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SOS: Rescueplan for houseplants in a winter depression

This blogpost is written by Rosalien from @Greeny_Lab

In my previous blogpost for elho I explained how you prepare your houseplants for autumn. Still, some indoorplants will struggle during fall and winter. In this blog I will tell you what you can do about this.

Every plant needs its own care so don’t apply the standard care rules for every plant. Take a moment to look at your plant. Start with looking at the soil: Is it dry or wet? Both options can cause problems.

DRY SOIL

Is the earth dry and crumbly? Then your plant is dehydrated. The leaves of your plant will look wilted. Take your plant from the outer pot and water it thoroughly until it runs out at the bottom. Drain the plant and spray the leaves with a sprayer. As soon as the plant has drained well, you can place it back in the outer pot.

WET SOIL

Does the soil feel wet and do the leaves hang sad? Then check whether your plant has no root rot. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and remove the soil around the roots. Are the roots soft, snotty and do they smell? Then you are dealing with advanced root rot. Use sharp scissors to cut the rotten parts of the roots and give your plant new soil. It will take some time for the roots to recover. Your plants may lose some leaves during the recovery period. This is normal, so do not panic!

Are the roots not soft and snotty? Then you do not have to cut anything. Your plant is already saved with replacing the potting soil. From now on give your plant less water. Preferably use an inner pot with holes so excess water can drain away or use hydro granules that absorb the excess water. I use the self watering insert from elho. These inserts ensure that your plants receive exactly the right amount of water at the right time. The water meter indicates when you need to fill the reservoir. Because the water is stored separately, your plant will never get never too wet or too dry. The self-watering inserts are available in different sizes.

NOT ENOUGH (DAY)LIGHT

Are the leaves of your plant yellow and faded, but is the soil okay? Then your plants may not get enough light. Move your plants to a lighter spot in the room or use a special grow light. In my previous blog I already introduced you to the elho leaf light care. Thanks to this special LED lamp with automatic day/night cycle, your indoorplants will get the right amount of light even in the darkest places in the house. And that is more than welcome during these darker days!

HUMIDITY

Are your leaves dull and do they have crispy brown edges? Then your plants suffer from too low humidity. Many plants originally live in the tropics. The humidity there is a lot higher than in your house. In the tropics, the humidity is sometimes up to 90%, while in your home, especially in the winter months, it can drop to 30%. Usually this is due to a heater. It is therefore smart not to place your plants too close to a heater.

There are a number of tips to increase the humidity in your home:

  • Spray your houseplants with a sprayer about three times a week. More often is also possible. The advantage is that your plants immediately remain dust-free so that they can also absorb more light. Pay attention! Not every plant can appreciate a spray. This is especially true for cacti, succulents and plants with hairy leaves, such as the kalanchoe beharensis.
  • Do you get white spots on the leaves after spraying? Do not freak out! These are lime stains that you can prevent by using boiled (and cooled) water or filtering water.
  • Place a container with water on your heater. The water evaporates and the humidity increases. Change this water regularly to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Use a humidifier. This automatically keeps the humidity high.

Do not forget that your plants go into a dormant position in the fall and winter and therefore require less care than in the spring and summer months. Therefore, proceed with caution and try not to give too much water or nutrition when you think your plant has a dip. This is often counterproductive.

Also take into account that plants don’t like to stand in the draft or colder places in your house. Indoor plants prefer to be in temperatures around 16 degrees. The more love you give your plants now during the difficult winter months, the more they will reward you with more leaves and a lot of growth in the warmer months!

Who's Rosalien?

Hi, my name is Rosalien! Most people know me as Roos. I am 22 years old and I live with my 2 cats Friendo & Poezel and about 150 houseplants near Eindhoven. In my blog posts for elho I will tell you more about everything in the field of (taking care of) houseplants! My passion for indoor plants started about two years ago and my plant collection has gotten a bit out of hand now. I now have a lot of knowledge about indoor plants and I put this into practice every day. I spend most of the day taking care of my plants and making the right soil mix or plant nutrition. I already share this knowledge on my instagram @Greeny_Lab, but now also with you for elho!