The cold weather isn’t just getting you down. With less sunlight, your indoor plants will also struggle this time of year. You’ll need to be more proactive in caring for them to help them thrive until spring.
If you don’t have any indoor plants, consider getting one. Having a plant at your desk can spur productivity while working from home during COVID-19. It can even help ward off seasonal depression, a major concern this year when compounded with extended quarantine.
To aid you with your indoor horticulture, use an online calendar. This tool will help you organize your efforts and help your plants to stay strong through the winter. Here’s how it’s done:
Let the Light In
You need to take advantage of every hour of light to give your indoor plants the best chance at success. You can set all sorts of reminders in your online calendar to let the light shine on your indoor plants.
You can rotate window placements to follow the path of the sun, or even just set a reminder to make sure all the curtains are open. If natural light is hard to come by, consider setting up some grow lights and putting them on a schedule.
Set a Watering Schedule
Everyone knows that plants need a good amount of water to survive. What you might not be aware of is that overwatering during the winter is a serious problem. Many plants go dormant during the colder months, reducing their growth and their need to be watered.
Use your online calendar to create a watering schedule to make sure your plants are staying hydrated. Just be sure to remember not to overdo it with enthusiastic watering.
Cycle Through Pots
Just as your home needs to be cleaned regularly, so do the homes of your indoor plants. The pots and containers you keep your plants in grow old over time and can build up waste at the bottom which needs to be cleaned out.
Cycling through pots keeps plants fresh. At the very least, make a schedule for some regular maintenance. Your plants will be very thankful. Again, be reserved; too much potting and repotting can damage your plants.
Do a Little Dusting
As odd as it may sound, dusting off your plants is a helpful trick for helping them through the winter. Keeping the leaves clean and clear allows them to absorb more light, improving their overall health.
If you already use your online calendar to schedule housekeeping, leave your plants for last. The other bits of cleaning you do will stir up dust in the air that will settle on your plants. Dust those at the end and you’ll ensure they stay nice and clean.
Plants can be a little finicky about their preferred temperature. Too hot or too cold and you can lose them fast. For this reason it’s important for you to monitor the temperature in your home both day and night.
If you happen to have a smart thermostat in your home you can set an automatic schedule to adjust temperatures. If not, use your online calendar to develop a schedule and stick to it. Make sure it doesn’t get too cold at night or too hot in the afternoon.
Check for Bugs
Winter is prime time for sickness, such as the flu and the common cold. These “bugs” as they’re called are frequent in humans, which your plants don’t have to worry about. What is a concern, however, are actual bugs who’ve made it inside your house for warmth and are looking for their next meal.
Set reminders in your online calendar to check for signs of pests. The sooner you spot signs of nibbling or crawling, the sooner you can start treatment. Research some products that can be used to prevent and rid your plants of insects so you can stock up and be ready to nip it in the bud.
Use a Humidifier
Some areas of the world get very dry in the winter. Most indoor plants prefer to be humid, so the dry spells of the winter months can rustle them up a bit.
You can purchase a small humidifier to set next to your plants to keep them comfortable. To ensure it’s running properly, schedule times in your online calendar to refill it and make sure your plants are benefiting from the mist.
Prepare for Travel
Got holiday travel plans in your online calendar? Chances are you aren’t planning on your plants tagging along. Plant sitters are expensive, so add some time to prepare them for your absence before you hit the road.
Bunching your plants together will help them to stay humid and warm even when you’re not there to check on them. Giving them extra water before you leave will also prevent them from drying out over the duration of your trip.
Track Warm Days
Some winter days will be surprisingly warm, especially at the beginning and end of the season. When there’s more sun than usual and the temperature is high enough, let your plants out for a little outdoor time.
Don’t forget to bring them back in at the end of the day! Your online calendar will remind you to bring plants back inside so they don’t freeze out in the cold.
Play Some Music
The debate on whether music actually helps plants to grow might never end. Regardless, it’s still worth a shot if you’re a new botanist enduring your first winter. Some soothing music just might do the trick.
If you do plan to play music, you can use your online calendar to rotate through playlists. Line it up with your day and you might be able to enjoy it as well.
Cultivating a green thumb in the winter is no easy task. You’ll warm up to the idea as you plan the process in your online calendar. Soon your plants will be looking as good as they do in the warmer weather.
Image Credit: Daria Shevtsova; Pexels; Thank you!