Winter Plant Care
By Joelle Beauchamp
As there is less sunlight during the winter months, your plants may be craving some sunshine as well. If your plant is not receiving enough light, consider moving it closer to the light source, or investing in a secondary grow light. Plants that are suffering from a lack of light will lose leaves and turn a pale green or yellow color.
With less sun, your plant will require less water. In seasons with more sunshine to absorb, the plant needs more water to compensate for this fact! A good rule of thumb for watering is to stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil (deeper for larger plants), if the soil an inch or so down is dry, top it off with a bit of water! Overwatered plants leaves will typically look limp and droopy, and the roots can begin to rot with too much water, causing an odor.
Watch the Temperature
As the heat kicks on and the windows stay latched, be cautious of where your plants are placed around your home. Ensure that no plants are placed close to a heating vent or radiators and take the plant off your windowsill to keep in a warmer place until the temperatures rise again!
Skip the Fertilizer
As winter serves as a hibernation period for so many creatures, it does for your plants as well. During the winter, you will see very little growth, it’s not you! With this little growth during the cold months, fertilizer is unnecessary, so take a break, and start again when the snow melts!
Watch for Bugs!
Plants and warm homes are the perfect hiding place for common houseplant pests, such as aphids, scales or spider mites. Every time you water your plants, check the leaves and soil for bugs! If you notice any pests, move your plant away from others so as not to spread, and try spraying diluted hydrogen peroxide or neem oil onto leaves and soil.
Everything becomes drier during the winter, our skin, our hair, and our plants! Your plants prefer a humid environment, but instead of buying a humidifier just for them, try to huddle them together! The water that evaporates from soil will increase the humidity around your plants.
Wipe your Leaves
Your plant is receiving less light than it is used to during these cold months and needs all the sunlight it can get! Dust and debris that build on the leaves of your plants can affect its ability to absorb light. When you water your plants, wipe the leaves off carefully with a moist rag!
Wait to Repot!
As your plants stop growing so quickly in the cold months, and take the cold months to hibernate, repotting your plant can shock the plant, and too large of a pot while they are not growing can contribute to malnutrition and improper watering.