Talk about houseplants and some people start hauling out their old specimens and bringing them inside. Others don’t. Houseplants are fragile and, if brought inside, are likely to suffer damage. They need to be cared for, and they need to be cared for properly.
So what is the best way to care for houseplants in the winter?
1. Keep your plants in partial shade.
2. Water them only when the soil is dry.
3. Don’t fertilize them.
4. Give them as much light as possible. 5. Move them indoors before the cold weather comes.
Now, you probably won’t follow these instructions to the letter. But if you do, your plants will survive. Why?
1. Partial shade, shade, or light shade are all better than full sun. Full sun dries out the soil, which dries out the plant. If the soil is dry, water it. If it isn’t, don’t water it. But don’t water it so much that it gets soggy. Watering plants is a lot like watering people. Too much water leads to disease and rot. Soggy soil also leads to disease and rot.
2. Don’t water the plants when the soil is wet. If the soil is wet, the plant will soak up water like a sponge. It will then become oversaturated, and when it dries out it will rot.
3. Don’t fertilize the plants until spring. A plant is “in winter” not because it is cold, but because it is dormant. It doesn’t need fertilizer.
4. Give your plants as much light as possible. Plants need light to grow.
5. Move the plants indoors before winter. A plant left outdoors in cold weather will freeze.
The easiest way to care for plants in the winter is to bring them inside. Houseplants need temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on your plants regularly to make sure they get what they need. Be especially careful with plants that are tropical or that grow outside in the winter. Tropical plants such as orchids, palms, and bananas need different care than plants from the temperate zone.