Houseplants that typically thrive in the summer months may suddenly look a little sorry for themselves in the autumn months.
You may feel as though the conditions of your house haven’t changed but your house plants can be sensitive little beings and they will pick up on even the slightest differences in their environments. So here are 4 ways to keep them happy this winter.
Give them more light
As the days begin to shorten in the winter months your plant’s opportunity for sunlight exposure drops significantly. The angle of the sun also changes in the winter meaning that some plants which may previously have caught the sun from across the room may now feel nothing but darkness.
Many plants that may tolerate a north-facing window in the summer may suddenly not be getting the light they need, move them to a south or east-facing window to see if they pick up a bit.
If you have too many plants for the amount of window space you have then rotate the pots to give them all the exposure they need. If you live in a basement flat or have very limited access to sunlight then you may want to look at purchasing a grow light, which can sustain your plant’s lighting needs until the sun comes back.
Adjust their water intake
Many plants fall dormant in the winter months meaning that they may not need as much water as you have previously been giving them. However, be mindful that with the heating on some plants will dry out a lot more quickly than usual.
Don’t take the dryness of the topsoil as an indicator of drought, be sure to poke your finger into the first inch or so of soil to see if the moisture is lying just below the surface.
Provide them with a little extra humidity
The humidity levels in homes with heating on can drop to as low as 10% when most plants prefer a level closer to 50%. If you don’t have a humidifier in your home then you are going to need to raise the humidity by other means.
The first thing you can do is to cluster your plants together, plants naturally release moisture from their leaves and this will help to improve the humidity of their immediate vicinity.
Another thing to try is to sit your plants near to or on top of a tray of water, this will evaporate improving the humidity. Just be careful not to sit the plants in the water as this will act as overwatering, lift them above the surface of the water using some stones.
Another thing you can do is mist your plants using a spray bottle but this only provides temporary relief and will need to be done several times a day to offer any serious relief.
Put them on a diet
As plants slow down their growth during the winter months you no longer need to feed them.
Overfeeding in the winter can upset your plant’s natural cycle, so hold off the fertiliser until the spring when they jump back into life.
Because your plants won’t be growing as much, try to avoid taking cuttings or trimming them back too heavily at this time as they will fond it harder to recover.