Winter Houseplant Care, Practical Tips

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Things Consider In Winter Houseplant Care

It’s always time for winter houseplant care from December to March. Weather changes during those months happen and often result in colder temperatures. These cause perennials to experience dormancy and most annuals to wither. It’s part of life for these things to occur, but saving some of our garden companions is possible too. So we can move a few of our outdoor plants indoors. That would be to keep them thriving or even healthy and happy. They need winter care for indoor plants once inside.
Bringing them in allows having greenery within your house. You’ll then get more shapes and colors added to your home. Yet you must be wise when you prepare houseplants for winter. Unlike plants in the spring, summer, or fall months, they need special attention. We will give you in this post a couple of practical tips to tend to houseplants in the cold season.

Why Winter Houseplant Care Is Necessary

A lot of things occur throughout the time when there is frosty weather. In many areas, there is a significant drop in temperature. With this in mind, plants need protection too. They go dormant in wintertime, meaning that their metabolism slows down. They conserve energy to withstand freezing temperatures. When this happens, they don’t produce as much food as they used to via photosynthesis. There is a reduction in the speed of their growth rate too. Their nutrient requirements decrease during this time. Hence, careful winter care for indoor plants is a must.
Needing fewer nutrients, they demand less watering and fertilizers. Even if their enzyme activities diminish somehow, they are still active. It means that they continue to absorb water and use compost. So it’s important to supply them with small amounts of water and plant food. Likewise, even photosynthesis is still a concern.
That is to say, deciduous plants or trees are usually the only ones that stop sunlight synthesis. Evergreen vegetation continues to do this but at a slower rate. It’s why they must go on with some sunlight or at least have exposure to other light sources. In this way, it isn’t strange why it takes time to prepare houseplants for winter.

Watering Tips For Winter Houseplant Care

Cut down on the watering since the plants hibernate during this period. As mentioned, they “sleep” since they save up on energy to have enough resources for springtime. Since this happens, lessen the water you give them. They need a few misting and adequate watering every two to three weeks or month. But only do so when the topsoil looks and feels dry.
Consider touching the soil to see if it’s freezing and feel the wind blow to know its temperature. You need to find out if the environment surrounding your vegetation isn’t too cold. That is to say, don’t water when it’s below 4 degrees Celcius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Hydrating a plant when it’s already freezing can prove to be fatal to it. So be considerate to your houseplants during frosty weather to let them survive.


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Also, to prepare houseplants for winter, try watering them in the middle of the day. About once or twice a month, hydrating them mid-day of wintertime lets you water them when it’s warm. But don’t only concentrate on the roots. Try to pour water onto the leaves of your vegetation too. Do that instead of misting alone since water is also essential for photosynthesis. Be generous yet wise when putting some to avoid root rotting from saturating the soil with it. Hence, mist and shower your plants but don’t take too long to permit soaking.

Using Fertilizer For Winter Houseplant Care

It’s still necessary to use organic compost or synthetic fertilizers during winter. They play a crucial role in supporting plant growth and maintenance. They still need to have nitrogen to grow well and phosphorus for metabolism. There’s also potassium to prevent and fight diseases. All these are available in fertilizers. So it makes sense to continue feeding them to indoor plants. Providing such things once a month or two months is enough. Plants may even manage to survive with no fertilizer during their dormant stage.
Usually, experts recommend giving plants liquid fertilizer during this time. It’s to have control over the number of nutrients the plants receive. Compared to solid organic compost, it’s even convenient and safe to spray. It delivers moisture that plants can absorb through their foliage by foliar feeding. Still, it’s okay to apply this to the soil. With better control, gardeners can expect to avoid root burns. Too much fertilizer turns the roots dry and makes them wither. So research your plant requirements before feeding plant food. It has to be a part of how you should prepare houseplants for winter.

Have Enough Light For The Winter

To make it through spring, provide your indoor garden plants with enough light. You must include it and emphasize it in your winter houseplant care. For sunlight synthesis to happen, our garden friends must face open areas. It means putting them near windows while facing east or south can help. But plants need to have a distance from where they are. It’s because they are also spots where the cold air enters. It wouldn’t be an issue when artificial light is nearby. So direct sunlight and extra lights are the keys for folks to prepare houseplants for winter.
If the sun’s rays aren’t so bright, there are many light sources for foliage and vegetation. Incandescent, fluorescent, and LED lights are available to use. Using either can help, but LED is usually the most practical choice. With it, the ideal temperature for plant growth becomes achievable indoors. Aside from delivering 72 degrees Fahrenheit, it doesn’t destroy nutrients too. It doesn’t even get too hot that you won’t end up drying your plants. Thus having several bulbs or lamps around would be great as winter care for indoor plants.

Control Indoor Humidity In Wintertime

Chilly air is drier than warm air since it doesn’t hold as much moisture. As part of your winter houseplant care, using a humidifier and pebbles can help. A humidifier aids by releasing steam or water vapor into the air that can go to the plant leaves. Putting our garden friends on a pebble tray places them in a humid environment. That is because they usually stay moist after watering. Also, water evaporates from them to make the air more humid. Placing decorative vases or pans with water can help in the same way. So various ways to control indoor humidity are available.


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Another method to prepare houseplants for winter is to gather them in one place. Grouping them does not only raise the humidity levels too. It makes it way more convenient to tend to them. Still, drying wet clothes inside can help improve indoor humidity. As they become crispy, they release moisture into the air. In that way, the process is quite beneficial for plants inside. With these things, you can rest easy knowing that your greenery gets enough liquid to thrive. Hence, by trying them, you get peace of mind for your garden companions while they stay indoors.

Replant Vegetation Before Winter

To encourage better plant growth, try repotting before wintertime. Try to be extra careful with this winter houseplant care method. Spring, summer, and fall months are great seasons for this activity. In some cases, people are successful after replanting during winter. Yet many also discourage this as it may put stress on plants. Plants aren’t usually active when it’s freezing. Their growth slowed and so leaving them undisturbed would be wise. So you may want to discover if your plant varieties can withstand winter replanting.
When done right, this is a great way to prepare houseplants for winter. The process involves careful steps in the growing or dormant seasons. To remove the plants from their current pots, you may need to use a trowel to loosen them. Take care to include most or all plant roots while pruning the excess. It would be wise to transfer them to bigger pots, allowing the roots to develop. Make sure to use a fresh propagation mix for this one. Once settled in new containers, you may want to wet their roots. That is while making them intact to the soil. So it may be challenging to replant, but it’s a crucial component of winter care for indoor plants.

Set The Temperature

Even if it’s cold outside, you can work on establishing the temperature indoors. As an aspect of winter houseplant care, it’s helpful to get the warmness and coldness right. Indoor houseplants usually thrive in the winter when the temperature is right. Hence, achieving 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 to 21 degrees Celcius is wise. To prevent your plants from getting too cold, move them away from open spots like windows or doors. Insulate these openings to keep the warmth inside your house. But, since houseplants can’t get too hot, they also need to be away from radiators and fireplaces.
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Acclimate outdoor plants to prevent transplant shock. Aside from leaving them underneath the shade longer, look for colder spots too. Reduce the hours they spend exposed to sunlight a month or more before winter arrives. From 6 to 8 hours, for instance, you can make it 4 to 5 hours. Group your plants when winter comes and they are inside. After all, them together means setting a warm environment for them.


Pruning As Part Of Winter Houseplant Care


When it gets freezing, pruning is crucial. It helps remove unwanted and dead branches or leaves. Aside from that, it’s what can get rid of excess or undesirable roots too. Yet you might want to time your pruning right. That is to say, you should try not to cut too early. Doing so may cause harm by cutting off buds. Late in wintertime, it’s ideal to cut since in that way plants have lower chances of having problems. Cutting ends get invaded by insects and microorganisms that cause infections and diseases. So pruning right is also an essential part of winter care for indoor plants.


It’s essential to focus on getting rid of dead parts before anything else. These sections of plants indoors aren’t useful anymore and can be harmful when left alone. Thus taking them out causes no serious issues. Begin with those affected by snow or ice. Think about how they’re going to grow when spring comes too. So you need to make sure that you won’t cause lasting damage to plants while pruning.


Be Familiar With Hardy Indoor Plants


Not all plants can withstand freezing temperatures without sunlight. So it’s understandable why many are best left outside even during wintertime. Yet some can manage to thrive in cool areas with low humidity and sunlight. Be familiar with these to know which ones are best to have inside during frosty weather.


The usual examples of hardy houseplants are succulents and cacti. It’s because they keep a lot of water in them. In that way, they can take intense warmth and freezing temperatures. After all, they are the ones that don’t turn dry right away. Thus they are also low-maintenance houseplants. Others with similar features are spider plants, philodendrons, and arum ferns. Orchids and bromeliads are flowering houseplants that can make it through winter too. They can manage in a low-light setting or with partial shade.


Are Your Plants Ready for Winter?

We’ve mentioned some of the most helpful winter houseplant care pointers. Yet remember that each plant has its special requirements. Hence, you may need to make adjustments to make your plants manage the winter. For the most part, houseplants in frosty weather get the same treatment. They need direct or artificial light and get reduced water plus fertilizer. Since the days are shorter and it gets colder, care changes are necessary. So learn to adapt as plants will do the same. Thanks for reading, and happy planting!

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