With daylight savings well and truly over, the days are getting colder and darker and you’re not the only one who doesn’t dig it. The cooler months are as tough on plants as they are on you. Pretty soon, your houseplants will be busy dodging drafts and soaking up every last ray of dwindling sunlight.
Although they’re not growing gung-ho as they do in spring and summer, your indoor plants require a little lovin’ over the winter months to look their best. We reached out to our good friend/plant aficionado Naomi Savio from Mr Fancy Plants to find out how we can keep our plants happy and healthy over the cooler months. To give your Monsteras and Fiddle Leafs a fighting chance at survival, follow her 5 hacks to keep your plants alive this winter.
1. Let there be Light
As the light changes in winter, our poor plants seem to get less of it. Most plants need to be moved to where there is the most amount of light. If they are still sun-deprived, try adding a fluorescent lamp or two with a day timer close by or directly shining on the plant.
2. Water – less is more!
The cooler temperatures indoors mean your plants are staying wet for longer after watering and therefore require less water. Only water if your plants look thirsty (leaves drooping) and soil is dry – if you water when the plant is already wet, you will have a dying plant on your hands, as the roots are unable to dry out and may cause root rot.
3. Dieting – Winter fasting
Not only should your plants drink less water during winter, but we suggest not fertilizing at all over winter. Also, winter is not the time for re-potting into that new pot – wait until Spring as plants go dormant (hibernate) and do not like to be disturbed over winter. Instead, give your plants attention by cleaning their leaves regularly with a damp cloth. They will love it as it increases the chances of the plant’s ability to breath and stay healthy.
4. Cold drafts
Most indoor plants hate those cold drafts of air, so it’s important to move any sensitive plants out of cold drafty positions like touching windows and doorways. Same goes for floors as well – if a pot is sitting directly on a cold concrete or tiled floor, raise it off the ground.
On the flipside, if your plants are situated next to heaters, make sure they are positioned out of the way from hot dry air as this can suffocate the plant. If your heater is constantly on throughout winter, then regular misting of plants is a must to increase the humidity level. The tips of leaves may dry up and go brown, or leaves may shrivel up when plants have little moisture in the air.
Need to spruce up your plants? Don’t let the winter months deter you altogether, we’ve got the perfect place for your plants to perch, from pots, plant stands and paper bags! There’s no need to re-pot and make a mess, simply keep your plant in its existing pot and use your new pot as a decorative outer layer. Don’t forget to take your measurements to ensure your pot will fit into its new home, and, do yourself a favour and invest in a drip tray (from your local Bunnings) to catch any excess water. Here are just a few of our favourite plant homes to get you inspired!