Garden Topics: Tropicals & Houseplants

Winter Tips for Houseplant Care

Tip #1: Mist Your Plants

Mist indoor plants daily to increase the humidity. Alternatively, you can place the pot on a tray with pebbles and water, but use enough pebbles to keep the pot above the water.

Tip #2: Wipe Dust off Leaves and Stems with a Damp Cloth.

Accumulated dust on leaf surfaces can plug leaf pores.

Tip #3: Give Plants Lots of Light

The angle of the sun changes considerably during the fall and winter so move plants that require bright light to a new winter location. Remember to rotate your houseplants every week or two so they receive light evenly on all sides.

Tip #4: Don't Fertilize

Because houseplants slow their growth processes in winter, withhold fertilizer until spring.

Tip #5: Wait Until Spring to Repot Plants

Repotting will actually stimulate new growth.

 Tip #6: Most Important, "Cut Back on Watering".

Because growth rate is considerably slower, houseplants don't need as much water in the winter. You may reduce watering by half or even two-thirds. Cacti and succulents may only need water once a month. Overwatering is the number one cause of houseplant demise. Stick your finger into the soil to a depth of two inches. If your finger comes out dry, the plant needs water. Use only warm water.

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