Plant care in winter – cold season is upon us!
Hello plant people! Today I have for you some tips concerning seasonal temperature changes in Europe. Winter is coming and it is time to make some decisions about our plant friends. Plant care in winter doesn’t have to be tricky. We just have to ask ourselves some questions. Which of our plants need to go to sleep and which won’t even notice that something changed? Read below.
Heating vs. drafts
The ZEN approach
First things first. I love warm and cozy living room during long, moody, dark evenings of autumn and winter. It reminds me of my childhood when I would spend hours with my puzzle (Ross vibe :P). Now I like to sit in my jungle with a cup of hot chocolate and read. It has to be warm, this is the first amendment. So, when I turn my radiator on I have to think about the consequences. The humidity will go down, and it will affect my plants. It is not the end of the world if I remember, to properly seal the house. No drafts needed. Houseplants don’t like sudden change of the airflow. The most dramatic example of this feature is represented by Ficuses – I think that they have a Red Light District vibe in them – they can go naked in about an hour.
Humidity vs. temperature
The most important adjustment
Ok, but now we have another problem. If the temperature in the apartment goes up, then humidity will go down. This is where the humidifier comes to the rescue. If you have a thermometer with a hygrometer, try to adjust your humidity so it is about 55-60% for 23-24 degrees in your home, and higher if you have about 25-26 degrees (my case – I keep the humidity at 70). Most Aroids will be ok in those conditions (and, what is more important – you will be comfortable!). I know that those plants need high humidity. Remember though that if you keep them outside of a grow tent, and it is not 30 degrees in your apartment, higher humidity can cause fungus disease. Cold and humid environment is a no no. If you have a colder environment, then keep your humidity lower.
Watering vs. temperature
It is getting colder and colder by night, and it is important to give your plants less water than usual. They have to be able to use it and with shorter, colder days the photosynthesis is also slowing down. Also remember this: the bigger the amplitude between night and day, the less amount of water you can give to your plant in one go. If for example by day you have 19 degrees Celsius, and then it is getting 3 degrees Celsius at night, it is better to divide you waterings in two. Water 1/2 of water that you would normally use on Sunday and the other 1/2 on Wednesday rather than the usual amount once a week.
Light vs. fertiliser
Not everything has to change
Last tip concerns the amount of light. As the days are getting shorter, plants will photosynthesise slower and use less minerals contained in the soil or whatever potting medium you use. If you depend on a daylight, September is a good time to lower doses of the fertiliser to about 1/4 of what you would normally give to the plant. In November it is good to stop feeding your plants for about 2-3 months.
If you use artificial light, then the party is on! Do not stop to fertilise. If you want them to grow in winter, they will need material to build their tissues from.
That is all what comes to mind when talking winter plant care basics. Tell me what you think in the comments and as usual I invite you to follow my Instagram account @leafy_jungle , where I post recent updates and tips about growing plants.