Many people’s favorite decoration in their home isn’t a painting or sculpture but their house plants. Over 75% of American homes have at least one house plant, with the majority owning closer to a dozen. Whether you have houseplants indoors year-round or bring your outdoor plants inside during colder weather, it’s important to understand how to care for them in cold seasons. Even in a city like Santa Monica, where temperatures remain moderate over the winter, extra steps are still necessary to ensure your plants survive and thrive. Keep reading for the best tips on keeping your plants beautiful indoors through the new year until spring.
Slow Down on Watering
Even in States like California, winter can mean less light for your plants than they’re used to. The more sunlight a plant receives, the more water it needs, so in winter, it’s imperative to cut down on your watering since your plants won’t be using as much water. If you typically water your plant every week during spring and summer, it’s advised to cut it down to every two to three weeks.
Liquid Plant Food
You’re likely fertilizing your indoor and outdoor house plants and garden during the spring and summer, but you’ll want to put the liquid plant food on hold during the winter since your plants aren’t actively growing. The exception to this rule is if you’re growing a hydroponic garden, in which case, stock up with plenty of liquid plant food for the winter. However, when the weather warms up, you’ll want to source the highest quality fertilizers and liquid plant foods because this is an integral part of successful indoor and outdoor gardening.
Run a Humidifier
There are many benefits to running a humidifier during colder and drier weather beyond when you have an illness. Humidifiers are excellent at infusing moisture into our hair and skin, keeping our complexion beautiful no matter how cold outside; they work the same for plants. House plants grow best when humidity levels are at a minimum of 50%, but humidity levels are closer to 10 to 15% inside homes during the winter. The humidity in your house by running humidifiers in the rooms where you keep your plants.
Keep Temps Consistent
Extreme temperature fluctuations in the home can wreak havoc on your defenseless plants. While you and your family must remain comfortable indoors when the weather outside is dreary, extreme changes in indoor temperatures, even for a brief period, can cause problems for your houseplants. You want to keep your house plants away from cold drafts and blasts of heat. Sudden changes can stress your plants, causing them to dry up and die.
Follow the Light
With fewer hours of sunlight during the day in the winter season, your plants might feel starved for the light they’re used to, so rotating them around your home to give them as much sunlight as possible is a great idea. Plant rotation may seem cumbersome to some, but this is a must if you’re an avid plant lover and want to give your plants the best care during the winter, with its short days. If you want to avoid committing to rotating pots, move them as close to your home’s windows as possible.
Even if you have a subscription to pest control for your home, pests can still become a problem for your plants as they winter indoors. Winter is the peak season for insects such as aphids. Spider mites are also common in winter because they thrive in warm and dry conditions, which running your indoor heat provides. Frequently check your plants for pests and react when you find them. Simply soaking a cotton ball in alcohol and wiping your plants can solve most winter pest problems.
Caring for your plants during the winter is easier than it may seem, especially with a little bit of practice. It all boils down to giving your plants a break and providing the TLC they need to get through the cold and dry winter season. While rare houseplants may need more attention, typical plants that most people own will do well with the above-mentioned care.