Winter Plant Care; Our Top Five Tips.
1 EASE UP ON THE WATERING
You may have noticed throughout the cooler Autumn months that your plants’ watering needs have also decreased. This will continue on throughout Winter too as water is evaporating more slowly from your plant's soil than in the warmer months. This doesn’t mean plants need less water day-to-day, just that your usual watering sessions will be less frequent, so keep an eye out and adjust the timing as needed. As a *general guide*, wait until the top 3cm of potting mix is dry before watering again. If the soil stays wet for too long it can also be the perfect place for fungus gnats to breed; a common pest that can run riot in Winter!
2 LET THERE BE LIGHT
As the Winter days get shorter, darker and cooler, pay attention to how this affects the light and temperature in your home. Consider moving some plants so they can catch some extra rays of sunlight or have a brighter spot to call home. Once Summer kicks back in you can move them back to their usual spots. Plants also don’t like dramatic changes in temperature so keep this in mind and move them away from drafty windows and doors and don’t forget to consider heaters and fires - they can wreak havoc on some plants, drying out their leaves and browning the edges. To overcome this, increase humidity by misting your plants every few days - and get those plants moved to a less intensely heated position ASAP!
3 HOLD TIGHT ON THE FERTILISER
Fertilising your plants is a necessity, however it is best done during Spring/Summer when the plant is in its growth phase. When a plant is dormant (eg in Winter) fertiliser can easily burn the roots. If you really think your plant is deficient in nutrients and needs a helping hand, try diluting the fertiliser solution (organic is best) and see how your plant responds.
4 DON'T RE-POT YOUR PLANT BABY
Spring is the best time to re-pot plants, so if you missed the opportunity then - and are itching to do so now, sit tight! Practice patience and leave the job until next Spring – if you don't heed this warning you could end up with a dead plant (and nobody wants that!.) Re-potting can be a big change and it’s a task best carried out during your plant's growth period, when it can confidently grow into its new home.
5 TIDY THAT PLANT UP
The start of a new season is a great time to stop and take stock of your plant gang and see how they’re travelling. Give them a little TLC; trim and prune where needed and remove any unsightly dry, yellowing or brown leaves plus any wayward growths or leggy vines that may have appeared. Wipe down the leaves gently (both sides) using a damp, wet cloth and check for pests and treat where necessary.