During the winter, indoor plants frequently suffer from lack of light and one atmosphere too dry due to the heating system running at full speed. Many of them can suffer fromexcess heat while others are fine with it. Finally, indoor plants are like those grown in the garden: depending on the species, they have different needs and you must of course take into account this period of vegetative rest, even if it is not very marked in some cases. Here are some tips for properly maintaining your indoor plants during the off-season.
Winter, a delicate season for indoor plants
When a plant enters dormant, that is to say during the period of vegetative rest, it needs the temperature to drop by 5 to 6 degrees. However, in our frequently overheated homes, the conditions do not meet their needs at all. The leaves dry up and then fall.
From the point of view ofhygrometry, it is insufficient. It is therefore imperative to mist the leaves of most of them, with regularity, so that they remain valiant. Misting helps to recreate the sufficiently humid atmosphere which is beneficial to them. But we must not confuse hygrometry and watering! It must be more moderate than in summer because the excess of water is responsible for the rotting of the roots. Be careful, however, not to spray the foliage of all its houseplants. the Saintpaulia for example does not support this type of treatment in any way.
The right gestures to take care of your indoor plants in winter
Maintaining a roughly constant temperature between day and night is very important. Depending on the species grown indoors, we can consider that a temperature of 15 to 18°C is ideal, but some beautiful exotics in particular like it to be at least 20 to 22°C while many plants of indoor plants that flower in winter prefer moderation with temperatures between 12 and 16°C. Plants are therefore installed in different rooms, living room, bathroom, entrance hall, back kitchen, so that each can benefit from the conditions that suit them best to spend the winter well, but each room must imperatively have a window. .
Here are the tips to follow so that indoor plants spend the off-season free from worries.
- Temper the room so that it is not excessively hot, as this risks dehydrating the plants. This is also preferable for the occupants of the accommodation.
- Water only in the morning, because watering at the end of the day promotes root rot.
- Reduce watering to just two waterings per month, or even just one for water supply containers. It is preferable to opt for water at room temperature and not calcareous (rainwater).
- Continue to give water to succulents and cacti but in moderation, the substrate should never be completely dry.
- Do not water if, by touching the substrate, you can see that it is still fresh and slightly sticky.
- Systematically empty the saucers after watering.
- Mist two to three times a week those who need it.
- Stop adding fertilizer.
- Maintain sufficient humidity in the air.
- Bring the plants closer to windows and bay windows so that they get enough light, but remember to draw the curtains on days when there is a lot of sunshine between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. so that the foliage does not burn, especially if the windows are exposed to the sun. South.
- Judiciously dispose of artificial lighting systems to prolong the brightness time, especially if the room is dark.
- Ban thermal shocks. Ventilate the housing every day but ensure that the plants are not in drafts.
- Install the pots on benches, tripods and other supports if the accommodation has underfloor heating, as this tends to dry out the substrate quickly and damage the root system of the plants.
- Keep pots away from radiators.
- Dust the leaves with a damp cloth every 10 to 12 days.
- Regularly cut dry leaves, faded flowers, and remove dead branches.
Beware of certain citrus fruits such as Kumquat and the Lemon among others who do not like to spend the winter in the warm. A cold greenhouse is preferable or a bright, well-ventilated and obviously frost-free room.
Finally, beware of plastic pots in which the roots do not breathe as well as in a porous material such as terracotta, ideal between November and March. But we have to anticipate because you don’t unpot your plants in the middle of winter. There is also no need to rush to change pot plants when they are a little too cramped. To repot them, we wait wisely for spring.
Indoor flowering plants in winter
Indoor plants that bloom in winter are not always lucky enough to enjoy a temperature variation 3 good degrees between day and night. It is however a condition to respect so that they bloom durably. As a result, their flowers fall early and these plants look rather gray. To allow them to spend the off-season in style, you have to anticipate.
From September, they are installed in a cool room (10 to 12°C), very bright. Under such conditions, they will produce flowers in profusion during the winter. This is the case of Cyclamen for example.
It is also possible to forcing bulb plants spring bloomers to see them bloom in the heart of winter. This is a technique that has been used for a very long time and which allows the flowering period to be brought forward by a few months. So at home, we can see flowers in profusion at Christmas HyacinthCrocus, Tulip, Narcisse…
Overwintering Indoor Bulb Plants
As is sometimes done for those planted in the garden, certain bulb or rhizome plants that are grown indoors must be overwintered. This is for example the case of Caladium or even Curcuma. Ideally, the bulbs are dug up then deposited in a box on a bed of sand and stored in a room where the temperature is around 16 to 18°C. All you have to do is replant them in the spring in a suitable substrate. Watering and fertilization can then resume.
Clay balls for the well-being of indoor plants
Install indoor plants in winter on a tray covered with clay balls is a good idea because it helps to alleviate the problem caused by too dry air at home. This avoids excessive watering which causes the plants to rot. Just keep the expanded clay balls moist. This solution is ideal for all indoor plants that hate drought, such as the Calathea crocata. Watering is thus halved during the winter.
Common houseplants and pests in winter
The scale insects are a bane for indoor plant lovers. They tend to infest many species in winter due to the particular conditions, namely fairly high heat and an atmosphere that is too dry.
Mealybugs clump together as much on young leaves as on older ones. It is necessary that dislodge them by hand with a cotton soaked in alcohol at 90°C possibly mixed with black soap or vegetable oil. It is then very useful to treat the plants with a horticultural oil that is very effective against scale insects. Of course, we must always inquire beforehand in order to be certain that this shock treatment will not affect the health of the plants infested by these parasites.