All Posts   Posted:   February 20, 2019 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

I notice that many people struggle with their indoor plants around this time of year – I often hear the sad stories of recent plant loss as customers browse for a new chance at successful plant care, promising to “do better this time”. Thankfully, keeping houseplants and incorporating them into our essential home décor has regained popularity however caring for plants requires a little more knowledge than does the care of a piece of furniture! I believe that the number one reason why indoor plants fail to thrive during winter months is that we do not adjust our watering patterns to accommodate their slower growth and semi-dormant state at this time of year.

You may say, “Winter – indoors?! I keep my house heated so my plants don’t know the difference”. To this I reply, although your indoor temperature may stay cozy all winter the drastic change in the angle of the sun causes much less light to shine in your windows – especially the north one. All living things benefit from a good rest, this includes our indoor plants. Often their growth is slowed down which means they need and use less water and fewer nutrients. In the pacific northwest, we consider our winter houseplant “rest period” to be from September through March; Here are some general tips on how to best care for your indoor plants to keep them (and you) from getting the winter blues.

DO:

  • Reduce watering frequency (water almost ½ as often as you do in summer).
  • If plants in north windows struggle for light, consider relocating them to a brighter window for the season; other plants can be turned monthly to keep growth balanced and symmetrical.
  • Stop fertilizing (resume feeding March-September).
  • Increase humidity around plants – especially in rooms with wood stoves, fireplaces or other areas of extra-dry air use a pebble tray (a large saucer under the plant that is filled with pea-sized gravel and a little water – don’t let the plant sit in the water – set the plant on top of the rocks; as the water evaporates it will create humidity around the plant), periodically run a humidifier or occasionally mist the plant to add moisture to the air.
  • Continue to check your plants every week or two for signs of pests or watering needs. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe dust off of foliage; if you spot signs of trouble treat promptly or contact one of our indoor plant care experts with specific questions!

DON’T:

  • Repot just yet… it is best to wait until at least March when the plant will resume more ‘active’ growth.
  • Place plants near drafty doors or directly against cold windows
  • Also avoid heat vents & areas near fireplaces which can be too hot and dry for most plants
  • Let problems go untreated, we are here to help! Call or stop in to one of our garden centers, send us an email question with photos or attend one of our many classes on indoor plant care to increase your skills.
  • Don’t punish yourself and go plant-less; there are so many plants looking for good homes – maybe you just haven’t found the right ones yet. We would love to help you find your perfect match!

By following these simple Do’s & Don’ts, your houseplants will get the winter ‘rest’ they deserve and continue to delight you and beautify your home for many years to come.

I notice that many people struggle with their indoor plants around this time of year – I often hear the sad stories of recent plant loss as customers browse for a new chance at successful plant care, promising to “do better this time”. Thankfully, keeping houseplants and incorporating them into our essential home décor has regained popularity however caring for plants requires a little more knowledge than does the care of a piece of furniture! I believe that the number one reason why indoor plants fail to thrive during winter months is that we do not adjust our watering patterns to accommodate their slower growth and semi-dormant state at this time of year.

You may say, “Winter – indoors?! I keep my house heated so my plants don’t know the difference”. To this I reply, although your indoor temperature may stay cozy all winter the drastic change in the angle of the sun causes much less light to shine in your windows – especially the north one. All living things benefit from a good rest, this includes our indoor plants. Often their growth is slowed down which means they need and use less water and fewer nutrients. In the pacific northwest, we consider our winter houseplant “rest period” to be from September through March; Here are some general tips on how to best care for your indoor plants to keep them (and you) from getting the winter blues.

DO:

  • Reduce watering frequency (water almost ½ as often as you do in summer).
  • If plants in north windows struggle for light, consider relocating them to a brighter window for the season; other plants can be turned monthly to keep growth balanced and symmetrical.
  • Stop fertilizing (resume feeding March-September).
  • Increase humidity around plants – especially in rooms with wood stoves, fireplaces or other areas of extra-dry air use a pebble tray (a large saucer under the plant that is filled with pea-sized gravel and a little water – don’t let the plant sit in the water – set the plant on top of the rocks; as the water evaporates it will create humidity around the plant), periodically run a humidifier or occasionally mist the plant to add moisture to the air.
  • Continue to check your plants every week or two for signs of pests or watering needs. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe dust off of foliage; if you spot signs of trouble treat promptly or contact one of our indoor plant care experts with specific questions!

DON’T:

  • Repot just yet… it is best to wait until at least March when the plant will resume more ‘active’ growth.
  • Place plants near drafty doors or directly against cold windows
  • Also avoid heat vents & areas near fireplaces which can be too hot and dry for most plants
  • Let problems go untreated, we are here to help! Call or stop in to one of our garden centers, send us an email question with photos or attend one of our many classes on indoor plant care to increase your skills.
  • Don’t punish yourself and go plant-less; there are so many plants looking for good homes – maybe you just haven’t found the right ones yet. We would love to help you find your perfect match!

By following these simple Do’s & Don’ts, your houseplants will get the winter ‘rest’ they deserve and continue to delight you and beautify your home for many years to come.