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How to keep your house plants healthy in winter

A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that plants in your home can make you feel more comfortable, soothed, and natural. Along with researchers also having found that they sharpen your attention, help you recover from illness faster and improve the quality of the air in your house. Therefore, the benefits of bringing the outside in go further than just a nice aesthetic, but they do require some maintenance, especially in the winter months.

Here’s how to keep your house plants healthy in winter:

1. Move your plants closer to a window
As the days get shorter, your plants’ access to natural sunlight is becoming more and more limited. However, by moving them closer to a window, you are making sure your plants are getting the most possible amount of light for this time of year.

2. Reduce watering
As there is less sunlight in winter, plants are less dehydrated, therefore you will need to switch your watering routine. During the winter months, most house plants should be reduced to one water every fortnight. For succulents, every 3 weeks. For cacti, completely stop watering altogether.

3. Clean the leaves
When you’re next whizzing around your house with a duster, don’t overlook your plants. They can also accumulate quite a thick layer of household dust in a short space of time, and this very dust reduces the amount of light that the leaves can then absorb. For those that do want to take extra precaution and go that extra plant care mile, there are leaf cleaning products available to buy.

4. Keep them warm
Post October when the temperature drops, the last place your plants would like to live are directly in front of a cold draught or an open window. If your plants are on a windowsill, a top tip from Gardeners’ World is to move them at night or leave the curtains open, so they’re not completely trapped in the cold for 8+ hours. Watering plants with luke-warm water in winter is also recommended as it not only helps the plants to grow faster and larger, but it will also keep them at more their preferred temperature.

5. But not TOO warm!
By too warm, we mean don’t put them directly in front of radiators or fireplaces as this will cause them to dry out, especially on their reduced water diet. Majority of house plants ideal temperature to remain at during the winter is 12°C to 18°C. I know, demanding aren’t they!

6. Humidity
Many houses, more often newer builds lack humidity during winter when the heating is cranked up. The humidity level can often drop to 10%, when ideally plants enjoy more of the 50% level of humidity. This can be resolved, by either purchasing a humidifier, however this is not essential, or you can raise the humidity in other ways such as clustering your plants together as plants naturally release water through their leaves.

7. Fertilizer
Often plant owners continue with their plants’ fertilization diet throughout the winter months thinking this is helping, when in actual fact, it is having the opposite effect. Put your fertilizer away until the spring, otherwise you will be upsetting your plants’ natural cycle as they don’t grow as actively in winter.