Black Country Bugle

What not to do to keep houseplant­s well in winter


AS THE cooler months beckon, it’s time for houseplant­s to take centre stage, but if you’re not sure how you should be treating them, they may not last long.

So, what should we NOT be doing?

Kate Lindley, product manager at Baby Bio (, offers this advice...

Don’t leave them outside for too long after summer

If you moved your houseplant­s outside over summer, make sure you don’t leave them out as the weather gets cooler. As soon as the temperatur­es drop slightly overnight, bring them in, or the chill could cause damage.

Don’t leave them near radiators or in draughts

When you bring them inside, don’t place them near draughty windows or in rooms which become particular­ly chilly, such as conservato­ries or porches.

Most common houseplant­s are native to warm, tropical environmen­ts, and are extremely sensitive to the cold. Bonsai trees, for example, can quickly die if they are left in a draughty spot.

Likewise, don’t place them near radiators, as intense heat from central heating can cause leaves to turn brown and crispy and cause plants to become stressed.

Don’t repot in winter

Ideally, the best time to repot houseplant­s is during spring and summer, when they are actively growing. It is possible to repot houseplant­s in autumn, just as long as it’s not too late into the season. Most houseplant­s become dormant throughout winter, so their rate of growth is much slower and roots may not take to the new soil as well.

Don’t propagate after autumn

Early autumn is usually your last chance to take cuttings from your plant babies, as root growth will slow down from November until next season.

There are several different ways to propagate, from water propagatio­n to leaf cuttings and dividing – the most appropriat­e method depends on the type of plant you want to make multiply. Pothos, Monstera deliciosa, ZZ plants (Zamioculca­s zamiifolia) and inch plants (Tradescant­ia zebrina) tend to prefer water propagatio­n, whereas succulents are easy to propagate from leaf cuttings, and any plant which produces ‘pups’, can be divided.

During the dormant season, though, taking more hardwood cuttings (in other words, the whole stem) will provide best results, as there is more energy to help fuel the production of new roots.

Don’t overwater

One of the biggest killers of houseplant­s all year round is accidental overwateri­ng, but they are particular­ly susceptibl­e in autumn and winter, as plants are not actively growing, and therefore require much less water. Too much water can lead to root rot, gnat problems and a lack of oxygen reaching the roots.

Don’t water your plants straight from the cold tap

Tap water can become too cold during winter months, and shock the root system. Instead, use tepid water by allowing it to reach room temperatur­e before watering.

Don’t leave them in dark rooms

Plants require sunlight to photosynth­esise, but it is often in short supply during autumn and winter. Make sure you open your curtains and consider moving houseplant­s to a sunnier spot, such as a south-facing window (but out of direct sunlight), as long as it is not too close to a radiator or draughty window.

 ?? ?? Very cold water can shock the root system
Very cold water can shock the root system
 ?? ?? Cooler months put the focus on houseplant­s
Cooler months put the focus on houseplant­s
 ?? ?? Don’t leave them too near a radiator
Don’t leave them too near a radiator

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