We have now left the warm sunny days behind and autumn is also drawing to a close. Just like us, houseplants need to be cared for differently during the winter season to protect them from the cold or – in some cases – the excessive heat in certain rooms.
Here are a few tips for protecting your houseplants in winter!
Controlled and constant temperature
Most houseplants are tropical and therefore require a temperature close to 20°C. Obviously it’s not possible to maintain this temperature 24 hours a day, either because it wastes energy (especially if you are out of the house for long periods due to work) or simply because this temperature may be too hot or too cold, depending on what you’re used to.
However, it’s very important to avoid big temperature changes, by carefully setting the thermostat. (Did you know that with Palazzetti’s App this step is very simple?)
The ideal temperature is between 16°C and 21°C.
You also need to consider where to position your houseplants: they shouldn’t be too near any direct heat sources (the stove, the fireplace or radiators) or potential draughts.
The first piece of advice is to find out about your plants’ specific needs, because not all varieties require the same amount of light. From this you can decide whether to place the pot near a window, with or without curtains, or whether to move it further away, into shade or half-shade.
In general, plants like well-lit environments: for the winter season, rooms with light-coloured walls and furniture are best, even better if they are decorated with mirrors (which reflect the light).
Another useful tip? Rotate your plant through 90° every week to prevent it from “leaning” too far towards the light source.
During the winter it’s not necessary to water your houseplants every day. The amount of water they require will depend on many factors, first and foremost the humidity level of the environment. A careful look at the soil they’re in will give you a good indication of this: Dip your finger into the soil (at least a couple of centimetres down) to assess its moisture content and add water accordingly. It should always be moist, but not soggy.
In most cases you should use a saucer under the pot, except in one case: if you have underfloor heating!
Mites, fungi, red spiders and mealybugs: There are many pests that can attack houseplants all year round, but especially during the winter. Check the leaves and soil every time you water and, if you find anything strange, arm yourself with a pesticide, preferably an organic one.
Also remember to remove dry leaves and stems to prevent them from attracting all kinds of small bugs.
Cleaning the leaves
When the house is not ventilated often (obviously we can’t keep the windows open all day with the stove or fireplace on!), dust tends to settle on plants, especially succulent or tropical ones.
At least once a week you should gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. Too laborious? Use a spray bottle to spray water on the leaves regularly so as to limit the need to wipe them to just once a month.