How to help your plants thrive in the winter
Whether your plants are year-round houseplants or plants you brought in for the winter, there are some things you need to consider for your plants to thrive. The winter presents unique challenges such as fluctuating temperatures between the day and evening, low humidity and dry air gusts, shorter days, and a limited amount of sunlight. Read along to learn some tips to help your plants thrive this winter.
Although your home is generally drier during winter months, you should water your plants less frequently during winter months. Most plants experience a slower rate of growth during winter, some might even go into a dormancy state. That is why they need less water to maintain the same level of hydration as they would during other seasons. Avoiding overwatering during winter is important because it could lead to root rot. Plants that usually require less water such as Cacti and Succulents, might not need watering at all during winter.
Pro Tip: Insert a finger approximately 2 inches into the soil. If the top 2 inches are dry, then you know it’s time to water your plant.
Plants enjoy being at room temperature, which is usually between 65 to 75 F during the daytime and above 50 F during the nighttime. Plants don’t do well in extreme changes in temperature such as cold and hot drafts. Keep your plants away from vents, open windows/doors, radiators, ovens, and fireplaces.
Humidity is probably the biggest challenge that your plants will face during winter. Plants thrive in a humidity level of 50-60% or higher, however, during the winter months the humidity in heated homes can drop to as low as 10%. Here are some ways you can increase the humidity for your plants:
- Use a humidifier. If you already have a working humidifier at home, move your plants to a spot closer to that humidifier so that they can enjoy the extra love. If you don’t have a humidifier, we highly recommend you invest in a humidifier that also provides warm mist which will help with both the temperature and humidity issues.
- Place your plants in groups. Plants naturally release water through their leaves (just like humans sweat), clustering your plants together will help them benefit from each other’s moisture by creating a microclimate.
- Create a natural humidifier by placing your plants on or around a tray of water. As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity in the vicinity of your plants. Make sure you aren’t sitting the plants in the water itself because that might lead to root rot.
- Mist your plants using a water spray bottle (doesn’t apply to all plants).
During winter the sunlight hours are fewer and the sun rays come into your home at a lower angle, which means your plants are getting way less sunlight. Here are some ways you can increase the amount of sunlight your plants are getting:
- Move your plants to a brighter spot or room in your home. South or west facing windows are ideal.
- Use artificial light sources.
- Rotate your plants while watering to ensure an even amount of sunlight is obtained by your plant for an even growth.