Keeping Your Houseplants Alive in the Winter
Winter can be a challenging time to grow houseplants, especially if you live where there’s snow.
The cold, dry air is not conducive to the moisture needs of most plants, and minimal sunlight means your plants likely won’t flourish. The constantly-running furnace means that any moisture in the air will be taken right out of it. Plus, since we aren’t in the routine of gardening over the course of the winter months, plants can also be easily overlooked.
However, some houseplants are easy to grow even during the winter season. All it takes is a little insight on how to care for your plants when the temperature drops.
The first (and probably most vital thing) to do is to match your plants to the conditions within your home. For best results, here’s what you’ll want to know about keeping your houseplants alive and well this winter.
1. Choose Low-Care Houseplants
If you’re busy, be sure to include easy-to-care-for plants in your collection. Some of the most forgiving houseplants include:
- Aloe – the plant’s soil can dry completely between waterings.
- Snake Plant – also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, it’s a succulent with thick waxy leaves that loves being pot-bound.
- Jade – one of the most low-maintenance succulent houseplants.
- Rabbit’s Ear – hairy leaves prevent against water loss due to evaporation.
- Spider Plant – an extremely easy-to-grow plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions.
2. Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Plants will improve the indoor air quality of your home in and of themselves! Plants like the Peace Lily, Snake Plant and Devil’s Ivy do a good job of this. But if that’s just not enough, an indoor air purifier can help.
This air purifier’s simple, minimalist design complements contemporary home and office decors. Consisting of a pre-filter, activated carbon filter and true HEPA filter, it captures 99.97% of dust and allergens, giving your plants the best air quality possible. And at 49.2 decibels, it’s no louder than a quiet conversation.
3. Water Sparingly
Confused about watering? You’re not alone. Watering is a very common question.
Generally speaking, you should water the plant when the top inch of soil has dried out. This is typically around once per week.
To check, simply stick your finger in the potting mix and assess the moisture content. If you don’t want to stick your finger in the pot, you can use a moisture meter to measure the soil.
Another watering technique is to give them a spritz from a mister every few days.
4. Adjust the Humidity
There are a few ways to increase humidity in the air throughout the dry winter months. A humidity tray is one option, but you can also purchase a desktop humidifier to direct moisture-dense air towards your plants.
5. Dust Off the Leaves
Keep plants clean. Dust can accumulate on surfaces throughout your home and plants are no exception.
Dirt and dust can clog the pores of the leaves and prevent transpiration from happening. Leaves function as key players in photosynthesis of the plant, absorbing light to power the chloroplasts in the cells. In most plants, the leaves also regulate carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapour exchange.
To clean them, dampen a soft washcloth and wipe the leaves down gently. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to gently wipe the leaves and pedals of hardy flowers.
6. Fertilize in the Spring
Unlike outdoor plants, which are more likely to be exposed to bugs, wildlife, and disease, indoor plants grow much more slowly and typically don’t need much fertilizing. However, some green thumbs like to begin fertilizing when the days begin to get longer (say, the beginning of the spring) and then transition the plant to the outdoors as the temperatures rise.
7. Control the Temperature
If you notice your plants are struggling, turn the heat in your home up during the day and then way down at night. The temperature variance feels familiar to plants because it mimics the conditions they would typically experience outdoors over the course of 24 hours.
Your indoor plants will thrive in temperatures ranging from 18° to 24°C during the day, and as low as 15°C at night.
8. Consider Re-potting
Since houseplants don’t grow much throughout the winter, they typically don’t become too rootbound. This means that if you choose to re-pot them once the weather warms up, they’ll get an extra boost!
Try the Indoor Herb Grower
Of course, if indoor houseplants aren’t your thing and you’re more about bringing outdoor plants indoors for the winter, try our home herb grower. With an herb grower, you’ll be able to grow fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers all year round!