HousePlant Care for the Winter

Suddenly, lots of people are having problems with their houseplants that thrived outside on the porch all summer and into the early fall. Green leaves are falling off, tips are turning brown or yellow, plants are becoming thin and straggly, spider mitesLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Spider Mites. are moving in. Most of these problems are the result of  your being too nice to your plants. Outside in the warm weather the plant conditions were perfect. Plants got lots of bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., temperatures were warm during the day and 10- 15 degrees cooler at night. New leaves were popping out every day.

The plants required lots of water, lots of fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.  , lots of attention. Now that they are back indoors, the light and temperatures are not optimal, plants are resting for a few months and not producing new leaves, and heaters are making the air very dry. You need to adjust your plant maintenance to the new conditions.

Your plants need less water because of lower light; and less or no fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.   because they are not producing new leaves. If you continue to feed at the same rate as during the summer, the excess unused plant food accumulates in the soil and burns the tips of the leaves.

Group your plants or use wet pebble trays to increase the humidity. This will also help prevent spider mitesLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Spider Mites. which love warm dry air. Now is a good time to give your plants a haircut, so that when they start to produce new leaves in a few months, they’ll be bushy and strong.