Winter Houseplant Care

Some people talk to their plants. Other people sing to their plants. Some people think their plants will cringe if they are scolded. While there is no evidence that houseplants actually respond to these types of stimulation, houseplants will try to communicate with you and tell you if they are not feeling well. The leaves may droop, spots may appear, growth may stop. One symptom may mean the plant is not getting enough light. Another symptom may mean the plant is getting too much water. A third symptom may mean an insect or disease is bothering the plant. A quick, accurate diagnosis is half the battle in controlling the problem before it gets out of hand or spreads to surrounding plants. After the diagnosis, cure the problem, don’t just try to fix the symptoms.

The biggest problem we see with houseplants is that people tend to ‘kill their plants with kindness’, or they ‘baby their plants to death’. Plants do not grow as fast during the winter, so it is very easy to give them too much water or too much fertilizer. A general rule of thumb is to reduce the fertilizer by half and the water by a third. Each house is a little different because of light and room temperature. Too much water is the number one cause of death in houseplants. A moisture meter might be just the thing you need to help you determine just how much water is right for each plant.