Most indoor plants come from the tropics and subtropics, where they grow in comfortable conditions all year round. In our climate, they are in for a lot of stress in winter. This is due to the short daylight hours, low temperature on the windowsill, dry air and scorching heat from the batteries. All these problems are completely solvable, you just need to want. There are unpretentious plants that can easily endure all the surprises of the winter climate in the apartment, and there are those for whom temperature changes can be fatal.
Watering indoor plants
With rare exceptions, houseplants slow down their growth rate and stop blooming. This is due to the short daylight hours. In this state, the need for watering is greatly reduced. You can not overdry the soil, but overflow is too dangerous. The roots slowly pump out moisture from the soil, and it evaporates slightly from the surface. Root rot is dangerous for many indoor plants. Zygocactus (Decembrist), on the contrary, with the onset of winter, you need to water more actively. At this time, they lay buds and bloom. After the buds open, watering is reduced. Some other plants are also active in winter.
Batteries dry the air a lot, this can cause the tips and edges of the leaves to dry out, and the active development of spider mite colonies. To stabilize the humidity, it is enough to place wide containers with clean water next to the pots. Now there are devices that monitor the humidity of the air, but they only correct the situation in one room, which does not solve the problem. Much more effective is a damp terry towel on the battery or special hanging containers on the radiator, into which water is poured. By the way, dry air is harmful not only for plants, but also for humans.
Illumination of indoor flowers
Lack of light can play a cruel joke. Not all indoor flowers can survive the shortest daylight hours, especially when the weather is cloudy. Sunlight can be compensated. An incandescent lamp has little effect on plants, so it is better to purchase an LED lamp. A phytolamp is ideal, the service life of which is quite long. Later it can be used for growing seedlings, microgreens.
Do not forget that the dust does not let through the already meager rays of the sun. Wipe the leaves regularly. Shrubs with small leaves can be washed with cool water in the shower or from a spray bottle. To prevent water from entering the soil, hold the pot at an angle, or wrap the area around the trunk with cling film. Allow the plant to dry before replacing the pot.
Top dressing in winter
Plants that have gone into a dormant state should not be watered with fertilizers. Sap flow during this period is slow. Nutrients will not be absorbed, but the roots may suffer. Ficus, monstera, palm trees, hibiscus and other plants with large leaves are quite another matter. They need feeding once a month. Feed fruit bushes at the end of winter, in February they begin to wake up, prepare for flowering and active growth.
Transplanting indoor plants
Not all, but many flowers need to be transplanted once every one or two years. Do it in February. It is during this period that it is very easy for plants to transfer transplantation and transshipment into a large container. The roots begin to grow actively, damaged areas are quickly restored, and the flowers themselves receive good nutrition and a good impetus to active growth.
How to save plants in severe frosts
On the windowsill during severe frosts it can be very cold. It is impossible to rearrange all the flowers for a long time in a warm place, but it is quite easy to reduce the harmful effects of the cold sliding down the glass. To do this, you just need to raise the pots, because everyone knows that cold air tends to go down. Stands should be reliable, but small in width, so as not to retain the cold. Place trays of pots on top of plastic bottle caps. Three pieces are enough for small pots, 4-6 for large ones. Just choose the same size. Make sure that leaves and branches do not touch the cold glass.
Do not forget that diseases and pests have no days off. Every time you water, carefully inspect the plants. The most common disease at this time is root rot. If this happens, the plant will have to be replanted, and with the complete removal of the old soil. All damaged areas must be removed, cuts should be burned with brilliant green or sprinkled with crushed charcoal. Only then can it be planted again. It is advisable to warm up the purchased or prepared soil to 80 degrees for an hour so that all pests, fungal spores and viruses die in it.
If a spider mite, aphid or scale insect is found, immediately place the pot with the plant separately, and those that were nearby may remain in quarantine. In this case, allocate separate care items for them so as not to transfer insects to other windows. Treat the infected bush. There are many reliable means and folk methods for pest control.
If spots, plaque, or other changes are noticed on the leaves and stems, you need to separate the plant from others and try to find the cause of the disease by signs. Fortunately, there are now many sites where there is enough necessary information. Viral diseases are not treated. Plants, soil and pot will have to be thrown away. Other problems can be dealt with, especially when it comes to a valuable variety.
Do not deprive the attention of indoor flowers in the most difficult winter period, and they will fully thank you with lush flowering, bright leaves and delicious fruits. And do not forget to follow our blog — in the «Indoor Plants» section, we regularly publish interesting articles, tips, and recommendations. You will definitely like it!
Article author: Oksana Artemenko