January 10Winter Houseplant Care
Those of us with houseplants feed our need to be gardening during the cold, winter months, right? Being aware of natural changes in the plant’s environment will aid us in achieving peace and tranquility as we wait for spring!
Since the angle between the earth and sun changes during winter, so might the need for our plants to change positions. Some may need to be closer to a window. That pleases plants and keeps us excited as we watch them flourish!
Winter plant life is somewhat like a bear hibernating. He sleeps for long hours and as he sleeps some body functions still occur. Plants like to rest, also. Less fertilizer is needed in the winter months. (Remember, placement of the plants nearer a light source is needed if you usually place them farther away from light.)
Be alert to avoid placing plants near hot air vents, cold drafts and radiators. Home daytime temperature range of 65-75 is favorable. Our green friends like 60-65 degrees at night. Some plants tolerate less heat, but less than 50 may cause damage.
Be sure placement of plants does not interfere with closing of drapes or other window treatments.
40-50% humidity is ideal. In our homes, however, many times it’s only 10-20%. Not to worry. If we group plants closer together, they benefit from evaporation of potting soil and transpiration of water from one another’s leaves. If there is room, place plants in a saucer with tiny gravel or rock and add water. Viola, instant humidity. Household humidifiers are also helpful.
While some people love misting, it does little good. Plants would need misting several times a day to raise humidity to desired levels.
Most houseplants should be watered when the soil is barely moist or almost dry to the touch. Know your plants. Ferns require more than succulents.
When watering , do it thoroughly. Water should freely drain out of the bottoms of the pots. If excess water drains into saucers, discard the water and replace the saucer beneath the pot.
If you would like a visual tutorial, click on the YouTube link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsJL1znqJ1s