How to look after your house plants over winter

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Houseplants have different needs in autumn and winter. Shorter days coupled with less light means your plant may need some readjusting to its care routine. Often, plants need less water and re-positioned to survive the cooler months.

Despite a lot of houseplants being tropical in the UK, dry heat from radiators, underfloor heating and exposed flames from fires can actually be damaging to your plants.

To explain what temperature and conditions your houseplants like most in the autumn and winter months, Patch plant expert Alice Vincent has shared her tips.

Alice, who is also a journalist, explained in a 2018 video that houseplants need different care at this time of year due to the “dramatic changes” in our seasons.

She said: “Most houseplants come from tropical places where the changes between seasons aren’t as dramatic as they are here.

“But there are a few changes during autumn and winter that can affect how you should care for your indoor plants.

“Make sure your plant isn’t near a radiator, because the high temperatures can dry out their soil more quickly.

“If you must have it near a heat source, it’s better to have it above the radiator ideally on a shelf.

“Underfloor heating can keep roots too warm so you may want to use a plant stand.”

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This is also true for cold temperatures which can shock plants.

Cold windows sills and areas where doors are often opened and closed need to be avoided.

She continued: “Similarly, cold drafts from windows or doors will make your houseplant unhappy.

“Your plant can freeze in minutes if it’s exposed to cold air.

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“In general, try to avoid dramatic changes that could shock your plant, such as moving it from a very cold to a very warm room.

“If you turn the heating off when you go away you might want to shuffle your plants into the warmest spots in the house.”

Plants also get less light in the winter as the days shorten and the weather clouds over.

Alice said to move the plants closer to a window so they an get more light.

She also suggested cleaning dust off the leaves so they can soak up as much sun as possible.

She added: “Finally, cut back on your watering and feeding routines, most plants are actively growing during the spring and summer but then slow down or even become dormant during winter.

“Remember, to check the soil and only water when the top inch of soil has dried out.

“If you fertilise in the warmer months you can stop in the winter.”

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