumulate a layer of household dust on their leaves which then reduces the amount of light that can reach the leaf surface. Wipe off dust regularly using a damp cloth, or stand the plant in a luke-warm shower for five minutes.
Aphids, scale insects, thrips and mealybugs love a cosy warm environment to breed in. Keep an eye on your plants for the wee blighters. Look under the leaves and as well as on top. Check plants that have spent the summer out in the garden particularly well, so you don’t introduce new pests, and remove any that you find. Keep inspecting your plants regularly throughout the winter.