Keeping Your Plants in Tip Top Condition

Now that winter has taken a hold and the central heating is back on, we thought we’d ask our friends at The Greenhouse People  for their top tips on how to look after house plants in winter.

How To Look After Houseplants in Winter

Once the foliage begins to disappear outside, bringing greenery indoors, in the form of houseplants, is an great way to give our homes – and workplaces – some life and colour.

However, the cooler temperatures and shorter days will impact the health of our houseplants; exactly as it does us humans! We wrote recently about central heating busting skincare, and our plants need similar care and attention.

So take note of some of these handy tips, to ensure that your beloved plants survive (and thrive) during winter. 

How Often Should I Water Houseplants in Winter?

You should water your houseplants much less over the winter months. Every two or three weeks is a good general guideline, though this is species dependent.

Most houseplants will not be drinking nearly as much, during the coldest months; due to their dormant nature. And any excess moisture will just sit in the soil and can rot the roots.

However, be mindful that if you have central heating on high, your green leaved friends might need a little extra.

How To Look After Houseplants in Winter

Tips on Looking After Snake Plants (or Mother In Law’s Tongue)  

Snake plants, or as they’re more commonly known , Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, are a popular choice.

They are hardy and easy-to-care-for and make a great starter plant.

But just because snake plants can survive long periods of neglect, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some extra precautions during winter.  

These plants thrive in the bright light. Keep them next to a south-facing window to take advantage of those precious daylight hours. 

As with most succulents, snake plants don’t require a lot of water. You will only need to water them every 10 to 14 days.. this isn’t a set rule though! Take care to regularly test how dry the soil is using a skewer, only watering once the soil has completely dried out.   

Use room temperature water and ensure that the soil is moist but not submerged in water. And make sure you’re only watering the soil, not the leaves – water trapped in the folds of the leaves can lead to rotting.  

You also want to avoid fertilising during the winter. Snake plants only require fertiliser in the spring and the summer, using fertiliser at the wrong could lead to stunted growth or root rot.  

How To Look After Houseplants in Winter
Photo by Thirdman

How To Look After Cheese Plants (Or Monstera) in Winter  

Cheese plants, otherwise known as Monstera, have become an increasingly popular house plant. They can be extremely sensitive to overwatering so be sure avoid to giving them too much water during winter.  

Ideally, you should water your Cheese plant every two to four weeks; use a skewer to test how dry the soil is.

If it is too wet, hold off on watering. You will want to ensure that the top 5cm are dry before watering again. It is also important to ensure that the pot has adequate drainage, and the roots are not submerged in water.  

Cheese plants thrive in a humid environment which can be tricky to achieve in winter. If you are really dedicated to your plants, consider purchasing a humidifier. Alternatively, place your monstera in your bathroom where there is more moisture in the air.   

These plants prefer medium indirect light, and their ends may turn brown and crisp if they are placed in too much direct sunlight.  

How To Look After Houseplants in Winter
Original image courtesy of Pinterest

How To Look After Christmas Cacti During The Colder Months

Christmas cacti are an ideal way to bring some colour to your home during the gloomier winter months. They have beautiful blooms of with blooms of bright pink, red and white.  These unusual cacti only flower from the end of November to January, hence the name.

Although you might think that as a variety of cactus it would thrive in hot, dry weather. But the opposite actually is true.   

They need a warm, humid atmosphere and can be impacted by fluctuating temperatures, so try to keep it away from draughts and make sure you remain consistent with your watering.  

Once it has begun to flower, water more sparingly. Mist with a spray bottle a couple of times a week to ensure that the plant stays moist. 

In terms of lighting, you’ll want to place your Christmas cactus somewhere that has lots of bright, indirect light to encourage it to flower. Too much light can damage its leaves so avoid placing IT in a spot that gets too much direct sun. 

About a month after the flowers have appeared, prune your cactus to encourage future blooms in February or March.

Some Final Tips For General Houseplant Care During The Winter

  • Avoid cold drafts
  • Move plants closer to a natural light source
  • Avoid putting them next to radiators
  • Pause your fertiliser regime
  • Dust the leaves
  • Remove any dead/yellowing growth
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