Winter Care Of Houseplants
Just as we slow down as the days shorten, so do houseplants. In order to keep your house plants happy and healthy through the Fall and Winter, give your houseplants a little extra attention, some TLC. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
When bringing plants inside after spending the summer on the porch or patio, it’s a good practice to spray your plants with an all-purpose insecticide, such as Schultz Houseplant and Garden Insect Spray. It is best to spray plants at least twice – at one week intervals, to make sure you have killed all of your unwanted guests. If you find you have insects crawling out of the soil, sprinkle a little Systemic Insecticide Granules on top of the soil and that should take care of those creepy crawlers.
Try to place your plants in light conditions similar to those outside. They will go through a short acclamation period because the inside of your home is much darker than the outside. Don’t place a plant that has been in the direct sunlight into a dark corner. Don’t be afraid to prune your plants. Houseplants like the hibiscus, ivy, philodendrons, and bougainvilleas can really take quite a haircut! Pruning also allows your blooming plants to take a short rest after their profuse blooming through the summer.
Remember that the water and fertilizer requirements for your plants will be reduced through the winter and you will have to readjust your schedule. A plant that needed watering once a week outside may need only to be watered once every two weeks when inside. When winter really sets in and you turn your furnace on, it will affect the amount of water your plant requires. Dryer, warmer air means the plant will dry out more quickly. One of the biggest “killers” of house plants is over-watering. While you should check your plants once a week, they won’t necessarily need water every week. To increase the humidity for your plants, group them together or place them on trays with gravel and water. Misting is helpful but the effects are short term. Turning on a humidifier, especially if you have ferns, is very beneficial. Fertilize your plants once a month during the winter with Schultz Liquid Plant Food instead of the every two weeks you fertilized them during the summer.
Get in the habit of turning your plants weekly (rotate the pot half a turn) to prevent them from becoming one-sided or leaning toward the light. Ficus trees are notorious for being lush and full on one side and flat and skimpy on the other if they are not rotated.
Hopefully, these tips will help your house plants thrive this winter and help to convince you that you too can be a successful indoor gardener.