How to Take Care of Your Indoor Plants in the Winter

Are you indoor plants looking sad and depressed? Are you in need of some tips to help your plants thrive during the winter season? You have come to the right place! Here are some tips to prepare and care for your plants in an indoor environment.

A question frequently asked is, “How is caring for indoor plants in the winter different than caring for them in the other seasons?” The answer is the water, the light, and the fertilizers are all different! The key is to control the indoor environment to match the needs of the plants and ensure good health.

Since winter is a slow growth season for plants, houseplants usually require less frequent watering. However, depending on the species of the plants, the frequency also varies. For Example:

• Ferns- Require moist soil and should be watered more frequently.
• Cactus-Should not be over watered. Wait until the soil is completely dry until you water again.
• Most plants should be watered when the soil is almost dry.
It is important to remember that houseplants need to be watered thoroughly. Water them until there is excess freely draining out of the bottom of the pot into the tray. Then drain the tray and replace it beneath the pot.

In the winter, the intensity of the light decreases making it harder for indoor plants to receive the amount of light they need to maintain good health. Here are a few suggestions to help you care for your plants during this season:

• Consider additional light sources – fluorescent growth lights or incandescent lighting
o Fluorescent growth lighting –Give off little heat and should be placed around 4-6 inches above from plants.
o Incandescent lighting –Give off more heat and should be placed more than a foot above the plant.
• It is important when using additional lighting to pay attention to the type and wattage of the bulb because the wavelengths vary. If you see browning of leaves, the plant may be receiving too much light and heat. Simply move the light farther away from the plant to adjust the intensity.

Fertilizing in the spring and summer should occur every once in a while because plants are actively growing. In the winter, indoor plants do not need to be fertilized because it is their growing off-season. So instead of fertilizing, focus on maintenance and cleaning:

• Inspecting for any pests in the soil or under the leaves. If you suspect any, just add a small amount of soap to the water to clean out the problem
• Plants may become greasy or dusty. Simply spritz the leaves with water and dab away the unwanted layer.


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