The Nunhead Gardener

Indoor Plants & Living

Top 5 Winter Care Tips for House Plants

Both indoor and outdoor plants work very hard for most of the year. Growing, flowering, pollen production, purifying air and well, generally just being totally amazing and wonderful to look at. In the colder winter months the days are shorter and the light levels are reduced. This change acts as a signal to plants to enter their dormant period in order to survive the winter months. To help, we have put together our top 5 tips to look after your plants through out the winter months.


  1. Increase the levels of light  With shorter days and dramatically less sunshine during the winter months. Sometimes it’s preferable to move your plants nearer to a South/ West Facing window. It won’t hurt to give your windows a clean so they let in as much light as possible.

1. Increase the levels of light
With shorter days and dramatically less sunshine during the winter months. Sometimes it’s preferable to move your plants nearer to a South/ West Facing window. It won’t hurt to give your windows a clean so they let in as much light as possible.

  4. Keep plants clean and free from dust   Don’t wait till spring to do that spring clean as all of our homes contain larges dust particles in the air. Open windows and doors, especially in cities and urban areas increase the volume of dust particles entering our homes.  These particles often accumulate on surfaces and end up settling on the leaves of plants inhibiting the amount of light that can reach the leaf. As a result plants finds it much harder to make food through photosynthesis.  Use a damp cloth to wipe and remove any dust regularly. Sometimes it’s easier and faster to place plants for 5 mins in a tepid light shower.  Leaf wipes products can help make leaves glossy and shine but check first these are suitable for your plants prior to using them..

4. Keep plants clean and free from dust

Don’t wait till spring to do that spring clean as all of our homes contain larges dust particles in the air. Open windows and doors, especially in cities and urban areas increase the volume of dust particles entering our homes.

These particles often accumulate on surfaces and end up settling on the leaves of plants inhibiting the amount of light that can reach the leaf. As a result plants finds it much harder to make food through photosynthesis.

Use a damp cloth to wipe and remove any dust regularly. Sometimes it’s easier and faster to place plants for 5 mins in a tepid light shower.

Leaf wipes products can help make leaves glossy and shine but check first these are suitable for your plants prior to using them..

  2. Reduce the frequency of watering  Over winter as plants are in their dormant phase they require less water. It they receive too much water they become susceptible to root rot. The key signs to look out for are leaves droop, and may turn yellow/black resulting in poor growth.  We recommend reducing the frequency of watering by half for nearly all house plants. If you water once a week. Over winter you should reduce this to once every two weeks instead.  The exceptions would be all cacti, where we suggest to stop watering them completely. Succulents only once during the winter period.  Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias, which should be watered only when the soil feels dry to the touch.

2. Reduce the frequency of watering
Over winter as plants are in their dormant phase they require less water. It they receive too much water they become susceptible to root rot. The key signs to look out for are leaves droop, and may turn yellow/black resulting in poor growth.

We recommend reducing the frequency of watering by half for nearly all house plants. If you water once a week. Over winter you should reduce this to once every two weeks instead.

The exceptions would be all cacti, where we suggest to stop watering them completely. Succulents only once during the winter period.

Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias, which should be watered only when the soil feels dry to the touch.

  5. Provide a warm and stable room temperature   Most houseplants need a temperature of 12-18°C. They dislike large temperature fluctuations, so position them away from cold draughts and open windows or doors.  Curtains trap cold air so if possible leave the curtains open, or alternatively move the plants off the windowsill at night.  Keep plants away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces, which can scorch delicate foliage.

5. Provide a warm and stable room temperature

Most houseplants need a temperature of 12-18°C. They dislike large temperature fluctuations, so position them away from cold draughts and open windows or doors.

Curtains trap cold air so if possible leave the curtains open, or alternatively move the plants off the windowsill at night.

Keep plants away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces, which can scorch delicate foliage.

  3. Check for pests  Warm and cosy houses and apartments are just the place for many plant nasties. A nice cosy house provides the perfect environment for many plant pests such as mealybugs and aphids. These tiny insects thrive and breed over the winter so best to give each plant regular checks to make sure they are not hiding under leaves as well as on top of them.  If like me you have had some plants outside in the garden over the summer months as it was such glorious weather. Make sure to give these a more detailed check incase they picked up any nasties before you bringing them into the house for winter.  Should you find signs of any pests do your best to remove them. Spraying with a diluted washing up liquid makes a great insecticide. Take 1 to 3 tablespoons of washing up liquid and mix it into 4 litres of water, add a tablespoon of vinegar and mist spray the entire plant. A number of over the counter sprays which have been specially formulated to treat most indoor plant pests are also available.

3. Check for pests
Warm and cosy houses and apartments are just the place for many plant nasties. A nice cosy house provides the perfect environment for many plant pests such as mealybugs and aphids. These tiny insects thrive and breed over the winter so best to give each plant regular checks to make sure they are not hiding under leaves as well as on top of them.

If like me you have had some plants outside in the garden over the summer months as it was such glorious weather. Make sure to give these a more detailed check incase they picked up any nasties before you bringing them into the house for winter.

Should you find signs of any pests do your best to remove them. Spraying with a diluted washing up liquid makes a great insecticide. Take 1 to 3 tablespoons of washing up liquid and mix it into 4 litres of water, add a tablespoon of vinegar and mist spray the entire plant. A number of over the counter sprays which have been specially formulated to treat most indoor plant pests are also available.

 
 
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