Winter Houseplant Care Tips

1. Reduce watering

Winter means less light, and the less light there is, the less water the plants need. If plants that were watered weekly in the summer may now not be watered for a fortnight. Observe the condition of the soil before watering by poking your finger at least 3cm into the soil. If it is dry, water the plant thoroughly. If it is wet, wait a few more days and then check the soil again. If this seems cumbersome, you can use a flower letter moisture meter to aid your observations.

2. Allow plants to receive more even light

Rotate the pot a quarter turn each week to ensure that all sides of the plant receive sunlight.

3. Don’t worry about dropping a few leaves

A small amount of leaf drop going into winter is normal. Winter-induced leaf drop is a way for houseplants to cope with the drop in light and is nothing to worry about.

4. Avoid temperature extremes

Most indoor plants can accept ambient temperatures that are consistent with how we feel. Keep plants away from cold drafts, radiators and hot vents.

5. Suspend fertiliser application

Most houseplants rest or grow more slowly in winter. Restart fertilisation in spring to help rejuvenate plants.

6.Increase humidity

The air in a heated house is often dry. Most houseplants, especially tropical plants, have humidity levels of between 40-50%. Humidity levels in winter are usually between 10-20%. An easy way to increase the humidity around plants is to gather them together. Water evaporated from the soil of the potted plants and naturally lost through the foliage will increase the relative humidity around the plants. Another simple way to increase humidity: place the plants on a tray filled with pebbles or clay pellets and water. The bottom of the pot should be above the water level to avoid rotting roots. As the water evaporates, a more humid microclimate is created for the houseplants.

7.Keep the foliage clean

Winter sunlight is inherently scarce, and if you want to make the most of the limited sunlight, it is important that the leaves are clean. Use a damp cloth to remove dust from the foliage, or use a shower head to quickly rinse the whole plant, which will also effectively avoid red spiders.