Gardeners' World: How to care for houseplants
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Keeping your houseplants happy over the winter is a tricky balancing act. Your indoor plants will be suffering from the plummeting temperatures, but whacking on the central heating is likely to cause them distress. However, helping your houseplants survive the winter is possible, as long as you follow our ultimate guide to looking after houseplants during the coldest months of the year.
Winter is a tough time of year to be a houseplant.
The sudden drop in temperature coupled with fewer hours of sunlight can be a shocking change to your plants, who have been getting comfortable over the summer.
However, there are steps you can take to help your indoor plants survive the winter and arrive in spring next year ready to thrive.
You will just need to make a few simple changes to how you look after your green friends.
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Dani Turner, customer experience director at Bunches said: “As we transition into the winter, it is important to recognise how this can affect our house plants.
“The most important factors to consider are the changes in light, heat and moisture.”
Should you move your plants away from the windowsill?
Most plants don’t enjoy extreme temperatures, and the fluctuations on the way over the next few months will upset them.
Dani says: “Regulating the temperature of your plants is also extremely important in the winter months as cold draughts or fluctuations in the temperature of your home with central heating can cause instability in your plants’ environment.
“Moving your plants from window sills at night and keeping them away from heat sources, such as radiators, can give your plant a helping hand in surviving the winter months.”
So, it’s not only windows you need to watch out for, but also the hotspots caused by your central heating.
Central heating can also cause the air in your house to dry out, which can upset your plants, causing their leaves to curl up.
This does not mean you should water them: overwatering is the leading cause of death for houseplants over the winter.
Instead, mist the leaves with water in a spray bottle, or invest in a humidifier.
Some even put their plants on the side in the bathroom while they have a hot bath or shower, so the plants can benefit from the tropical, humid, atmosphere.
How often should you water your houseplants over the winter?
Dani says: “For green plants, we recommend watering them less over winter – reducing to watering them fortnightly as opposed to weekly.
“Too much water can cause rotting and stunt the growth of your plants.
“Misting your plants throughout the day can be a safer alternative to prevent over-watering.”
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How much sunlight do houseplants need in winter?
Dani says: “Now the clocks have changed, and we have lost valuable daylight hours, it is important to reposition your plant to make the most of the sunlight hours.
“Placing near a south or west-facing window can also help to maximise the amount of sunlight your plants receive.
“Be sure to clean your windows both inside and out, as well as regularly dusting the leaves too as this can help to boost the amount of light your plants soak up.”
Don’t forget when placing your plants in sunlight not to put them on the windowsill, as it will get too cold.
Positioning plants where they can bask in the winter sun should keep them happy.
To help your plants on their way as they adjust to the changing conditions winter has brought, follow these tips.
1 – Move plants away from windowsills, radiators and other heat sources.
2 – Don’t overwater the plants – mist them instead, and water less often.
3 – If the plant leaves start looking dry, try to up the humidity with a humidifier, or by putting them in the bathroom for a bit
4 – Put your plants where they can enjoy maximum sun, without getting cold.
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