Its Winter, What are your houseplants trying to tell you?
It’s winter, days are cold, short and downright dreary. We all know the toll it can take on us, but what about our plants? We know they can detoxify the air and uplift our spirits but what about their needs? We see them thrive in the summer and flourish in the spring but what are they trying to tell us in these winter months?
Here's what we do know. The days are shorter which means less sunlight is pouring through your windows and we do know plants need optimal light for ideal growing conditions. Simply moving your plants closer to the windows can help give them that little extra boost they may need. The sunlight is also less harsh come the winter months, therefore, we know the plants that are typically sensitive to direct sun can now take on the bright light. Fewer sunlight hours also means the plant will be drinking less water throughout the daytime, meaning it would be no problem to cut back on your watering schedule. Watering your plants less also means not as much fertilizer will be required. Also, indoor plants having no fresh air increases the chances for pests. The dry air can be a perfect breeding ground for some not so welcome visitors. Regularly check your plants as this can stop any problem before it becomes out of control! Misting is another winter essential. The heat pumping into our homes causes the air to be much more dry (just check your skin haha) and we know how all plants love humidity to some degree, so keeping those leaves misted will keep your green friends happy.
The combination of less light, with fewer waterings and very little fertilizer makes your plant enter a dormancy much like hibernation. This doesn't mean you can stop caring for them completely but it does mean putting them through something like a transplanting stage. When a plant enters that dormant stage transplanting can sometimes mean their demise. The stress of their roots being disturbed, new soil to become accustomed too and all the extra space in the pot is difficult for a plant to handle. Definitely wait until spring to repot house plants! This is when the conditions are optimal and plants are eager to boost from their hibernation.
Don't let the talk of hibernating plants stop you from buying a few for around the house in these colder months. Plants have a great way of perking up a gloomy room, as well as, grumpy spirits. A Canadian climate can always welcome perking up in the winter. Your local flower shop or garden centre will most likely be receiving fresh plants weekly from a greenhouse, where the growing conditions have been ideal and those plants have not had the opportunity for a winter's rest. An option could be to choose a shorter type of seasonal flowering plant. This too can provide the boost you need, giving that perfect pop of colour at just the right time. With the arrival of springtime they too, can be sent out the door along with your winter blues!