Winter is the toughest time of year to care for indoor and outdoor plants due to low humidity levels, harsh cold and plenty of icy precipitation. Many homeowners assume that indoor houseplants miss the brunt of winter, but delicate plants can have a tough time surviving low nighttime temperatures and dry air from your heating system.
In the winter months, the sun sits lower in the sky, and window light levels can drop up to 50%. Plants that typically sit in an eastern or northern window could need western or southern exposure in the winter to get enough light. Move your plants closer to the windows and consider adding artificial light. The majority of plants are tropical, so they thrive in temperatures between 65-75 during the day and 55-65 at night. Once things drop below 50 degrees, damage can be done.
Overwatering is another common problem houseplants face during the winter. Almost 95% of houseplants need soil to dry out before needing more water. Place your finger into the soil about 2 inches down. If that soil is dry, it’s time to water. In Maryland and other colder areas, you should avoid fertilizing indoor plants during the winter months and restart things when you are also fertilizing the outdoor plants in the spring. You should also avoid repotting any indoor plants until the spring if possible.
Screens and covers are effective ways to protect outdoor plants from harsh winter winds. If you don’t want to invest in professional covers, you can utilize blankets, burlap or tarps to protect plants at night and then remove the covers during the day to allow the plants to soak up sunlight. Tree wrapping is another excellent method for protecting outdoor plants. Use burlap around the trunks of trees to prevent sun scalding, cracking and splitting. Cracks that happen in the winter can rapidly turn into disease or fungus in the future.
Keep Plants Healthy with JFC Grounds Maintenance
Are you ready for professional help maintaining your yard this winter? Give JFC Grounds Maintenance a call at (410) 655-2887.