Winter Care for Plants

My winter care for plants just doesn’t seem to work. The plants do well all year and then practically die in the winter. Do you have any tips on how to care for plants in the winter?

Winter Care for Plants

During the winter, when plants rest and do not grow very much, we need to change how we care for our green friends. Less natural light, drier air due to heaters warming our homes, and cooler temperatures affect how and when we water, feed, prune, and propagate our plants. Remember these tips for caring for plants in winter and your plants will do well until spring return

Water Less:

Soil does not dry out as quickly this time of the year, as it does the rest of the year, due to cooler air and slower plant growth. Also, most houseplants prefer to have drier soil in winter.

Light:

Light intensity during the winter is much lowerMove your plants closer to windows and other parts of your home where the light is better. You may have to move your plants several times from January to the end of March.

Fertilizer:

Most plants do not need to be fed during the winter. When the 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. is not absorbed because the plant is resting, it remains in the soil, burning the roots and causing leaf tip damage.

Temperature:

Although we adapt to big temperature changes in our home by putting on or taking off a sweater, plants can’t do that and are easily damaged when the temperature is too hot or too cold. Try to keep your plants away from heaters, fireplaces, and cold drafts from door and windows.

Humidity:

The heat in our homes makes the air very dry during winter. Low humidity may damage plant leaves and can encourage spider mites. Here are some ways to increase the humidity. Group plants together to create a mini greenhouse effect. Place a humidifier near your plants. Set your plant on a wet pebble tray; be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water. Misting may make you feel better but doesn’t really help the plants.

Learn special winter care for your plants to help them stay healthy until the spring growing season by clicking the link below the pictures. If you don’t see your plant listed, look for it in the Popular Houseplant section of the website or send a picture of the plant to me at:  askjudy@houseplant411.com

Winter is not a good time to propagate, prune, or repot. Wait until the spring!

Conclusion

Learn special winter care for your plants to help them stay healthy until the spring growing season by clicking the link below the pictures. If you don’t see your plant listed, look for it in the Popular Houseplant section of the website or send a picture of the plant to me at:  askjudy@houseplant411.com

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