Surviving Your First Winter As A House Plant Parent
Written by -Kaitlynn from MIgardener
Don't panic. We've all been through it. Your first winter as a house plant parent is the scariest point in a plant parent's journey. Especially if you don't know what to expect, Winter in Michigan can be brutal, and your house plants think so. Here are the best tips we could find to help you keep your sun-loving plants healthy through the winter months.
Follow The Light
In the winter, sunlight shines at a different angle than it does for the rest of the year. Because of this, relocating might be necessary for some of your plants. Make sure your plants are getting the amount of sunlight they need to thrive. Know your plants. If you've somehow lost their care tag, Google will become your best friend. Relocate your plants to a window or room with the best lighting for their needs. Adequate light is often hard to come by in the winter. Invest in backup grow lights, just in case the sun decides to hide behind the clouds for a few days in a row. For the best grow light options for indoor plants, click here.
Water With Caution
Everything slows down in the winter. This rule is the same for watering. In the summer, indoor plants need to be watered often and monitored closely. In the wintertime, the biggest killer of house plants is root-rot caused by overwatering. This problem occurs when the owner forgets to adjust the plant's slightly new environment's watering schedule. Many plants will go dormant in the winter and fall (again, research for the specific plants you have), causing less growth than usual. Reduce your watering schedule by 25%, or by paying close attention to the soil in every plant. Never let your plant sit in water under any circumstance. Give your plant time to dry out between watering.
Wait Until Spring
As stated above, most plants go through a dormancy phase in the winter. Less growth means less should be done to encourage growth at this stage. In the winter, let your plant rest. Wait until springtime for big changes. Like humans, plants don't tend to do well with change. But, they do bounce back from it quicker with sunny days again. Fertilizing is very low on the priority list for winter care because of this. Transplanting to new pots can be postponed until spring as well. Taking a cutting from your plants is okay, but expect slower growth results than you would see at other times in the season.
Temperature is Everything
Temperature and humidity are two of the biggest changes that affect houseplants when winter comes. Household temperatures go up, and forced heat lowers humidity drastically for people and their plants. Just because you are keeping your house warm, doesn't mean your plants are happy. Plants enjoy humidity levels between 50-60%, so invest in a humidifier if you can. Other ways to produce humidity around your plants are either making a humidifier plate or placing your plants closer together. A humidifier plate is simply a plate filled with rocks and water (larger than the pot of the plant you are placing) that you set your plant pot on top of. This allows the water in the plate to evaporate instead of being used by the plant's roots.
All in all, there are a few changes that happen to houseplants in wintertime. Do not panic. Be patient and continue to give your plants the attention they need, and I promise. Everything will be okay.
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