The season of festivities, a new start and cold January nights! Looking after your plants in winter can be challenging. A lack of light and cold temperatures can cause your plants to enter a dormant stage, where they can go into survival mode and shed leaves in order to preserve essential functions.
Here are our Golden Rules for Winter plant care:
- Water sparingly: water much less than other seasons, and always check the soil before watering, only water when the topsoil is dry. If you turn the heating up very high in your home, you may need to check more often.
- As much light as possible: pretty much all your plants will thank you for as much light as possible - that means being close to a window, preferably south-facing; the weaker winter sun will tend not to damage your plants so they can cope with direct sunshine.
- Clean plant leaves: in order to allow as much light as possible to be absorbed by your plant's photosynthetic cells
- Temperature: keep the room temperature above at least 12-15 degrees for any tropical plants
- Pruning: Remove any dead plant matter on the top soil, new growth may be leggy so don't be afraid to prune.
- No fertiliser and no repotting - wait until Spring!
- Leaf loss: don't be afraid if there is some leaf loss, Spring is around the corner, with all the new growth opportunities it has to offer
Let's face it; everyone loves Spring, and that includes your plants too. In Spring, your plants will come back to life after the dormant Winter period. Spring is an excellent time to step-up your plant care routine to set your plants on an upward trajectory through the rest of the year.
Here are our Golden Rules for Spring plant care:
- More water: as temperatures and sunshine levels soar, your plant will likely want to get back to a more frequent watering schedule. As always, err on the side of caution - check the moisture of the soil before watering and generally, we recommend waiting until the top few inches of soil are dry.
- Less sunlight: if you have moved all of your plants closer to a winder to capture the gentler winter sun, be careful that the sun is not too intense for them in Spring and consider moving them back from the window (most succulents and cacti are an exception)
- Pruning: its called Spring cleaning for a reason - it's a great time to prune your plant and remove wilted and limp foliage - this will also help to keep your plant pest-free.
- Repotting: every 1-2 years, your plant will thank you if you repot it, and Spring is the best time to do this. When you repot, you can move your plant into a larger container, which will give more space for the roots and your plant to grow in size. Even if you don't want to move your plant into a larger container, it is still very beneficial to change the soil to top-up nutrients and keep the air flowing through the soil.
- Fertiliser: as your plant starts growing, adding fertiliser will help to make it strong and healthy - Spring is an excellent time to start adding fertiliser every month or so.
The season we all live for. Plants similar to many Brits can get dehydrated and sunburnt, so follow our Golden Rules for Summer plant care to help your plant live its best life:
- Hydration: with the longer and warmer days, your plant will need more frequent watering - wilting, or curling leaves are a tell-tale sign of too little water. Mornings or evenings are the best time to water your plant to help minimise water evaporation. You should also boost humidity (except for drought loving plants) by misting and/or bunching your plants together.
- Direct sunlight: if you have plants that were basking in the afternoon Spring sunshine, they may be at risk of burning in the stronger Summer sun. Consider moving your plants somewhere shadier or where they only get morning or late evening rays (cacti are an exception!). Also, to help your plants grow evenly, rotate them once a week, so that sun exposure is equal on each side.
- Careful with air-con: while we love the feeling of walking into a cool air-conditioned room on a hot summer day, your plants won't be quite so grateful. Air-con removes moisture from the air and can lead to fluctuating temperatures, which can cause stress to your plants. Hence, we recommend putting it on a slightly higher temperature (c.20°) and turning it off when you go out (saving a lot of energy in the process, too!).
- Prune: remove any dying or unnecessary foliage regularly. Dropping foliage is ripe for infections and pesky insects, so it's best to get rid of it before the pests find out!
- Fertiliser: continue to give your plant the extra nutrients that will help it grow strong and healthy. We recommend fertilising once or twice throughout the summer period.
The season of gold, yellow and red leaves and dappled sunshine. Autumn is a relatively demanding season for plant care with large temperature fluctuations as the sun sets each day and changing light angles. Follow our golden rules below to ensure your plants are in tip-top condition throughout Autumn.
- Light: as the Earth turns slightly away from the sun, this can dramatically change how much and from what angle natural light enters a room, so make sure you reposition your plants so that they continue to get the optimal amount of light
- Less water: your plants will need less water as the temperature and amount of sunlight they are getting drops. Continue to check the moisture of the soil with the finger test before watering, but expect to water your plants less frequently than in summer.
- Increase humidity: humidity levels tend to drop in Autumn, and as the majority of indoor plants come from tropical areas, they will appreciate extra humidity, misting and bunching are great techniques!
- No fertiliser: as your plants' growth dramatically slows and they start preparing for their winter hibernation, fertiliser is unnecessary, so focus on the basics.
- Foliage dieback: don't be alarmed, but your plant may begin to drop leaves as it adjusts to the cooler temperatures and lower light levels. This is a normal part of your plants' lifecycle, so don't panic and make sure that the water, temperature, and light levels are giving your plant the conditions it needs to thrive and survive.
- Last chance to repot: if your plant seems to be bursting out of its nursery pot following Spring and summer of budding growth, then this is your last chance to repot before Spring next year.