‘Important’ winter houseplant checks to do or risk plants being eaten

Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

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Houseplants have to deal with a lot just being inside our homes, especially during the winter months. Switching the central heating on, lighting fires and reduced humidity can cause plants to dry out which can cause a plethora of issues. Fluctuating temperatures inside the home can also contribute to how well indoor plants thrive in the winter months.

With houseplants at the forefront of people’s minds as we head indoors and out of our gardens, Samantha Richards, garden gazebo expert at Gazeboshop, has shared the best ways to look after houseplants this winter, including the “important checks” to do in winter.

She said: “Winter is approaching which means the nights are drawing in and temperatures are set to plummet.

“As the seasons change so should the way you look after your houseplants.”

Samantha said the following five tips should ensure houseplants thrive throughout the colder months.

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1. Look out for pests

Samantha told Express.co.uk: “Mealybugs, scale insects and aphids all thrive and breed during the winter.

“It is therefore important that you continually check for these pests, looking on and under the leaves. If you do find any remove them straight away as they will eat away at your plant.”

2. Reduce watering to prevent rotting

Although homes are warmer and drier at this time of year, houseplant owners should not be tempted to overwater their plants as this could do more harm than good.

Samantha told said: “In the winter plants grow at a much slower rate, meaning they require less water. Too much water leads to dampness and then further down the line, rotting.

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“During the colder months water is only needed every few weeks when the top inch of the soil feels dry.”

3. Move plants near windows

Lack of light is one of the biggest issues when it comes to houseplant care in the winter. Darker, shorter days often mean houseplants don’t get the light they need to photosynthesize. 

Samantha explained: “During the winter we all know that it gets light later and dark earlier. This means that there is significantly less daylight during the day.

“Plants need light in order for photosynthesis to occur which allows them to grow and bloom. To maximise light throughout winter move all of your houseplants as close to your window as possible.”

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4. Keep plants warm

Houseplants do need to be kept warm in order to thrive. The majority of houseplants are not native to the UK so they often prefer warmer temperatures.

Samantha said houseplants need to be at a temperature of between 12-18C, including at night time.

She said: “At night when it is particularly cold it is best to move the plant off the windowsill and to somewhere warmer in the house.

“During the cold days don’t shut the curtains while they are on the windowsill. This will trap the cold air in.

“You should keep the curtains open so the temperature around the plant is as warm as possible.”

Clean the leaves

It’s not just shelves, knick-knacks and books that collect dust, houseplants do too. In the winter months, regularly dusting them should be a priority.

Samantha said: “Things in your house collect dust, and a plant is no different. Dust on the leaves of your plant can reduce the amount of light that the plant gets which ultimately limits photosynthesis.

“Use a wet cloth to wipe the dust off the leaves every so often. So you don’t forget, try to get into the habit of doing this whenever you are cleaning your home.”

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