5 Tips to Revitalize Houseplants (and Keep Them Alive in Winter)
It happens every year like clockwork: just before Thanksgiving, your houseplants look a bit droopy. Leaves start turning yellow, and they just look generally unhappy.
This is a hard time of year for your indoor plant friends, especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest where our days are particularly short. But not to worry! We have a few tips to help you to get them looking happy and green, and keep houseplants alive through winter.
5 Tips to Revitalize and Keep Houseplants Alive in Winter
Cut back the water (and the fertilizer for that matter)
Yellow leaves? Weird bugs flying around your pot? Moldy soil? These are all symptoms of too much winter watering. All houseplants require less water in winter. Over-watering is always dangerous, but especially so in winter. Make sure you’re not letting your pots stay too wet, and your plants will thank you. Try decreasing cutting the frequency of watering in half, or just water if your plants look thirsty. Oh, and while you’re at it, cut the fertilizer back too. They don’t need it right now, and too much is bad news.
Give your plant a bath
It’s hard to believe, but all that dust that accumulates on your plant leaves (especially large tropicals) inhibits the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Your plants need all the light they can get this time of year, so next time you water, rinse the entire plant and gently wash with a papertowel if necessary. Pro-tip: Stick all the plants in the bathtub and turn on the shower (gentle pressure)!
Seal up those windows
Many plants, especially tropicals, are sensitive to cold air. They’ll drop leaves like crazy when it gets drafty! To fix this problem, make sure your windows are sealed and insulated, or that your plants are moved out of the reach of cold drafty areas like windowsills and doorways.
Shine the light
It’s dark. Your plants need sun. If your windows aren’t cutting it, try replacing incandescent bulbs with full spectrum lights in the nearest fixture. Or, if you’re truly plant obsessed like we are, it’s pretty easy to rig up some grow lights.
Wait on re-potting, but don’t be afraid to prune
Winter is not the time to re-pot your plant. I know! That new pot you got at the nursery is adorbs, but if you wait until spring to pot your plant up, it will thank you. Root growth is slow this time of year. Soil in big pots stays wet longer. You risk root rot and over-watering if you re-pot now. That said, don’t be afraid to prune back any leaves that turn yellow or brown, or any vines that look “leggy”. You probably won’t see much new growth until spring, but pruning tends to make things look nicer in the meantime.
Follow these tips and your houseplants should look fresh in no time, and be ready for a healthy period of active growth come springtime. Got any of your own tips to keep houseplants alive in winter? Share with us in the comments