It seems like almost anywhere I look right now I can spot a plant (or a person) that is unhappy about the winter. Yellow leaves, brown blotches, defoliation, distorted new growth…These are all signs of a plant grumbling along (I often wish people were this transparent with their emotions about the winter!)
These symptoms are more likely to be seen in residences since they lack the additional florescent light of an office but they can show up almost anywhere; even if a plant is in a location without any windows. (Don’t forget we have lost humidity too! I know my skin changes in winter even if I never leave temperature controlled environments!) Just remember that this time of year plants need a little tender, loving care too. First and foremost, don’t do anything drastic! Don’t re-pot the plant! Don’t give it fertilizer! Definitely don’t throw it away in disgust!
There are a few things you can do for your plants to help them this time of year.
• Don’t give them too much love! – Try to keep your plants a little on the dry side until our sunlight comes back. So remember to check the soil at least once a week and act accordingly.
• Hold back on the extra calories! – Most plants don’t want (or need) fertilizer if they are not actively growing.
• Keep their feet warm! Make sure to water with lukewarm water, as our tap water can come out barely above freezing!
• Buy them a Happy Light! – Their version of a Happy Light is a fluorescent light. (Much cheaper than the human version!) Be sure to leave them on for at least 8 hours during the winter. Get them close to the plants if you can.
With these few steps your plants can make it through the worst of the months and come out ready for Spring!