Hello, Garden enthusiasts! 🌿
1. Leaves irrigation
Indoor heating reduces the humidity level. Many houseplants prefer higher humidity, so consider using a humidifier, or if you don’t have one, you can simply spray the leaves with water.
I use a diffuser that is designed to vaporize water with essential oils and it works great for me. The plants get a fine mist instead of the big droplets that usually fall to the ground.
2. Adjust watering
In winter, indoor heating systems can cause drier air. Monitor soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. I will moisten the level with a wooden stick. I stick it in the pot, take it out and look. If the stick is covered with moist soil, it means that it is not yet time to water, if the stick is dry, it is time to water.
Be sure not to overwater, otherwise the roots of the plant will start to suffocate and rot. Then you will have to transplant, and more about that in the next blog article.
3. Water selection
Plants are very sensitive to water hardness, so I do not recommend using water directly from the tap to water them. Better use the snow! Dissolve it and wait until it warms up and water the plants with confidence.
If you don’t have snow, feel free to use filtered water (I use a charcoal filter). If you don’t have one, then a day before watering, pour water from the tap into the watering can and only water the plant the next day. During this time, salts and lime will settle on the bottom and the plant will suffer less from them.
4. Protect from wind
It should be remembered that when the weather outside gets cold, it can be cooler in the room near the window.
- First of all, you should check with your hand whether the wind is blowing through the bottom of the window.
- Also, be sure to move the plant back so that its leaves are not leaning against the cold window.
- If you often open windows and ventilate the premises, then you should not keep plants near that window at all.
- If the plant grows in a room, where there is often a draft, then it should also be moved to a less windy place.
5. More light
As the daylight hours shorten, it is very important to optimize the lighting for your plants. Place them near south-facing windows to get as much sunlight as possible. This is especially important for plants that are ready to bloom (orchids).
If natural light is lacking, consider supplementing it with artificial light, such as LED grow lights, to provide the necessary spectrum needed for photosynthesis. Only then should you keep in mind that electricity costs will be higher. you can use the same lamps in early spring if you plan to grow something from seedlings. You can read an article “10-easy-to-grow vegetables for raised beds”.
6. Reduce fertilization
Winter is usually a dormant period for most plants, so they don’t need as much fertilization. Fertilizing in the same mode as in spring can even have a negative effect, as the plants will start to grow upwards rapidly, but due to the lack of light they will not be able to get stronger.
If your plants are actively growing, I recommend applying a diluted, balanced fertilizer every 6-8 weeks. What I do is I use my favorite fertilizer, only I put 5 times less of it in the watering can than usual.
If your plants are not growing, then fertilization should be postponed until spring, when the growing season resumes.
7. Prunning old leaves
You can prune the plants during the winter as they are dormant, but don’t do it too boldly. What am I doing?
- I remove any yellow or dead leaves to encourage new growth. They usually appear as a result of stress (overwatering, lack of sun, lack of humidity, etc.).
- If the plant is very dense and the light does not enter it (because of which the leaves may actively fall), then I prune it more. The cut healthy parts of the plant can be used for plant propagation.
8. Clean the leaves
Another job that is especially important to do in the cold period, when the amount of light is very low, is leaf cleaning. Dust accumulates on the leaves, which reduces the flow of light to the plant. Also, if you spray the leaves with tap water, it is likely that lime spots will appear on them.
I first wipe the leaves with a damp soft cloth and then spray them with leaf polish for a glossy finish. It should not be abused, because some polishes contain substances that can also harm the leaves. Leaf cleaning and polishing can only be done on plants with smooth, hairless leaves.
9. Pest control
Keep an eye on your plants! I’m not saying that every day, but when you water or spray the leaves, it is very useful to take a closer look at them. In winter, not only diseases, but also pests can occur. Wondering where they come from?
- Most often, they appear with new plants that you bring back from the supermarket.
- Sometimes it can also occur due to poor quality substrate after transplanting.
- When you overwater your plants, the moisture can cause small flying flies to appear.
So what to do when you notice pests? You can try to wash the plant and leaves. However, not all pests will be affected, and you may need to take chemical measures.
10. Replant if necessary
The best time to transplant plants is spring. Although, to be honest, I repot my houseplants when necessary, which is often:
- after bringing a new plant from the store,
- when I see that the plant has been overwatered,
- when I influence that there are signs of pests or disease,
- when I see that the pot is too small for the plant,
- when the soil are so overdried that they no longer retain moisture.
There will be another blog article about transplanting, so read it.
Happy gardening! 🌿
Meda founder of “Garden Mood” 🌼