Houseplants: Winter Prep

Fall is upon us & that means getting your plants ready for the winter months!

 

Light

In Southern Manitoba, our daylight hours in the winter average around 8 hours per day. Your tropical and succulent plants were most likely grown in perfect greenhouse conditions (lots of light coming in from every direction), then had a lovely summer basking in 12-16 hours of day light ( yes! our longest day is 16 hours!).  In their natural habitat they are used to roughly 12 hours of daylight year round. That means it's time to move your plant babies to the brightest spot in your home. This will help reduce stress and keep them healthy during those long winter months.

You may also consider getting a grow bulb to keep your favorite plants in tiptop shape!


Water

Water and light go hand in hand, less light = less frequent waterings. Since your plant is photosynthesizing (using the suns energy to create food and oxygen) less, it requires less care. This means less water, and no fertilizer, winter fertilizing can chemically "burn" the roots of your plant and even kill it (unless you are using grow lights).


Maintenance

Pruning. You may have noticed some of the leaves on your plant turning yellow, don't panic! This is a natural occurrence. Plants are all about being efficient, so less light means, less photosynthesis which means that some of those extra leaves it grew over the summer just won't be needed anymore.  Cut these leaves off and try to find the brightest place for you plant to hang out during the winter.

Drafts. Most houseplants don't like them and some are so sensitive to drafts that they may loose many leaves or even perish! Keep your plants in a steady temperature environment all winter. That means no old windowsills, away from heating sources and exterior doors.