How To Avoid Murdering Your Indoor Plants Through The Winter Months
Calling all plant parents -- there's a lot you need to know about caring for your house plants through a rough winter.
As the weather gets cooler, we human beings tend to develop different needs and routines. Maybe you ditch the razor, swap an SPF-heavy moisturiser for a tinted sunscreen, or simply find yourself gravitating towards soup recipes.
Similarly, our plants require a shake-up as well. There are a number of factors to keep in mind while looking after your indoor plant collection through the winter months, and Chloe Warren has all the green-thumbed advice you could ever need.
As an indoor plant stylist and founder of online store The Greenery Sydney, Chloe digs the dirt on watering, positioning, and everything you need to know about winter plant care.
Should I change my watering schedule?
"Definitely!," Chloe told 10 daily. "As we enter cooler months our [indoor] plant growth slows down. We don't need to fertilise as much as what we do during their growing seasons, and our watering routine will also change.
"Generally speaking, over winter indoor plants may not need water for two weeks. Just check them and if they're dry, give them a little water."
Be cautious of over watering, it's a sure-fire way to kill them off. "Adjust your watering regime and check plants are not being over watered. If you're noticing yellowing leaves, it may be a sign of over watering."
Chloe notes that one of the most important factors to consider through winter is the heating in your home. Keep an eye on your plants situated near a fireplace or heating vent and either move them or tend to them with extra care.
Should I move my plants into the sun?
Typically, plant experts warn against moving your babies around too much as it makes it extremely difficult for them to adjust. In winter however, it's not a bad idea.
"They ideally like to be placed somewhere and adapt to that area, but at the same time we can't adapt the way we live to suit all of our house plants -- or we would all be living in humid greenhouses," said Chloe.
"Keep in mind the sun's position changes over winter, so that western facing window that got too much sun over summer may just be a great spot over winter. Just make sure there isn't a heap of strong direct sunlight still."
Be aware of the types of plants you own, and read up on what climates they prefer. "If you have an outdoor area or balcony where you have indoor/tropical plants, it may be a good time to bring some inside. Some tropical plants may not hold up to the cold night temperature drops or the risk of frost."
Should I repot my plants?
If your plant is looking a tad claustrophobic, it's too little too late to for an upsize. According to Chloe, "hold off on fertilising or repotting" through the middle of the year.
"That plant that looks too small for a pot? Now isn't the time to repot it. You should wait until the weather starts to warm up or it will shock the plant too much."
Why aren't my plants growing?
New growth can be very validating for eager plant parents, but don't be disheartened if you haven't seen any little leaves lately.
"Indoor plants can still have a little growth over winter because we still keep our houses warm. They will certainly slow down but also don't be disappointed if they go dormant all together.
It's not you, it's the weather. Chloe wants to reassure you: "they will be ready for strong growth when the weather warms up again."
Your flora mightn't be thriving through the cold months, but you can bring in new plant babies. "Winter is fine to bring in some new additions, just be mindful of not over watering them."
What's the verdict on self-watering planters?
They're the controversial trend that splits plant lovers straight down the middle, but are the much-hyped self-watering pots really worth it?
"Self-watering planters can be amazing for some plants. They can surely be a slow death trap for others."
Chloe continued, "The best way to tell which plant will love a self-watering planter is to check its watering requirements.
"Ferns can do really well in self-watering pots because they like a lot of moisture and can draw the water up as needed, but if a plant says on its label that it needs well-draining soil and is prone to root rot, stay well away from a self-watering planter for those ones."
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