Enjoying the greenery of indoor plants during the winter months lifts the spirits and keeps the air fresh. Though most plants become lower maintenance in the winter months, their needs change and it’s important to know how to help them thrive.
Bring outdoor plants in gradually.
If you’re moving houseplants indoors for just the winter, it’s best to get them accustomed to the change of environment by placing them in their new location for a few hours and then returning them to their previous spot every day for the course of a few weeks. Gradually increase the time in the plant’s “winter residence” until it’s ready for its complete transition.
Give them light.
Be prepared to move your plants to windows and areas that get light during winter. Make sure that the windows are cleaned off inside and outside for maximum light. Also make sure that any dust that has gathered on the leaves has been cleaned off so the leaves can absorb that light better.
Dust and look out for pests.
Wipe down any dusty leaves with a soft cloth dipped in water. Left alone, dust can prevent your plant from fully absorbing the nutrients it needs from the environment. Increased heat from the heaters and lack of sunlight can lead to pests like spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs and others. If you see them, be sure to eliminate appropriately.
Watch the temperature.
Most plants will do just fine inside between 55 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Take notice of plants that live close to drafty windows or near heating vents as they may need to be relocated for optimal conditions.
Know how to test your plant’s water needs. Don’t test the top soil. Check at least 2 inches into the pot to test for moisture. When you water plants, it’s often best to remove them from the saucer you keep them in and run them under a tap. Let the water run right through the soil and out the bottom. Put each plant back in the saucer and check again in about 15 minutes. If there’s any water sitting the saucer, get rid of it.
Clean up rotting & dead plants.
Remove rotting and dead plants as they can host disease, pests, and funguses. Burying disease free plants in your your garden’s soil can enrich it with organic material!
Remove invasive weeds.
Discard of weeds and invasive growth in burn piles or yard debris. Don’t add them to your compost as they will find a way to grow there too!
Prepare your soil for spring during fall.
Adding nutrient rich elements like manure, compost, bone meal, kelp and rock phosphate in the fall means that the materials will have more time to enrich the soil and become biologically active. Be sure to cover the garden beds with mulch or cover crop so that the nutrients are not washed away in the winter rains.
Take care of your trees.
Feed trees with an organic tree fertilizer for winter sustenance. After the leaves have fallen, examine your tree for weak spots and problems to prevent damage from fallen tree limbs during snow storms. Remember — you can compost your fall leaves!
Taking care of your indoor and outdoor plants can be a great way to keep moving and enjoy the outdoors during the cooler months.
If you’re ever in need of any tree or garden services, reach out! I’m always happy to connect you with recommended professional services!
Enjoy taking care of all of your plant friends!