How To Prepare Your Tropical Plants for the Winter
Now that the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, you’ll begin to notice some of your plants have stopped growing or are now going dormant. There are a variety of factors for how to care for specific species, but in this blog we’ll discuss what general things can be done in order to help transition your plants for the winter.
Watering Schedule for Tropical Plants in the Winter
You are going to notice that your soil is going to remain wet a little bit longer, so you should expect to water your plants less. I have been watering my plants 2-3 times a week, but now I am watering my indoor plants once a week.
However, if you are using your heater and your home is consistently warm, then changing your water schedule may not be necessary at all. Wherever you are, you’ll want to check your soil, put your finger in and test whether the soil is moist, damp or dry and water accordingly.
Fertilizing Plants During the Winter
If you haven’t already, stop fertilizing your plants regularly. At this point, you’ll want stop fertilizing your plants completely or downgrade to only once a month. If you are somewhere in the tropics, you can ignore this advice. Although, if you are maintaining artificial grow lights, you can continue with your normal fertilizing schedule.
Lighting for Houseplants in the Winter
Some of us are fortunate enough to still get plenty of sun in the winter. If you are, the light still is short and you’ll want to get all your plants right in front of those South and Southwest facing windows. I rarely see plants suffer from winter when they’re positioned here. However, if you do not get enough sunlight, you’ll want to supplement your light with grow lights, or artificial lights.
Remember, the plants that did well in the medium/low light areas, are about to get even less light. So keep in mind how you’ll accommodate those plants.
Why You Should Prune Your Houseplants for the Winter
If your plant has grown massively this year, a good technique is to prune your plants for the winter. With less sun and less opportunities for your plant to feed itself, it might be too large. Prune it back, this will help the plant focus it’s energy on the parts of it that it can definitely keep alive and you can either sell, gift or make a new plant with the cuttings. If you are going to root those cuttings, here are some tips on how you can do that.
Propagating in the Winter
Cloning or rooting your plants during the winter can take a bit longer than normal. Without the natural heat from the spring/summer and the long daylight hours, you might notice it’ll take your cuttings over a month to root! You can bypass that with a few tricks.
Using a heat mat is a tested and true way to help encourage root growth. I never recommend using this tool unless it’s cold. Otherwise, you can cook your cuttings.
Place your cuttings in a south facing window. Despite the cold, as long as your cuttings are getting plenty of sun and you’re putting in fresh water every couple of days, you’ll notice your plants will root quickly. Maybe not as quickly as they do in the spring/summer, but a lot faster than in the winter.
Lastly, I recommend using rooting hormone, whether that’s a powder or a gel. If you’re unfamiliar with it, try experimenting and getting familiar with it using a more common plant. The last thing you want to do is overdo it with a monstera albo cutting and kill it.
Keep Your Jungle Thriving!