It's easier to keep our houseplants healthy during the Spring and Summer...but it can become challenging during the winter season.
The problem begins when we turn on our furnaces and the indoor air becomes dry and lacks humidity. The dry air is devastating to our plants! Why?...most houseplants are tropical in origin and REQUIRE humidity not dry air!
Six tips to keep your houseplants happy in winter!
1) How to Water: Most people over-water in winter...because they water TOP down...and plants require less water. Why? During winter plants are in a "dormancy" phase NOT a "growing" phrase. Watering TOP down leaves plants "sitting" in the water that's drained down in the bottom of the container. This will quickly kill a plant.
a) Chlorine Burn - Tap water contains chlorine which can hurt houseplants by burning the leaves tips brown (so can over watering). Easy way to avoid this...save you plastic gallon milk containers and fill with tap water. Let the water SIT for at least 24 hours (chlorine evaporates) and use this to water your plants.
b) Water From Bottom Up - Use a container large enough for your houseplant to sit down in, add about 1 inch of water (more for larger plants) and set the plant down in the container. Let the plant sit for about an hour, the plant will absorb only the amount of water it needs, no more.
c)Water Only When Needed: How to know when to water? By sticking your index finger down in to the soil about 2 inches, if dry, water.
d)Water temperature: If you're using the water that has sat overnight it's at the right room temperature. DON'T water with COLD, cold water shocks them. How would you feel stepping into a cold shower!
2) Mist Your Plants: Ideally mist plants once a day, three times is great, but at least once a day. Misting provides our plants the humidity they need.
3) Wipe dust of leaves: Plants breath from their leaves, if they are dusty they can't breath very well. Think about how you feel going out on a very high allergy day!
4) Give Plant Lot of Light: The angle of the sun changes from summer to winter, so if necessary move your plants to a brighter location for a next few months. Remember to rotate your plants every week or so to receive light evenly on all sides.
5) Don't Fertilize: Do NOT fertilize your houseplants since they are not growing, they are in dormancy phase. Start to fertilize in Spring.
6) Do Not Repot: Repot in Spring when the plants come out of dormancy
These six simple and easy tips will pamper your houseplants....
and they will be HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!!