Winter is the coldest period of the year and it supports dryness and it is attributed to a short day and long night.
During this season of the year, the environments become hotter as a result of the reduction of relative humidity as well as an increase in temperature (though very short) and thus increase the rate of stress that plants need to be subjected to before they can perform well.
Just like we humans, indoor plants also need or require care during this period of the year so that they can perform well and also withstand every kind of condition that they may be exposed to within the house.
As much as there are different mechanisms through which we can improve the atmospheric condition of the environment where we reside as humans, there are certain practices that need to be put in place so that plants grown indoor can perform well.in winter.
An important phenomenon during winter is referred to as air movement and this absorbs the moisture present within the air.
Although growing plants during the winter might not be very favorable, these plants are considered to e of great benefits and this is more reason why we all need to understand how we can actually grow these plants and care for them throughout the cold and unfavorable seasons.
Another thing you need to know is that the requirement of one plant varies to the other and you should know your plants well before doing anything, for example, potted woody plants are usually dormant during winter so there may need to repot them while other types of indoor plant does not need to be repotted during winter.
You must know the temperature, humidity, and light requirement of your plant before you take the steps that will be discussed below.
However, we will take you through the general ways through which you can care for indoor plants during winter so you should read further to learn more about them.
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How to take care of your indoor plants during Winter
There are so many practices that are encouraged to carry out when taking care of your indoor plants when you grow them during the optimum weather condition.
However, during the winter seasons, there are some things that you need to put in place or make a variation so that your plants can grow well and perform excellently.
Some of the factors that affect plant growth such as temperature, humidity, water availability, pruning, fertilizer addition, and some of these factors will be discussed here in relation to how you can properly take care of your plant so you should read further to learn more about them.
Exposure to sunlight
Light is one of the most important factors needed for proper plant growth and development, during winter the amount of light that reaches the plants drop to about 50 % of what they get during spring and summer.
Check the direction towards which the light is exposed and make sure that your plant is well directed towards that direction.
If you notice that your plant does not get enough light, below are some of the things you should do to ensure access to sunlight by plants:
- Clean the windows (outside and in) to ensure maximum light transmission.
- Move the plants closer to the window to ensure access to more light.
- Clean the surface of the plant’s leaves to ensure that these plants get access to available light.
- You can also make use of artificial light in some cases especially during the night to ensure adequate exposure to light. Fluorescents are highly recommended as they are relatively cheaper and they produce less heat.
- Shift the plants to new locations near brighter windows for winter.
- You can also build an indoor window box for your plants as this will ensure more light availability to your plants.
Optimum temperature at all time
Temperature is of great essence to plants just as we humans, most indoor plants are tropical plants and they prefer temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and at night, they require about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
You must know that a change in temperature can cause a problem for plants especially when at a temperature lesser than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whenever you adjust the temperature to suit your own requirement you should always put your indoor plants into consideration.
Below are some of the ways through which you can ensure that your plant gets the optimum and adequate temperature needed by them.
- Always keep the plant farther (some inches) from the exterior windows.
- Avoid placing these plants near heat sources or cold drafts.
- If you live in cold regions where windows frost at night, you should move the plant away from windows at dusk. Also, you can make use of insulating materials and by placing them in between the plants and glass.
Humidity is one of those things that plant requires so much for their survival and in most cases, the humidity requirement of these plants is between 40 to 50 percent and what can be offered in most homes during winter is about 5 to 10 percent humidity.
You can actually make the environment more humid by making use of a humidifier. If the humidity level is low, the plant will begin to show signs of stress which could include brown leaf tips and the presence of pests like spider mites. You can also improve the humidity by:
- Placing the plants together and this will improve the humidity through transpiration.
- Making a water tray and add stones in it. After that, you should then place the plant on top of the stone.
One of the most common problems that indoor plants have during winter is overwatering. About 95% of the indoor plants require the soil to dry out before watering takes place.
However, there are some tips to know when your plants need water as the surface of soil easily dries out during winter and this can be a false indicator of water absence. Here are some of the tips you should use:
- Do not just look at the soil surface, the time when plants need water is when the root zone is dry. Dip your finger into the soil up to two inches to check if the soil is dry or wet.
- Lift up the pot to determine its weight. Dried soil is usually lighter than soils that are very rich in water so you should know how wet and dry soils feel so as to determine when to wet.
- If you humidify room during winter, plants might not require much watering as dry air aids water availability.
- Make sure that the water used for watering the plant is of similar or like temperature with the room temperature so as not to cause root shock and this will allow the root to take the water up more readily.
- If you are going to leave your plant for a very long time, you must make sure that your plant gets enough water needed for its survival during the period that you will be absent. You should put as much water that can last for that period.
In areas where there is extreme cold, fertilizer application is not encouraged during winter, however, if you are in a place with the mild climate you can continue to add fertilizer to the plant through the winter.
In cold regions, you should resume the addition of fertilizer during springs when outdoor plants wake up.
During winter, plants usually spread and they tend to become very leggy and you should practice pinching so as to allow for the bushiness and branching of these plants.
Too much spreading of plants makes it hard for the plants to have a great architecture even during the winter season. You should make sure you ensure good vegetative growth as this will support the plants’ form and shape.
Make sure that you do not repot your indoor plants during winter as repotting for this type of plant is best during the period when they experience active growth, that is, during spring and summer.
You must make sure that you avoid repotting your plant during the winter as this can lead to the death of the plant as repotting is very tough on plants.
Note that indoor plants need all their strength during winter and they may not be able to survive growth during this period.
Pests are one of the major problems for indoor plants, you must make sure that your house is kept as clean as possible.
You should make sure that your plant is kept away from pests like mites and there are chemical control methods that you can use to get rid of them.
Sweetened beverages and drinks should be kept away from these plants so that they will not be attacked by insects and other pests.
Taking good care of your indoor plants is of great essence and you must make sure that even during winter your plant is properly taken care of.
Remember to give proper care to your plants and make sure that they are kept safe at all times.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !