Caring for our Plants Through the Winter
We have learned to handle the cold weather months, even if we would rather not and we can actually help our plants adjust to the chilly air and shorter days too.
Keep Your Plants Warm
The most important step for looking after our plants in the winter is to protect them from the cold air. If you normally keep your plants near doors or windows that let cold air in, you will want to find a warmer spot for them for the winter months. Cold air can be shocking to the plants but so can hot air so beside a fireplace or a heating vent isn’t the best option either.
Reduce your watering and use room temperature water to water your plants
Most of our plants will go dormant in the colder months meaning with less light there will be less growth. Less growth means they will need less water and fertilizer. Generally only water when the the top two inches of soil are dry so it could be once a week or longer. Don’t allow your plants to be sitting in water because this will lead to root rot, fungus, mold, etc. Watering with room temperature water is helpful too. We don’t recommend the common advice of ‘ice cubes for your orchids’ - way too shocking for tropical plants. Winter is not the time to re-pot your plant. Root growth is also slow in the winter. Soil in big pots stays wet longer so you will risk root rot and over-watering if you re-pot now.
Increase Your Home’s Humidity
Our plant friends love humidity - think of their tropical homes. Running your humidifier can help your plants or you can group your plants together in the most humid rooms in your house (the bathroom and kitchen) We can also place our plants on ‘pebble trays’ - just a large tray filled with water and pebbles. Just be sure your plants aren’t sitting in the water but on the pebbles.
Clean Your Plant Leaves
Every couple of weeks, put your plants in the bathtub and use a handheld sprayer to give the leaves a gentle shower, or use a damp towel to wipe the dust off their leaves. Keeping the leaves clean means that they can be more efficient at photosynthesis, which is really important when we are getting less sunlight.
Give your plants PLENTY Of Light
This can be the most difficult but it is also the most important. Rotate your pots to make sure each plant is getting the sunlight they need. If the available natural sunlight isn’t enough, grow lights are helpful or you could just use a full-spectrum lightbulb in a standard lamp and shine it on your plants for at least 12-14 hours a day. Learn more about setting up a grow lamp, or purchase an LED grow light in our store.
As a final tip, remember if you are moving your plants away from a drafty window, you will probably be taking them away from the light source as well so monitor your plants after you make any changes because the changes may not be welcomed by your plant friends. It can mean some trial and error to figure out how to best help your plants through the winter. This is a hard time of year for your indoor plant friends.
When spring comes and our days begin to warm up and daylight hours get longer, our plants will liven up and begin to grow again. We do love that! But even though our indoor plants aren’t growing much in the winter, they really do liven up the dreary winter months and caring for them can really help our mental health.