Plants are such an integral part of a household. They bring life, green and fresh air to a room. Plants are also proven to be a benefit for mental health, helping to create care routines and improve the ambiance in a home. Winter is a tough time for them though, as it is for us. Short days, cold temperatures and biting winds all contribute to plants struggling to make it through the winter. This goes especially for some plants popular nowadays, namely cacti and succulents. These plants don’t have leaves to lose or any way to hibernate through the cold, so it’s up to us to help them through it.
Here are our top 5 tips to keep caring for your plants through the winter season:
1. Get them in the light
Like us, plants need light. Even indoor plants need enough light to produce the energy they need to keep going. Make sure to keep plants by windows and in areas of the house where they will get as much light as physically possible. It might not be much during the winter months, but the little sunlight they get can be so key in their wellbeing. It’s also good to make sure there isn’t any dust building up on their leaves, as this can interfere with the collection of natural light.
2. Keep them hydrated
Much like us again, plants need a good amount of water to survive. During the winter months household air can get very dry and contribute to plant soil drying out quicker than usual. Depending on how many plants you have and whether you use a humidifier, it may be worth putting the humidifier near the plants or vice-versa. Be careful to also not over-water the plants, as some plants need the soil to dry out before getting watered again. It’s important to make sure the water gets down to the roots, rather than staying on the surface. Each plant may need its own little strategy, but when you see them bloom, it will be worth it.
3. Keep an eye on the temperature
Possibly the most obvious one, but winter is indeed cold, and most plants don’t do particularly well in the cold, so please do be careful. Any plants that need to be kept warm should come inside, and preferably into rooms that are kept warm through the winter. Some of the more tropical plants will need higher temperature, so do be aware of what temperatures your plants need.
4. Watch out for bugs
Winter is unfortunately the worst season for plant pests. The indoors setting, extra humidity and lack of light all attract bugs to plants. The worst offenders are spider bites and mealybugs. You can recognise them from the waxy substance mealybugs produce on plants or the webs of spider mites. These bugs can stop plants from growing and if left untreated damage the plant more seriously. The bugs are easy enough to get rid of if they are spotted early, just a water wash can dislodge them. However, if they get entrenched, you will need more firepower to get rid of them.
5. Prune, prune and prune
As plants are growing less during the winter, it’s a very good time to prune any plants that have begun to over grow throughout the year. Succulents tend to be fine without a prune, but vine-y plants, cacti,and aloe can sometimes do with some trimming. The winter is also a good time to repot woody plants if they need to be rehomed or have outgrown their current pot.