Thursday, December 8, 2016

Protecting House Plants During the Winter

The shorter and cloudy days that occur during the winter months can not only take a toll on us, but it can also affect our indoor house plants.

The other day I received a phone call into the weather center.  The lady caller didn't leave her name or number, but was wondering about how she could keep her indoors plants thriving during these cloudy days.  Just like people, plants need extra care during the cold months too.

According to, there are some steps you can take to ensure your houseplants continue to thrive when the temperature drops outside.

Watering:  While there are some plants that require a lot of moisture to survive, most houseplants don't need that much extra water. suggests once a week testing the soil moisture by putting your finger two inches down into the soil.  If the soil is dry, then it likely needs water.  If you pot has a saucer on the bottom of it, make sure you empty it out roughly an hour after watering.

Feeding:  No need for it.  Spring and summer months are when plants are actively growing.  If you do want to fertilize your plant make sure you dilute the fertilizer by 50% or more.  You can begin feeding it more once you see some growth on the plant.

Cleaning:  Surfaces in our house will collect dust through the seasons.  Most times we are quick to clean that dust because we don't want a dirty house.  Plant leaves can collect dust and debris, too.  So it's a good idea to gently wipe away that dust so the plant not only looks good, but it can also breathe better.

A couple other tips for your indoor plants during the winter months is to keep the humidity roughly between 40%-50%.  You don't want it too dry in the house, but you don't want high levels of humidity either.  Keep the daytime temperature anywhere between 65° and 75° and the night temperature between 60° and 65°.  If you're plant isn't getting enough light, try putting it by a south or west facing window, but one that is not frosty or drafty.  If that isn't working, they do make special lamps that you can buy at a store that will act like sunlight.

I'm not sure if the lady who called was watching Thursday evening.  If so, I hope these tips help her!

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