10 Tips on How to Keep Your Plants Alive this Winter
Not only do plants function as great decor and centerpieces, but they also work to purify the air in our homes and apartments. With winter in full swing, keeping your plants alive in the frigid temperatures can be more difficult, but it’s not impossible. Before you replace all your favorite flowers and succulents with fake plants, follow these 10 tips on keeping your houseplants happy in the winter season.
1. Keep Your House Warm
If you’re cold, your plants are cold. If you need another reason to crank the heat up a little more this winter, keeping your plants alive is a great reason to do so. Most plants thrive in temperatures anywhere between 65° and 75° during the day, and 60° during the evening to mimic outdoor conditions.
2. Move Plants Closer to the Windows
As the days get shorter, your plants will have less time to bask in the warm sun. The more exposure to natural sunlight your plants can get the better, which is why moving them closer to open windows is key to your plant’s health. The best light will come from a window facing east.
Note: While you want your plants to be closer to windows, you don’t want them to be too close. If your windows freeze over, your plants will too!
3. Clean Your Windows
Now that you’ve moved your plants closer to the windows, make sure they windows are clean so the sunlight can get through to them. Every bit of light will help to keep your plants happy and healthy until the weather warms up.
4. Add Artificial Light
If light exposure is an issue in your home, adding an artificial light to provide your plants with a little extra warmth is another great option. Place a small lamp 2-3 feet above your plants and keep it on for a few hours a day. Your plants will thank you, and the lamp will brighten your home!
5. Dust Your Plants
Just like people, plants have pores called stomata. When dirt and debris clogs them, plants aren’t able to breathe or take in sunlight causing them to wilt. Show your plants a little TLC and dust them off with a damp cloth every couple of days. They’ll look better and be able to absorb sunlight more efficiently.
6. Get A Humidifier
Most plants thrive in humidity levels between 50 and 60 percent, whereas colder climates usually have a humidity level around 10 percent. Placing a small humidifier near your plants to add moisture into the air can make a huge difference in your plants’ livelihood. Leave the humidifier on while you’re out for the day and come home to happy plants.
7. Keep Plants Away From Vents
If your plants are in direct alignment with vents blowing dry air onto them, they may start to die. To keep your plants from experiencing extreme winds or temperatures, place them a good distance away from any vents or heating appliances.
8. Tonic Mist Spray
When plants are outdoors, they experience rain, fog, and mist. Mimicking their outdoor experience with a tonic mist every few days is the best way to keep plants alive. Dissolve four teaspoons of baking soda in a gallon of water and add a few drops of Murphy’s oil to create the perfect plant tonic. This will help to keep your plants leaves from browning.
9. Water Them Less
A common misconception is that watering your plants more can make up for a lack of sunlight and humidity. Don’t make this mistake! During the winter, most plants only need to be watered once or twice a week. The rule of thumb is to water your plants when the top inch of soil has dried out.
10. Hold Back on Repotting and Fertilizing
During the winter months, your plants aren’t going to grow as much as they do in the Spring and Summer, so hold off on giving them the extra nutrients until the sun starts to shine again. They’re not likely to get too rootbound, so wait until the Spring to repot your plants and give them an extra boost.
Don’t let your plants get frostbite this winter! Not only do plants improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide levels, pollutants, and airborne dust, but they also help to reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being. Keep your indoor plants alive this season with these 10 tips. The happier your plants are, the happier you will be too.