As snow continues to fall and your thermostat is whacked up to stay warm, you may notice your houseplants looking a little worse for wear – that’s because even indoor plants require some extra TLC when cold weather hits.
So how can you make sure your pots of greenery stay alive and well? “As light levels fall in winter, some plants may benefit from being moved to a lighter position such as nearer a window, as long as the minimum required temperatures can be maintained,” Guy Barter, chief horticulturist at the Royal Horticultural Society tells HuffPost UK.
Most houseplants thrive in even temperatures all year round, so the key is to keep them warm – but not too warm – says Barter.
You’ll usually find guidelines around minimum and maximum temperatures for your plant on the label when you buy it, but if you’ve already binned it, a quick google of the species will help.
“During winter, move plants to rooms which are not overheated during the day, but maintain the required minimum temperatures,” he adds. “Avoid placing plants near open fires, radiators, in draughts, or on windowsills on frosty nights, i.e. on the window side of the curtains.”
It’s especially easy to overwater in winter, Barter says. “Little or no fertiliser is needed and water requirements are very much lower than in summer,” he explains. “In winter, gradually reduce watering until the compost is almost dry between watering and stop feeding, except where plants are growing vigorously or flowering.”
Central heating tends to fill the home with dry hair, but tropical plants require a humid atmosphere. To counteract this, Barter recommends misting plants with a spritz bottle daily.
“Or, better, place on a tray of damp gravel, expanded clay granules (Hydroleca) or recycled lightweight aggregate (Hortag),” he says. “Plants grouped together will create a humid micro-climate around their leaves.”
You should also delay trimming and repotting your houseplants until April when light levels go up.