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Cold weather care for houseplants

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Here at N1 Garden Centre we lovingly look after the plants in our store and keep them happy until they are ready to move to their new homes. But when the weather changes, so does the care advice we give to our customers… Most houseplants originate from the tropical regions of the earth and are used to high temperatures. In the colder months, room temperature drops, and this can cause problems for the plants in our home – a room thermometer can show you just how cold your home can get, especially at night. To keep your houseplants healthy, follow our simple guide to cold weather care:

Environmental stresses
Every plant has a minimum temperature it can tolerate – many can comfortably go down to 10c for short periods without showing signs of stress providing they are not sitting in water. Cold, draughty windowsills are not suitable for tropical plants and as the temperature drops at night, plants should be moved to a less chilly position. Being trapped in the cold space between a windowpane and a curtain can be fatal for many houseplants.
Although central heating is essential at this time of year, radiators can dry out the air. Most tropical plants will not thrive in these conditions, but an early morning mist with water will help to mitigate against the effects of dry air. A cool, unheated room is perfect for Mediterranean plants such as citrus as well as potted bulbs and Cyclamen.

Watering your houseplants
As winter draws in, plants stop growing and watering should be adjusted accordingly. Plants in warmer rooms need watering more regularly, but always test the soil with your finger. First, if it is moist, do not water. If it is dry or beginning to dry, give it a good drink, but don’t allow it to sit in water. Short regular bursts of water are not as good as a thorough drink.

Let them see light
When daylight hours dwindle, plants get less and less of the natural light they need to stay healthy, so move your plants to the brightest position in your home during the day.

Feeding
Feeding of all plants, unless they are flowering, should cease in the winter months and begin again in March.

Purchase from a reputable retailer
Plants grown commercially are used to very warm conditions. Even the shortest period outside or a cold car journey home from the shops can damage them. Make sure you purchase your houseplants from a reputable, preferably indoor, retailer that gives plants the care they need. Get them wrapped up so that you can transport them safely from the harms of cold air.

You can also read more on Porch.com who have compiled a very useful ‘Everything about plants Q&A from the experts’; including our own top five Winter care tips!

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