Q. What should I do in winter to keep houseplants healthy?
Houseplants will need some special care in the winter to keep them healthy. Gardeners should be aware of changes in light and temperature affecting indoor plants and do the following:
- When buying houseplants in winter, be sure to wrap them up well for the trip home; this prevents the foliage from freezing and protects tropicals from drafts
- Give houseplants as much light as possible as days grow shorter; plants may need a different position in your home in the winter than they enjoy in the warmer months
- Hold off on fertilizing indoor plants until spring, when they begin more active growth
- Provide houseplants with increased humidity; mist often or place the houseplant over a tray of moist pebbles
- Continue to plant prepared bulbs for indoor forcing
- As houseplants grow more slowly in winter, increase the time between waterings but do not cut back on the amount of water
- On frigid nights, protect indoor plants from freezing; move them away from the glass or cover glass with thick newspaper or cardboard
- Clean leaves of large and smooth-leaved houseplants like dracaeana, philodendron, ficus etc.; a dust covering will impede the necessary processes of respiration and photosythesis
See more on this topic from in Winter Gardening Chores Guide.
Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service