According to experts, houseplants need less feeding and watering during the cooler months of the year, but they need to be kept warm in order to thrive. To help Britons who may have received houseplants as gifts throughout the festivities, the experts at Hammonds Furniture have shared six important tips to follow.
1. Water less
The pros explain: “Although it seems counterintuitive because winter air is dry, most plants actually need less water during the winter months. This is because they naturally slow their growth or even become completely inactive.
“Surface soil may dry out more quickly in winter, but this is not the best indicator that a plant needs water.
“To test this, push your finger deep into the soil, about an inch or two below the surface.
“If your finger gets wet and dirty, don’t water. If the soil underneath is still dry and your finger comes out clean, it’s time to water.
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2. Stop feeding them
It is important to reduce their watering as well as their feeding because most houseplants will not need fertilization as their growth slows or stops altogether when the weather turns cold.
According to experts, houseplant owners can resume feeding plants in the spring to help them resume their growth.
If plants are overfed or overfed, the chemicals in the fertilizer are not used up and accumulate in the soil where they can harm the entire plant.
3. Increase humidity
The experts continued: “This is one of the biggest challenges your houseplants will have to overcome this winter as the humidity in most homes drops which makes the air dryer in winter.
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“While 30 percent to 60 percent is a good range of indoor humidity for comfort and health, tropical plants especially will prefer the higher end of that spectrum.
“There are a few ways to increase the humidity in your home, depending on your budget. The simplest way is to cluster your plants together or place them on a tray filled with pebbles and water.
“You can also place your plants in the bathroom and let them get drenched in the warm steam from your shower. Lastly, you can always buy a humidifier for your home.
4. Keep Them Warm
Most houseplants grow well in regular room temperatures, but they are sensitive to frequent fluctuations in temperature.
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“It becomes even more important to clean your plants with a damp cloth in the winter because dust can reduce their ability to capture light effectively.”
6. Watch for Pests
Houseplants become more susceptible to pests in the winter months due to the warmer, dryer conditions inside people’s homes.
To prevent aphids and spider mites from living on houseplants, be sure to turn over your houseplant’s leaves regularly and inspect the stems for any pests and wipe them off.
For larger infestations, an insecticidal soap may need to be purchased online or from garden centers.
Gardener and plants expert, Fiona Jenkins, commented: “During the winter, houseplants generally don’t need to be watered as often.
“Hence, check the soil or compost is dry before watering. If your plant’s leaves are drooping or water isn’t easily absorbing into the compost, that’s a good sign that your plant is being over-watered.
“Since your central heating is higher in winter, it’s best to move plants away from radiators.
“Central heating lowers the humidity level in the room, which is needed by many plants. Therefore, stand the pots on damp gravel or mist them occasionally.