4 Reasons Your House Plants May Have The Winter Blues

Houseplants are a favourite decorative piece amongst many homeowners, adding colour, life and texture to many rooms. Whereas they may have thrived all summer you may be noticing that they’re starting to look a little under the weather, so here are 5 reasons why your houseplants may have the winter blues.

You are overwatering them

Many plants fall dormant in the winter months which means they don’t need as much water as they did all summer. What’s more, with your heating cranked up high you may be drying out the top layer of soil giving the illusion that they need a drink when in fact a quick finger poke into the soil will reveal that they still have plenty of moisture left. Use a moisture meter for accurate readings on when to water your plants, or simply stick to the finger test and water when the soil is dry around 1-2 inches beneath the surface.

They are no longer getting enough sunlight

One of the main reasons that plants get a little despondent in the winter months is a lack of sunlight. A plant that previously lived happily across the room or on a north-facing windowsill may now not be getting nearly enough light to thrive. This is because the days get shorter in the winter months, reducing the plant’s photosynthesis window, and the sun also changes the angle at which it moves, often meaning that plants who received plenty of sunlight in their previous position, now may not be. Try moving your plants to the south or east-facing windowsill to maximise the amount of light they receive throughout the day, or if you live in a basement or apartment without access to a south-facing window then consider investing in a grow light to provide your plants with the light they need.

Your heating is drying them out

When the heating is turned on in your home it can reduce the humidity level of the air down to as little as 10%. Considering most plants prefer a humidity level of around 50% this can leave many of them feeling down in the dumps. Try grouping plants together so that they can create a micro-environment and share the humidity they produce from their leaves. You may also want to try placing a tray of water near to then which will increase the humidity of their immediate vicinity as it evaporates. Another option is to buy a humidifier for your home and place this near to your plants. You can also spritz your plants using a spray bottle, though this needs to be done several times a day to be effective. If you are going to use the water tray method then remember not to place the plants directly in the water as this can overwater them.

They’re overfed

As we’ve previously mentioned, many plants fall dormant in the winter months which means they don’t need to be fertilised. By fertilising them in the winter you can interfere with their growth cycles, lay off the plant feed until the springtime when they spring back into life again and begin their growth spurt.