Most people tend to think indoor plants are like pieces of furniture. Place the plants into a room, give them a drink when you remember and then expect the plants to survive. Contrary to popular belief, houseplants are living, just like you and I. They feed, breath, drink and like warmth the same as we do. Your ability to keep houseplants alive and healthy has a lot to do with putting the right plant in the right place. Even an expert can’t make a shade-lover survive in a sunny window.
Houseplants can completely transform and light up a room, especially in the cooler months. A common problem with houseplants is over-watering, particularly in the winter months when less water is required. In winter, when many plants are resting, it’s important to use less fertiliser, because in winter many plants grow more slowly – as a result they need fewer nutrients to keep them fed. This applies to both indoor and outdoor plants, so as a rule of thumb reduce the frequency of feeding by half during winter.
You can tell if a plant has been over-watered by removing it from the pot and smelling the soil. To save a wilted pot plant remove it from the pot and take away all the wet smelly soil and rotting roots. Re-pot the plant into a smaller pot with dry potting mix and prune if necessary.
It is important to have the plants placed in the best well lit position during the winter months. Move all the plants that are only receiving morning light to a brighter position. Place them near a window where the afternoon sunlight will shine through. Don’t place them too close to windows or doorways; houseplants hate drafts, especially cold ones (just like us!)
We share with you the Top 10 Winter House Plants:
1. Aloe Vera
This large succulent is a common houseplant and folk remedy for soothing burns or itching. If given ample light throughout the year, aloes flower profusely in winter. They need well-drained, coarse soil and bright light.
2. Moth Orchid
These are probably the most recognizable orchids out there, with no shortage of these sold year round. Give them filtered light and average soil-moisture and they will bloom for months with little more maintenance.
3. Corn Plant
Corn Plant care is easy. Keep it away from drafts and direct sun, which might scorch the leaves. Keep an eye out for droopy yellow leaves, which are a sign of overwatering. Never allow the plant to stand in water, always have a drain hole in the pot.
4. Snake Plant
If all else fails, grow a Snake Plant. It thrives in full sun or partial shade and prefers dry air and rarely need re-potting. Ideal for beginners!
You knew this one would make the list, didn’t you? Because of its ability to store water and nutrients, a cactus seldom needs watering. Loves to bask in the sun and always, always looks good in a cluster, under a window.
6. Jade Plant
This plant gets more beautiful with age. It tolerates room temperatures year-round and is happy with indirect sun and little water.
7. Dragon Tree
Put this one in a bright location and it will reward you with carefree beauty. Plant envy! The Dragon Tree doesn’t like its feet wet, so we recommend good drainage.
8. Sweetheart Plant
This is the most popular of the philodendrons because it stays small and it is so easy going. It’s draft-tolerant, but doesn’t like going too long in between drinks however it does recover nicely.
9. Fiddle-Leaf Fig
This uber fashionable indoor tree likes room temperatures between about 18 and 25 degrees and bright to medium light exposure. The surface of the soil should dry out slightly between watering and if it starts looking a pit pale, move it somewhere less bright.
10. Rubber Tree
This easy-to-grow indoor houseplant will grow into a two and a half meter tall tree for a major pop of green in your house. If you don’t have the space for a tree in your house, prune the long stems regularly. Allow the surface of the tree’s soil to dry out between watering. It thrives in lighting conditions from medium to bright and in room temperatures of 15 to 26 degrees.