Three Steps to Prep Your Houseplants for Winter

Winter can be a tough season for many of us, and your houseplants are no exception. Limited light, cold temperatures, and close quarters can be tricky for plants to handle. Luckily, there are a

The farm in winter

few things you can do to help your plants thrive as things get chilly.

Here are three fall tasks to keep your houseplants flourishing and happy through the winter:

  1. Give them a good bath. It’s easy for houseplants to collect dust, especially if their leaves are broad or waxy.  This dust can stop  precious sunlight from getting through to the plant’s leaves. In the winter, sun exposure can be reduced by as much as 50 percent, so it’s essential that we help our plants make the most of the sunlight they’re getting. Gently wiping down their leaves with a damp, soft cloth will remove all the dust, and give you a chance to get started on step 2.
  2. Check for sick plants. Especially if some of your plants migrate outside for the summer, they can carry pests like mealy bugs, aphids, or scale. Check over your plants’ leaves (including the undersides), stems, and soil for abnormalities. Things to keep an eye out for would include rough patches or scars on leaves or stems, small flying or crawling insects, and extensive holes in leaves, among other issues. If you’re unsure whether your plant might have a pest, try checking its symptoms against these charts from Pennsylvania State University. Any plants that do have a pest or disease should be kept separately so the problem can’t spread. Always wash your hands after touching sick plants!
  3. Our farm stand and greenhouse, where many of our plants spend the winter

    Location, location, location. Once you know your plants are clean and healthy, it’s time to think about the best place to keep them during the winter. Because there is so much less light during the winter, many plants will need to move to a new spot to ensure that they’re getting all the sunlight they need. You may find that plants that need to be kept in low light during the summer are much more comfortable in sunnier areas of your home during winter. If you’re concerned your more sun-loving plants won’t be getting enough light, you can supplement with UV lightbulbs during the day. It’s also important to keep your plants away from strong drafts. Trouble spots can include doors and poorly insulated windows.

How do you prepare your houseplants for winter? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments!

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Posted by Caiti Hensley

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