Fall Houseplant Care

Autumn is one of the most critical times of the entire year for houseplants. Autumn is the time of year that thermostats are turned-up and the air simply becomes too dry for most houseplants. By providing adequate humidity, a good location, and proper watering, the plants should continue to grow just fine.

Green foliage plants such as philodendrons, ferns, spider plants, etc., should be fertilized sparingly during the fall and winter. In fact, you only need to fertilize them once every two or three months during the winter season. Provide adequate humidity and place them in a bright location.

Flowering houseplants like African Violets, Cyclamens, and Kalanchoes should be fertilized monthly, even during the fall and winter. Be sure they get as much light as possible and maybe even two to four hours of artificial light at night. Fertilize monthly with Fertilome Blooming & Rooting Fertilizer.

Humidity is probably the most critical part of caring for houseplants, and it is one of the easiest problems to correct. You can simply put a glass of water near your plants, or you can fill a plant saucer with pea gravel and water and then set the plant on top of the gravel. Grouping plants together can also help increase humidity. By far the best way to increase the humidity is by using a humidifier, but it is not always practical. Do not mist plants to increase humidity because misting increases the risk of leaf diseases and of spotting on tender leaves.

Some houseplants need more light than what mother nature can provide inside your house. Try putting your houseplants on the south or west side of the house, preferably near a window. Flowering plants need more light than foliage plants, and may require the use of a Grow Light to keep them blooming during the winter.
Since most houseplants go into semi-dormancy during the fall and winter months they do not require as much water as they do during the rest of the year. Check your plant’s water needs weekly during the fall before you determine your plant’s winter watering schedule. You may need to adjust your watering schedule several times during the winter. You may also want to invest in a moisture meter to help you know exactly how often your plants need water. Be aware, more plants die from too much water than from any other problem.