Getting Your Indoor Plants Ready for Winter
As October slides into November, most of us in the Northern Hemisphere have to worry about the cold and what it does to our plants. What do you do with the leftover fertilizer hiding under the sink or buried in the back of the garage? Do you stop watering completely or keep doing what you’ve been doing? And will your plants keep growing?!
Put those worries to rest – below find five tips for keeping your plants happy and healthy during the cold months!
- Pull back on your watering schedule. Dormant period = less need for watering. Instead of watering once a week, most plants will be okay with watering every 10-14 days. If you are dealing with a specifically needy plant (like a fittonia), keep an eye on when they start to wilt and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Another consideration is the dryness of your home – with the heating on, the air gets super dry and can dehydrate plants. A humidifier is a great way to combat those air quality changes, especially since indoor plants tend to require more humidity anyway.
- Consider their light needs. Your succulents that were growing fine during the summer need more light than you can typically find in winter. You may need to move your plants to windows and other well-lit areas. Consider a grow light to make up for the sunshine that they are missing. Make sure to keep windows clean and plants free of dust to absorb maximum light.
- Hold off on fertilizing. Unless you live in a place like southern California or Florida, your plants are going to naturally go dormant in the winter. This means they are already pulling back on their growth for the winter months and don’t need the extra boost that fertilizer offers.
- Time to trim! While plants are dormant, it is a good time to trim and repot if needed. Succulents do not usually need to be repotted in the winter.
- Watch out for pests. Unfortunately, with the decrease in temperature also comes an increase of pests. Spider mites, fungus gnats, and mealybugs tend to swarm because of the increase in heat, lack of light, and additional humidity brought on by humidifiers.
While there are many things to keep in mind when overwintering your indoor plants, have no fear! Being aware of these issues before they appear will help you stop any problems before they become overwhelming.