When decorating any room room, I always try to introduce an indoor plant where I can. A touch of green works with most palettes and brings life and a point of interest to a space. I have an assortment of various plants in my own home from Fiddle Leaf Figs, a Zanzibar Gem to Peace Lilies.
Unfortunately though I seem to hit winter and my indoor plants that were thriving in summer are anything but. The once shiny green leaves are turning brown, wilting or even falling off! I wish I knew what to do but I have no idea. I decided to reach out to my friend Jill, owner of Figleaf Homewares to get some practical tips on How To Care For Indoor Plants in Winter.
GB: What are the main issues for keeping plants healthy in winter?
Jill: There are two main components that indoor plants need to thrive all year round, that being water and light. Houseplants, like us, enjoy being kept at a consistent temperature and even conditions. Adjusting your plant care accordingly during the cooler months allows your plants to adapt to the change of season. It helps avoid dull looking plants in the dormant, non growing winter.
GB: What advice do you have for keeping plants healthy in winter?
Jill: Overwatering in winter is the most common issue in plant care. As the weather cools your plants will take longer to dry in between watering. Plants that may have previously enjoyed a weekly or fortnightly water, may now happily stay hydrated for 3-4 weeks at a time. I use a simple finger test. Press your finger into the soil down several centimetres deep. If the soil below the surface feels dry, then it’s time to water. If it still feels slightly moist, leave the plant and check again in another week’s time. The other main, and often forgotten factor, is light. Indoor plants love a filtered light situation where they get a little sprinkle of light directly onto their leaves, while taking care not to expose them to hot sun. Rotating your plants throughout your home during winter is a great way to ensure that each of your plants captures those precious winter sun rays. Finally, check your leaves for house dust. As we turn up our heating indoors, our plants tend to experience an increase in dust particles. Use a simple wet cloth to wipe down the leaves as the dust builds up. This allows the leaves to absorb all the goodness your home’s winter light.
GB: What are your favourite robust indoor plants?
Jill: My favourite indoor plants that are tried and true include the lovely Trailing Devil’s Ivy, which comes in various forms from dark, glossy green to cream, variegated leaves. The Rubber Plant is also a terrific easy care plant and comes in a range of colours. The dark leaf of the Burgundy or Decora varieties I find to be the most robust to care for of the Rubber Plants. The humble Peace Lily and the somewhat quirky Umbrella Tree are also among my favourite plants to recommend.
My Peace Lily is just hanging in there!
GB: What trends are you seeing in indoor plants?
Jill: Indoor plant enthusiasm is at an all time high. I am finding that customers are enjoying being steered toward robust, easy care varieties. Gone are the days when we filled our home with popular plants seen in glossy magazines, only to find them somewhat temperamental for the beginner indoor plant person. I am really liking the large, robust Peace Lily Sensation for its beautiful large, evergreen foliage and its very easy going nature. The other plant that I believe will be an increasing trendsetter going forward is the Umbrella Tree. The Umbrella Tree comes in a range of sizes and can be easily purchased at an affordable price. Like the Peace Lily, this native Australian plant is also very easy going by nature.
GB: Any other advice or tips that you would love to share?
Jill: I think every home should have a least one large, floor standing plant. A large plant is a great way to add ‘wow’ factor and a reasonably priced way to decorate large empty spaces in your home.
Always consider the planter when choosing an indoor plant. Think in terms of the plant or the vessel being the hero… not both. If you have a decorative planter then keep the plant simple, leafy and perhaps a dark green. If the plant has special features such as interesting variegation or colour, then keep the vessel simple such as rattan or neutral tones which allow the foliage to shine.
When you water, be sure to drench the plant fully so that the water runs out of the drainage holes My final tip is to water your house plants with warm water, not cold. We don’t like a cold shower, and neither do they.
GB: Thank you Jill for sharing your expertise on How To Care For Indoor Plants in Winter. Time to turn my black thumb green again!
If you need assistance with decorating or styling your home (or how to incorporate indoor plants), contact me ([email protected]). I look forward to hearing from you.
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