Winter is Coming – Are You & Your Plants Prepared?

Winter is Coming – Are You & Your Plants Prepared?

This year has been strange. Current events aside, it’s November and we’re still seeing temps in the high 80’s to 90’s. However, the nights are getting colder, and soon-to-follow are the days. While many of us are excited for pants season (and yes, what I really mean is not having to shave our legs), it’s important to remember that our plants will have different needs and routines too. So, here are three tips on how to care for your plants during sweater weather.

Lighting Adjustments
Unless your entire collection is made up of snake plants, your babes do not thrive in low-light conditions. With winter comes shorter daylight hours, and less solar energy plants can absorb. According to the library of congress, “During the winter, the sun's rays hit the Earth at a shallow angle. These rays are more spread out, which minimizes the amount of energy that hits any given spot”. For those reasons, it makes sense why most plants go dormant in the winter. But there are even more factors involved when your plants are indoors. Because the angle in which the sun is hitting the Earth, the location of your plants in relation to your windows may not receive as much light as you think. If you are unsure about whether or not they are getting enough light, you can use a light meter to measure the amount of light your plants are receiving. You can also supplement lighting with LED grow lights!

Watering Routines
With colder weather comes slower drying times. Your plant soil will take a noticeably longer time to dry out than it does in the summer. So, if you’re someone who waters their plants once a week, you may have to double your wait time. The best practice for knowing when to water is by sticking your finger in the soil about an inch deep. If you remove your finger and have bits of soil on it, don’t water. If you remove your finger and it’s mostly clean, it’s time to give that baby a drink. Another method for knowing when to water your plants if by looking at the leaves. Scindapsus, pothos, and calatheas are known to show when they are thirsty. Scindapsus and calatheas will start to curl the edges of their leaves, while pothos will droop theirs and feel really thin and limp like an overcooked noodle. Just remember, it’s easier to save an underwatered plant than an overwatered one!

One thing I hate about winter is getting chapped lips. It’s like no amount of water I drink can combat the dry frigid air; so, thank goodness for lip balm. But, let’s not try and put lip balm on our plants. Instead, invest in a humidifier to keep their relative humidity (RH) around 50-60% -especially for the calatheas. Worried growing mold? According to the EPA, keeping your indoor RH below 60% will help prevent that. If you’re still concerned, try using a pebble tray and misting your plants a couple times a day. There is some controversy regarding misting and pebble trays in that they are nowhere near as effective as humidifiers, some people see success with some of their lower maintenance plants, like their monstera deliciosas or pileas.

Okay, so there you have it. We shared three tips on how to have a happy winter plant season. Do you have any of your own you’d like to share with us? Send us a message on Instagram or shoot us an email so that we may feature your care tips in our stories!

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I am thankful for all your indoor and outdoor gardening tips. I will buy a humidifier for my orchid collection and all the other plant babies we have crammed into our little sun room. We’re also must buy plant lights for all the plants in the shadows. Thank you!

Linda Vickery

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