During the cold winter months, indoor plants can serve to keep your house looking lively and fresh. Of course, it takes a little extra care to keep them growing strong, especially because most indoor plants are of the tropical variety and not comfortable in temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius.
So how do you care for plants during winter? If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate there is no real need to do anything, but if you are living in a temperate climate it’s important to make some slight adjustments. Below are four important care tips for when the mercury starts to drop.
The sun changes course during winter. It is lower in the sky and obviously not around as much. Track the sun in your home during this period and position your indoor plants in a spot where they can soak up some rays. Exposure to a couple of hours of direct sunlight is important in winter because the sun is weaker and will gently nurture your plant rather than scorching its leaves. You may need to re-position your indoor plants to capture the sun in winter.
Extremes in temperature are a lot more common in winter because you have the hot blast of a heater alongside icy drafts which sneak in through gaps under doors. As you can imagine, these extremes can be difficult for your plant to cope with, so protect it from both. Again this comes down to where you position your plant: keep it well clear of a heater’s radiation and spots where it could be exposed to cold blasts.
You should also be wary of windows. If the plant is touching cold glass there is a risk it will get thermal shock and the leaves will turn brown and fall off.
Don’t plant directly into ceramic or terracotta pots because the plant will get cold during winter.
Due to the weakened light conditions, most plants use winter as a resting phase; they slow down their metabolism and stop growth. As such, you should water plants less, around once per fortnight. Although be aware that heaters will speed up drying out. A good test to know when to water is by poking your finger into the soil – if it’s dry, give the plant a drink.
Different plants have different needs, make sure you tailor your care to individual species.
A slow release fertiliser is the best way to feed your plants. Apply a granule feed in autumn and spring and your plant should have more than enough nutrients to survive winter.
An enemy of us all, dust can slow down your plant’s growth by impeding photosynthesis. Clean leaves with a (50:50) solution of milk and water to keep leaves glossy and dust-free.
Be sure to keep up regular care and position in a suitable environment and your indoor plant should not only survive but thrive during winter!
Information and copyright source: www.homestoiove.com.au