How To Care For Your Tropical Plants In The Winter
In order to keep your houseplants happy and healthy during the cooler months, you must modify their care. Below we outline some special considerations that need to be made for tropical plants in the winter.
Please note that tropical plants have different, unique care needs. Thus, the following tips and tricks should be used as a general guideline of how to care for your houseplants in the wintertime.
There are fewer hours of daylight during the winter months and the sunlight’s intensity dramatically decreases. Therefore, it is important that your tropical plants are exposed to as much sunlight as possible in the wintertime, ideally by placing them in a window that faces the South or West.
If you lack window space or you are worried that your tropical plants will not receive enough sunlight, consider using grow lights. Grow lights differ from regular lights in that they emit a particular kind of artificial light that mimics the sun’s rays and helps support the process of photosynthesis.
Don’t forget to wipe down the leaves of your tropical plants with a damp cloth! If dust accumulates on a plant’s leaves it can prevent them from absorbing adequate light.
The amount of water you need to give your houseplants in the wintertime, as well as how often you should water them, is very dependent on the environment in your home. Every home is unique, but we recommend decreasing how often you water your plants in the winter and letting them dry out in between watering. As a result of receiving less light and being exposed to cooler temperatures, you may find that your houseplants do not dry up as fast in the winter. On the other hand, if you keep your home warm and toasty with the help of forced air, you may find that your houseplants dry up much faster, especially if your plants are placed near a vent. In this case, you will need to water your houseplants more frequently. It is best not to soak your plants in the winter. If the soil is too wet for too long, you may experience issues with root rot and insects like fungus gnats.
Still confused and concerned about underwatering or overwatering your houseplants in the wintertime? We are selling a device that can help! Introducing the Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester Gardening Tool Kits! This device will test soil moisture, pH value and sunlight level of the plant, it helps you specialize in grasping when you need to water your plant! Different plants have different watering needs. This device is designed to work with them all.
Avoid placing your tropical plants in three season rooms or sunrooms as the temperature cannot be regulated properly. Even exposing your houseplants to cool drafts from a window or a door could be problematic. Excess cold and fluctuations in temperature can shock and/or kill your houseplants.
If you are transporting any tropical plants outdoors during the winter, be sure that they are fully protected from the cold by wrapping them in paper, plastic, etc. If you are purchasing tropical plants from Vermeer’s, we recommend not making any extra stops between our store and home. Tropical plants, even when they are wrapped, should not be left in your parked vehicle for longer than 15 minutes. If you are continuously driving with the heat on, then you do not have to worry about how long it takes for you to transport your new houseplants home.
Something that every houseplant parent must combat during the winter months is low humidity levels. It is very hard to maintain humidity in the wintertime with factors like forced air, closed windows and being unable to place tropical plants outdoors. If you have some finicky tropical plants and are worried about an absence of humidity, consider using a humidifier. If you do not have a humidifier, you can try to raise the humidity level by grouping your plants together. Plants release moisture through their leaves, so clustering your houseplants may increase humidity. Humidity cloches or small indoor greenhouses are other good options. Unfortunately, unless your plants are in an enclosed area, misting your houseplants will not increase humidity as the added moisture will evaporate quickly.
If your tropical plants do not receive enough light during the wintertime, they likely will not need any fertilization. Most tropical plants are not actively growing during the winter months. It is normal for tropical plants to enter a period of slow growth or dormancy in the wintertime. If your houseplants are not showing any signs of active growth (new leaves, flowers, etc.) during the winter, do not fertilize them. Please note that climbing and trailing plants tend to grow all year long. So, if your houseplant is showing signs of active growth during the winter, you can use an appropriate indoor dose of all-purpose fertilizer every three weeks or so.
Still not sure if you are caring for your houseplants properly in the wintertime? Your friends at Harper’s Garden Centre are always here to help and answer any questions or address any concerns you may have!
Stop by 1039 Wilson Street East and speak with our in-house experts!