Keep Your Houseplants Healthy with These Easy Tips

By Anita Franco

Keeping houseplants thriving all year long can seem difficult, as changing weather conditions and indoor climates impact their needs. Just as you would with your outdoor space, you have to adjust your gardening habits accordingly. After all, you wouldn’t use your electric lawn mower in the winter, would you?

Luckily, this can be much easier than you assume. To keep your houseplants healthy, remember these essential tips.

Don’t Overwater
Plants often have dry seasons in winter. They need less water this time of year than they normally do. If this is the case (you should always research the specific needs of your houseplants to confirm it is), make sure you let water drain thoroughly into a sink after watering your plants. You should also check the soil periodically. It needs to be dry approximately two inches down. If it’s not, you may be watering too often. Start watering your plants twice a week for better results.

Avoid Fertilizer
Fertilizer usually plays an important role in a houseplant’s health. That said, it isn’t necessary during most of the winter season. Your plants will be dormant at this time.

That’s not to say fertilizer will never be necessary during the winter months. In February, new growth will start to appear on indoor plants. That means it’s time to start applying fertilizer that’s been diluted by 50 percent. Additionally, you should once again start watering your plants more regularly, checking the first two inches of soil to determine if you’re overwatering them.

Run the Humidifier
Winter air is often dry in many parts of the world. To ensure your plants are still receiving enough hydration, run a humidifier in their rooms during this time of year. You can further boost humidity by grouping plants together.

Clean Your Windows
This may seem like a bizarre tip, but it’s actually very important.

Your houseplants still need light to thrive. When your windows are dirty, houseplants aren’t exposed to sufficient sunlight. Cleaning your windows regularly is a simple way to guard against this.

You might also want to move your plants to different rooms or areas of your home throughout the day as the sun’s position in the sky changes. Just remember that every plant’s light needs are unique. Research yours to ensure you’re exposing them to the perfect amount.

Add New Soil
As the winter months draw to a close, you may want to prune your houseplants. While you likely won’t need to use an electric grass trimmer like you would on outdoor plants, this is still an important job to perform to promote strong growth. This is also a good time to refresh their soil. All you have to do is remove the plant and trim the root ball. Place it in a new pot (it should be the same size as the old one) with new potting soil.

Of course, it’s always important to practice basic plant safety as well. Keep your plants away from both heaters and drafts, and clean them with a rag and warm water occasionally to remove dust and  pests. By keeping these points in mind and staying on top of basic maintenance, you’ll grow houseplants that thrive in all seasons.

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