After the festivities are over and it’s time to take down the sparkly decorations and Christmas tree, the house can feel a little bit bare but this is when our houseplants step in! We can always count on our houseplants to bring the outdoors in and bring joy into our homes, not to mention some health benefits! Be sure to keep your houseplants happy this winter to see that they last through until spring.
Here are our top tips...
1. Don’t over-water: During winter, houseplants enter a dormant phase so it's important that you allow them to rest and this includes cutting back on watering. For most houseplants, this means only watering once a fortnight. For cacti, you can stop watering them completely. If you're not sure if your houseplant needs watering, a good trick is to insert one or two fingers into the compost about two inches deep and if your fingers/the compost feels completely dry then you're good to go.
2. Move plants into the light: Light levels are lower in winter, so maximise what there is available by moving your plants into lighter positions, whether this be into a conservatory or porch or just closer to your sunniest windows.
3. Keep room temperatures even: Houseplants prefer warmer temperatures in the winter however it's key to avoid fluctuations between temperatures. To achieve this, avoid sitting plants too close to radiators and similarly position them away from cold draughts or open windows or doors. Top tip: if your plants are on a windowsill, keep the curtain/blind open at night if you can as they can trap cold air around the plant.
4. Clean leaves regularly: Using a damp cloth, regularly wipe the leaves to remove dust and grime and this will help more light reach the plant. At the same time, snip off any dead, damaged or dying leaves.
5. Watch out for pests: Mealybug, often found under leaves looking like patches of white cotton wool, can be found this time of year. Wipe them off with a damp cloth or spray with insecticidal soap.
6. Reduce or stop feeding unless plants are actively flowering, as during the cooler months of the year plants aren’t growing as much and don’t need as many extra nutrients.