It is officially cold, the clocks are soon to go back, and you know at least one person who has started their Christmas shopping. Whether you’re in total denial or revelling in knitwear and glasses of red wine, now’s the time to start preparing your plants for cooler weather.
Just because they live inside, doesn’t mean houseplants are immune to the changing seasons. Most of your green friends will enter their active growing period over Spring and Summer, and conserve nutrients during Winter; sometimes going entirely dormant.
Areas of your home may become dryer as a result of heating, while others may suffer from excess moisture if your home is vulnerable to damp and mould. Temperature fluctuations and an overall reduction in the amount of light (one of your plant’s food sources) stand to strain the fussier members of your plant collection. Separately, as your plant goes into semi-hibernation, the amount of water and fertiliser it can take reduces.
1. Review the way your plants are arranged in your space.
It may be that you’re no longer opening a particular window, making it a more consistent space, temperature-wise, over Autumn and Winter. You might notice that your conservatory, previously a room where your plants were left scorched, is now a great space for your sun lovers.
Don’t move plants just for the sake of it though. The idea is to rearrange your collection in order to reduce environmental change, not exacerbate it.
2. Be extra careful with watering
We always warn about the dangers of overwatering, but it’s especially important during Winter. Plants tend to need less water during winter as they’re conserving fuel and nutrients
3. Give your plant its last feed
As above, it’s not good to give your plants too much fertiliser during Winter, so give them a round each now and they should last until they start to wake up again in March.
4. Dust your foliage plants
Your plant takes in carbon dioxide and expels oxygen through its leaves. While you’re reviewing your plant collection, take the opportunity to make sure each leaf is free of dust and debris so it can photosynthesise properly, and help purify the air in your home.
5. Move any plants you’ve had outside for Summer inside.
If you still have any of your hardier plants on your terrace or balcony, get them in ASAP. It’s a good idea to check for any outdoor pests before doing so, and giving each plant a cautionary rub down to make sure that any infections don’t spread.