Transitioning Into Fall & Winter: Care Changes
Most kinds of plants will usually go dormant in the winter, and that means that their care becomes different during the cold season. Here's what you need to know!
- It’s very common for people to accidentally overwater during the dormant period, so check the soil before you water. Because there is less available light, plants are growing less - which means they aren’t using up tons of water. Less light means water takes a lot longer to evaporate from the soil and also be used by the plant, so while the volume of water you are using may not change, the frequency of how often you water will!
- Some plants want to be drier than others; the soil will tell you when your plant is ready. Each plant will require different watering care in the winter, but when in doubt, know that you can usually go a day or two longer.
- As the temperatures drop lower and lower, it becomes more important to move any of your plants that might be sitting on a windowsill to somewhere less exposed to the cold air. Most importantly, make sure that no plants are touching the glass of a window! Points of contact on cold frosty windows can make plants sick. Even if you decide to keep some hardy plants on the windowsill, don’t let them touch the glass. (To mitigate the effects of temperature drops on windowsill plants, place a warming mat underneath them! This keeps the temperature of the soil consistent. It does not, however, protect against the leaves touching the glass - so still make sure to keep those clear!)
- On that note, any plants that are hanging out near doorways that get drafty are going to be super unhappy because of the temperature fluctuations caused by the door opening and letting in cold air.
- Lastly, we get a lot of people having issues with cold shock in the winter, but we also get a lot of plants with heat stroke symptoms! Our heaters are going to be on a lot more when it starts getting cold, move any plants close to a heater vent away from the vent!
To summarize, treat them as though they are sleeping: they want water a lot less, and no one likes blasts of cold (or hot) air when they’re sleeping. In the spring, they’ll wake and you can return them to their normal care schedules.