It seems a shame to allow plants to wither and die outdoors when the cooler seasons come along, yet many people may not think to simply bring their plants indoors. The fact is that many different types of plants will thrive and grow just fine inside the home, with a little care and attention. Use the following tips to keep your houseplants healthy and happy all year long:
You should groom your houseplants periodically, snipping away dead or damaged shoots and checking for pests and insects. This also provides an opportunity to assess your plants for signs of disease, which can manifest in spots, discoloration, or residue. If your plant displays white patches, it may be a sign of mealybugs, which can be removed by wiping the leaves gently with a soft swab dampened with rubbing alcohol.
When you water your houseplants, you should allow them to become dry enough so that when you give them a drink, water runs out of the bottom of your pot. Catch the water in a saucer or bowl, and empty it before finishing so that the roots don't sit in excess water and become prone to root-rot. If your home is particularly dry and arid, set bowls of pebbles covered in water around the room to add humidity to the air.
Help control the light of your home and adjust it for plants by filtering harsh rays with sheer curtains or panels on the windows. Most houseplants will thrive with exposure to a south-facing window, particularly if these plants typically do best in northern or eastern exposure when planted outside during their peak season. Be sure to turn your houseplants a quarter-turn each week to ensure that each leaf and area of the plant is receiving exposure to the sun.
It is important to provide plants with enough air circulation, and during the winter, your home might be stuffy and tight. Keep a fan nearby to circulate the air for an optimal plant environment. Remember that warmer spaces in the home will dry plants out more quickly than those rooms that are kept at cooler temperatures.
Give your plants a boost by feeding them periodically. For those plants that flower in the winter months, high-phosphorus additives that are water-soluble are best for full blooms. For other types of plants, add a very low-dose of fertilizer for best results.
Keeping your houseplants healthy during the winter is not difficult, but it does take a little bit of effort and energy. The pay-off for this labor is appealing, however, and come spring, your plants will be lush and ready to be moved outdoors. Contact Joanna's Florist for more information and tips.