Caring for houseplants during the winter months.

Caring for houseplants during the winter months.

A few adjustments can ease the stress on your houseplants.  If possible, move your plants to gain the most sun exposure.  Avoid placing them too close to heating vents.  Don’t place them too close to the window either.  Cleaning your windows helps let more light in. Gently wiping any dust off the leafs is a good idea too. You can add artificial light if needed.  Fluorescent bulbs are cheaper than grow lights and are usually sufficient for short term.  Don’t place your plants too close to the lamp.  About a foot away is good.

Caring for houseplants during the winter months

Caring for houseplants during the winter months

Depending on your climate you may need to add some humidity to the air.  A humidity gauge can by had for just a few dollars. They’re handy to get a better idea of the amount of moisture in the air.  Most houseplants can tolerant a relative humidity of around forty to fifty percent during winter.  If the air is very dry a humidifier will not only help your plants, but will also make it more comfortable for you.  A real simple method would be to have a pebble lined tray filled with water.  As the water evaporates it will help humidity the leafs.  Just remember to add water as needed.

Here’s a list of hardy winter houseplants recommended by the National Gardening Association.

A common issue during the winter is over-watering.  Most houseplants prefer to have their soil dry out before adding water.  Exceptions are plants like ferns or citrus plants, they’ll need more attention when it comes to watering and ambient air moisture.  During the winter plants are not as actively growing as they would be with more sun.

Usually it’s not recommended to fertilize plants during the winter.  Wait till spring when they are actively growing.  It’s also not a good idea to re-pot plants during the winter either.  Wait till they are actively growing.   Wooded plants, on the other hand, go dormant during winter.  Re-pot them before they start to bud in the spring.

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