Should I change how I look after my plant during winter?
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Should I change how I look after my plant in the winter?
Most Patch houseplants come from tropical places, where there aren’t as dramatic seasonal changes in the climate through the year as we have here. This is why they make great houseplants that are relatively easy to care for; because their natural conditions are a good match for your thermostatically controlled home throughout the year.
However, there are a few changes during autumn and winter that can affect how you should care for your indoor plants. Make sure your plant isn’t near a radiator because the high temperatures can dry out their soil faster. If you can’t keep your plants elsewhere, install a shelf above your radiator to house them. As long as it is as wide as the spread of your plant’s leaves, it will deflect hot air away from your plant and into the centre of the room instead. If you’re lucky enough to have underfloor heating, this can upset your plants by keeping their roots too warm. Plant stands are a good way around this problem.
Similarly, cold drafts from open or poorly insulated windows, or exits that are regularly opened to the outside world, will make your houseplant unhappy - your plant can freeze in minutes if exposed to cold air. Another good rule of thumb is to try to avoid dramatic changes that might be a bit of a shock, like moving your houseplant from a very cold to very warm room. If you turn the heating off when you go away you might want to shuffle your plants to the warmest spot in the house, if it’s not too much trouble.
Shorter daylight hours in winter may mean that your plant needs to be placed closer to a window than they would in the summer to get enough light. Make sure to also clean any dust off the leaves so they can soak up all the rays.
While there are exceptions, most plants are actively growing during the spring and summer but then slow down, or even become completely dormant over winter. As a result they are gobbling up less water and nutrients. Remember to check the soil and only water when it is dry an inch under the surface. You can also stop fertilising during winter if this is a part of your indoor plant routine.
To help you remember this lesson, here’s one of the key points delivered in style.