How to Help Houseplants Survive the Winter: Important Rules of Care

House plants, like their wild relatives, need special care in winter. At this time of year, the daylight hours are considerably shortened, and the air in the house is colder and drier. It is important to give your plants a winter rest and let them grow strong and close to their natural environment.

How to prepare house plants for winter

Winter care of plants does not take much effort but ensures beautiful flowering in the summer. First of all, it is desirable to spray the flowers with insecticides and fungicides, even if there are no signs of disease on them.

Then dry and diseased branches and dried buds should be removed. This is done so that the plant does not waste its juices feeding the damaged parts.

To prepare for wintering, it is better to move the plants to a bright, but unheated room, such as a pantry or loggia. If there is no such room, you can put flowers on cabinets or shelves away from the radiator (they dry the air). Under the pots, it is advisable to put a stand of foam plastic, so that the pot loses heat more slowly.

If the plant has yellowing leaves in winter, it should be sprayed more often with a sprayer, because it can suffer from dry air. It is also better to move such a flower closer to the window.

Fertilize potted flowers in winter makes no sense, and makes nitrogen fertilizer, even more harmful. Nitrogen promotes the growth of new leaves, which due to lack of light will grow pale and weak.

How to water indoor plants in winter

In winter, all vegetative processes slow down and the flowers need less water. Therefore, during the winter months, it is advisable to reduce watering, otherwise, the roots can rot.

Reduce the amount of watering in the following ways.

  • If in the warm season, plants were watered abundantly and almost every day, in winter they should be watered once a week. Before watering, make sure the top of the soil is dry. If the soil is wet, it is better to postpone watering and only spray the leaves with a sprayer.
  • Plants that were watered once or twice a week in the summer should now be watered twice a month. If they have yellowing leaves, you can increase the watering to once every 10 days.
  • Cacti and succulents go into deep dormancy in winter. Watering them lightly once a month is sufficient.
  • The exception is plants that flower in the winter. For them, watering does not need to be reduced. Such flowers include senpollias, cyclamen, orchids, spices, azaleas, and others.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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