Fall + Winter Plant Care
One of the first things you’ll want to switch up when the seasons start to change is your watering routine. Even though the air is much dryer in the cooler months, your plant is also experiencing less growth, some even completely go dormant. You won’t need as much water to keep plants hydrated and over watering could lead to root rot.
The best way to tell when a plant is ready to be watered is to touch the soil. That top layer may seem ready to be watered due to the dry air and our heaters blowing all day but it’s not an accurate indication of the soil’s moisture. Make sure the soil is dry an inch to 2 inches down before watering. Different plants have different watering needs so plants like succulents or cactus may require close to no watering at all during winter months. When it is the right time to water, use some room temperature water so as not to shock the roots.
Humidity is the biggest culprit when it comes to unhappy plants in the winter. You can help improve humidity for your plants by keeping them close to your humidifier, clustered in groups, or moving them to the bathroom or kitchen where humidity levels are generally higher. Misting your plant throughout winter is also a great way to promote humidity and moisture although it needs to be done frequently to really notice the benefits.
Temperature + Sun
If you keep your houseplants outside in the summer months, make sure you bring them in before temperatures dip lower than 50 degrees. (This is also a good time to inspect them for any pests as they can travel on your plants indoors and wreak havoc your houseplant collection - use neem oil to spray them down if you notice any) Keep them away from drafts from windows or doors as well as heaters & fireplaces. They prefer consistent temperatures between 65-75, much like us humans!
You may need to relocate your plants to windows with more sunlight while the sun is lower in the sky and sets so early. Rotate your plants whenever you water them so they don’t begin to grow leggy as they reach for the sun. You can introduce supplemental lighting if you’re worried but remember, your plant is already preparing for less light by lying dormant throughout the winter.
No need to fertilize in the winter! It’s best to fertilize during their natural growing months (spring & summer). Fertilizing them in winter will upset their natural cycle and can actually burn your plant’s roots. Look at these months as a time for rest for your houseplants.