Can you feel the chill in the air? Finally! Over at Poppies Flower Shop, we sure can! We have been enjoying the cooler temperatures, the smell of winter greens and enjoying our new Zygo Cactus plants. They only bloom around Christmas time and they are stunning. While you may be loving the cooler temperatures and the brisk mornings, our plants are not quite as excited and need a little more care during the colder months. Just like in nature, the colder temperatures, and darker days signal to the plant that it is time to go dormant to conserve energy. This month, we will discuss some simple ways to keep your indoor plants happy and healthy during the colder season.
If you are anything like our family, the first thing we do during a chilly morning is turn the heater on to enjoy our breakfast. While it warms us up, our indoor house plants do not appreciate the shock of the heater coming down on their delicate leaves! Look around your home and ensure that your plants are not directly underneath a vent. When plants are dormant, their leaves are preparing for freezing temperatures. Being directly under a heater vent can send them into shock, cause them to dry out quickly, can damage the leaves and remove the little humidity that we have here in the winter.
Speaking of humidity, Arizona does not get to enjoy the humidity like most states do in January. It can be beneficial to give your indoor plants a little mist during the colder months. Using room temperature water, I spray my plants with a light mist from a spray bottle once a week. Another way to increase humidity is to bring them in the bathroom with you while you shower. I put a few of my plants on the bathroom counter while the shower is running and allow them to absorb humidity in a natural way.
One of the most important things that all plants need is some form of light. Whether your plant prefers indirect or direct sunlight, ensure that they are still getting adequate sunlight during the winter months. The days are darker and shorter, and you may need to reposition your plant to ensure it is getting enough sunlight during the day. As the season change in my house, so do my plant locations. In our house, we rotate the locations of our plants every season to ensure that they get moved around and have different exposure to light. In the store, we rotate our plant locations every week!
Finally, reduce the watering. Since our plants are dormant, they do not need as much water. The only exception to this is winter blooming plants, such as poinsettias and Zygo cactus. You will continue to water those plants regularly since they are “in season.” It is important to remember that our plants are living beings that go through the seasons just like we do. While we prefer a warm blanket and hot cocoa, our plants may not!