Keeping Indoor Plants Alive This Winter

While most of us adjust to the winter by wearing coats and adding blankets to our beds, we can’t forget about our indoor plants during this season. Many don’t survive the winter due to temperature changes, overwatering, and low light. Follow these few tips to get your houseplants through another Jersey winter indoors.

Less Water, No Fertilizer

Remember, your plants are growing slower or may be completely dormant in the winter, so less is more when it comes to watering. The same goes for fertilizer: you don’t need to fertilize plants in the winter because they’re not growing.

If you have succulents or cacti, you can probably ignore them the entire winter, and they’ll survive (but don’t forget to start watering them again when it warms up!).

Root rot can occur quickly in the winter if you’re following your usual watering routine, so check that soil is actually dry an inch below the surface before filling up the watering can.

Watch the Temperature

Your plants were meant for a tropical climate, so the room needs to stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit whenever possible. You’ll also want to keep them away from any drafty windows and doors. The overall room may be a reasonable temperature, but they’ll freeze in that location.

Many NJ homeowners need to turn on a humidifier for their own health during the dry winter months, but this can also help your plants. Place the humidifier near your plants, and it will benefit both of you.

Chase the Sun

Don’t confuse your indoor plants with true home décor: if you expect them to live, they’ll need to be near a bright window. In the winter, the sun stays lower in the sky, and your plants may not get the same amount of sun they need to stay healthy. You might find yourself shifting everything around for plants that require a few hours of direct light.

Most plants grow towards to the sun, so they may reach out to what little light they can find. Keep your plants growing bushier by rotating them every few days. 

Dust Off the Leaves

Plants absorb light through their leaves, so keeping those leaves clean and dusted in the winter is crucial. As you dust the rest of your house, take a few minutes to wipe off the leaves so they can get as much sun as possible. You’d be surprised how much dust builds up even though the plant looks green: this may be the reason it’s not thriving despite great light! 

Some plant owners clean all their plants at once with a weekly or monthly bath: they gather all the plants from around the house and put them in the bathtub to ensure all the dust is gone. And because it resembles the climate of a tropical rainforest.

Start Gardening Indoors

Now is the time to start planning your garden for the summer! Even though snow covers the ground, you can start drawing the plans for your raised beds and ordering seeds online.

If you want to plant vegetables from seeds this year, February is the time to start broccoli, cauliflower, and peas indoors in NJ. Then you’ll transplant them outdoors in late March, so they’ll be ready to eat in early summer.

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February, 2021

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