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How to: Keep houseplants alive during the winter

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Houseplants are great for stress relief and decor. One of the most daunting tasks can be how to maintain them throughout the year because of the varying weather. Winter weather is genuinely dreadful for plant lovers everywhere. Many of us do not have large greenhouses and struggle with maintaining or keeping our houseplants alive during the winter months.

With winter weather upon us, I decided to research tips and tricks for keeping houseplants alive. The Little Plant Shop is a local shop found on Whyte Ave. It has a fantastic variety of plants and is a great place to shop for plants and plant-related items. One of the owners, Eric Gibson, had many tips and tricks for keeping houseplants alive during the wintertime.

  1. Keep the plants away from windows and glass by at least 12 inches. Windows and areas close to glass tend to be drafty places. Drafts can cause the plants to dry out or get cold and brittle. Keeping the plants away from drafty areas, in general, is a good idea.
  1. Use a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, and our houses tend to dry up during the wintertime.A humidifier makes sure that the environment is suitable for the plants and helps them get the moisture they need. Humidifiers are great for humans too, so it is a win-win situation. Humidifiers can be found on Amazon for as little as $25.
  2. Use a grow light. Grow lights substitute for natural light and help the plants grow. They are an investment, but they are great for overcast weeks. Consid-ering how little sunlight we get during the winter, grow lights are an excellent option for sun-starved houseplants. Affordable grow lights can be found on Amazon for as little as $25.
  3. Create a watering schedule. The watering schedule will be different, depending on the type of houseplant you have. By having a consistent watering schedule or simply being aware that not all plants require the same amount of water, we can ensure that the plants get the necessary water they need. A watering schedule can stop over and under-watering. According to an article Joe Lamp’l McClatchy wrote for the Hamilton Spectator, overwatering your plans is the number one reason for houseplant death.
  4. Slow down on fertilizing. Fertilizing in the winter can lead to brown tips on the plant’s leaves and dry them out. It can also lead to unstable growth that results in weak roots, which are harmful to the houseplants. Weak roots can also prevent houseplants from getting the nutrients they need.
  5. Keep plants away from heating vents or areas that emit heat. Hot air from vents can cause the house plants to burn, dry out, or even die.
  6. Mist the plant’s leaves. Misting the leaves using a spray bottle is an easy way for the plants to get moisture. Misting them for humidity helps battle the dryness of winter.
  7. Bag or box the plants while moving them. Bagging or boxing houseplants ensures that the plants are moved safely. Doing this can stop unnecessary incidents such as spillage or harm to the plants from happening.

Image credits: Brett Boyd

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