House Plant Care in Winter

In summer houseplants may be neglected. But when we finish the outside garden work for the season we turn to inside plant care and maintenance.

Houseplants may be dusty, a shower is an effective and efficient way to wash leaves.

A soil drench can be done at the same time. Allow plants to dry out for a few days prior to a soil drench. Saturate the soil until the water runs clear. This leaches out the build up of salts and minerals.

Let plants dry out for a few days, then check soil level in pot. Is soil needed?

Potting up to the next pot size.

Guidelines: Are roots coming out of the bottom of the pot? Is the plant out of scale with the pot? Is the plant top heavy? Has the plant stretched the pot? Any or all of these symptoms indicate transplanting is needed.

Care and maintenance during winter

Lower levels of light equal less water needed by the plant. Decrease watering schedule in winter, when growing plants with natural light. Overwatering kills more plants than under watering. Overwatering also attracts Fungus Gnats.

Increase humidity: place plants on deep drain trays that contain a layer of gravel (aquarium gravel is a safe choice). Water can be left in trays as long as the plant pot is not sitting directly in water.

Stop fertilizing. In the dormant season plants need to rest.

Remove dead and or dying foliage. Decide if yellowing and dropping of leaves is from overwatering, a pest, a disease, natural death of an older leaf or underwatering.

Best location sunny and cool. At the minimum keep away from furnace ducts and drafty areas. Many doors have side windows used for plants. Close doors quickly and tightly when outside temperatures are cold.