Winter is coming...or it certainly feels like it to us, and more importantly your green babies will feel it! Radiators, less daylight, over-watering, lack of humidity, dust and breeding plant pests are all notable causes of plant death. So how can we get ahead of the game and keep our darlings healthy and thriving throughout the colder months?
Here are six things you need to ensure you’re on top of so you can get the most out of your plants during the winter too!
1. Reduce watering frequency
In the summer, you may water your plants 2-3 a week, but in the winter, you shouldn’t need to them more than once a week. Check the soil by sticking two fingers about 2 inches into it, if it is dry then water the soil, but not directly over the roots, spread it out a little throughout soil; the roots will reach it just fine. Succulents only need watering every two to three weeks and cacti won’t need watering at all throughout the winter!
2. Keep plants away from changing temperatures
Indoor plants struggle with the changing temperatures we require to keep healthy throughout the colder months. Whilst they need to be near windows to get as much light as possible, if you can, keep the radiators near you plants off and windows closed. Do not close any blinds that are directly near your plants either as they trap the cold e.g. windowsill plants.
3. Let them have light!
Plants need as much light as they can get, so move them into the brightest areas of your home. Even though some plants are advertised as needing less or more light than others, in the winter months no light is too much really!!! You could always put them in the brighter spots on your table or kitchen top whilst at work to return them back to their usual place when you are home again.
4. Humidity is key
Most plants will suffer in dry air; an easy sign being the discolouration of the leaves. Therefore, you can keep them happy by doing one or two of the following:
· Misting regularly
· Placing them in a dish with water and pebbles (pebbles to stop the roots from rotting)
· Buying a humidifier
· Taking them into the shower with you (but not directly under the water) once or twice a week
· Giving it a 30 second lukewarm shower once a week
5. Keep ‘em clean
Whilst dust is a problem all year round, it is especially crucial that you wipe your leaves of it during the winter as dust reduces the amount of light that can reach the plant's surface. You don’t need anything special, but to kill two birds with one stone, we recommend a very mild solution of washing up liquid and tepid water as this will also help with pest prevention.
6. Protect from pesky plant pests
Pests like spider mites, thrips and mealybugs tend to breed over the winter.
Check for tiny white cotton bits (mealybugs) or tiny webbing (spider mites) or anything unusual. We like to spray our plants with bug killer every now and again. You can find some that act as anti-pesticide and fertiliser at the same time for circa £5 in most garden centres!
Don't worry if this all feels a bit overwhelming. Start with one or two of the above tips and once you have those down pat you can add another habit in and so forth! You'll get there!