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Winter Houseplant Survival Guide

As winter descends and the garden outside turns to fifty shades of brown, houseplants are a lovely way to introduce a little bit of green back to your home life.

However, as many as houseplants enter a dormant phase during the winter months, due to the shorter days and reduced levels of light, there are a few things to consider when looking after them.

But, have no fear, be sure to follow our handy survival guide for houseplant to ensure they return with vigour in the spring.

When plants are dormant, they don’t need as much water. In fact, for most houseplants, watering can be reduced to once every fortnight. If you have succulents every three weeks will be fine and, for cacti you can stop altogether.

If you have fresh herbs, poinsettias and Christmas cacti, these will need watering once the compost feels dry.

At this time of year, it is important to maximise the amount of light reaching your plants. If you can, move them into a conservatory or porch, or near to a south west facing window so the can soak up as much light as possible.

Just like a sideboard in your home, indoor plants will also accumulate a layer of dust on their leaves. This in turn will reduce the amount of light reaching the surface of the leaf. To keep your plant healthy, regularly wipe clean the leaves using luke-warm water and a soft cloth.

The ideal temperature for most houseplants is 12-18°C, but with the central heating on and off throughout the day and night, the temperatures in your home will fluctuate more than any other time of year and this is something houseplants really dislike. To stabilise the temperature, be sure to position your plants away from cold draughts from windows and doors and away from sources of heat like radiators and fireplaces.

It’s important to check your plants regularly throughout the winter for pests as a warm and cosy house provides the perfect environment for plant pests like aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs to thrive and breed. Look on both sides of the leaves and remove or treat any pests you find.

November 2022