Preparing Window Sill Plants for Winter
A window sill plant stops growing, sometimes sheds leaves, begins to store nutrients, and accumulates strength for the next season. If you do not create conditions for dormancy for plants, next year they will not bloom, and decorative leafy forms will lose their external attractiveness for a long time.
Window sill plants for the winter period are prepared gradually:
- stop fertilizing;
- reduce watering;
- transfer plants to a cool room (insulated balcony, unheated room), freely place them so that they do not interfere with each other;
- if the window sills are cold in the room where the plants will sleep, put foam or a blanket under the pots.
REMEMBER: Caring for window sill plants on the eve of winter includes mandatory treatment with antifungal agents and preparations against insect pests.
- From pests. Carry out the treatment with insecticidal and acaricidal agents. Acaricides are best used in the fight against aphids, mites, and thrips. And it is better to get rid of scale insects and worms with the help of the drug "Confidor." If there are few insects, a soap solution can be used instead of chemicals (5 g of crushed laundry soap per 1 liter of water). Processing is carried out three times with a five-day break.
- From fungal diseases. Plants are treated with fungicides containing sulfur or copper.
NOTE: Treatment of plants before winter is mandatory, regardless of whether they are sick or not.
Winter care for window sill plants
Throughout the winter period, window sill plants need to provide suitable conditions for normal growth and development. In this case, the main care for window sill plants in winter is to provide additional lighting and maintain high humidity in the room.
As a rule, window sill plants in winter suffer from a lack of lighting in the room. First of all, you should move plant pots to areas of your home with the best lighting, and those that are on the windowsill can be moved right up to the window glass. If we are talking about sun-loving plants, they are generally recommended to extend daylight hours. To do this, many plant growers use artificial lighting, for example, fluorescent lamps.
You can provide illumination using a fluorescent or photo lamp fixed from the plant at a height:
- 55–60 cm - for shade-loving species;
- 20–25 cm - for light-loving specimens.
If the window is lit naturally, then artificial lighting is required no longer than 5-6 hours a day. In windows, where the sun's rays do not penetrate at all, the lamps should work up to 13-14 hours a day.
The temperature requirements for each type are individual. According to the temperature regime, which plants prefer, they are divided into four groups:
- love warmth (afelander, coffee tree, calathea);
- need a moderate temperature (cyclamen, fatsia, asparagus, agave);
- should winter in cool conditions (hydrangea, fuchsia, pelargonium, many cacti, and conifers);
- adapt to any temperature regime (aloe, ivy, tradescantia, clivia, alocasia).
In rooms with working heaters, the air becomes excessively dry, which is why many plants suffer in winter. There are several ways to increase the humidity level:
- place containers with water near the plants;
- spray plants daily;
- put plants pots in pallets filled with a wet substrate (moss, expanded clay, pebbles);
- hang wet towels on batteries;
- use a special humidifier.
When watering, it is important to adhere to the following rules:
- avoid sudden transitions from drought to an abundance of moisture;
- use water at room temperature, not cold;
- do not leave excess water in the pan for a long time (otherwise, the roots will rot).
The frequency of watering depends on the type of plant:
- in species with a high need for moisture, the soil must be constantly moistened (sedge, papyrus, taro, cyperus, and other plants that naturally grow along the banks of rivers and lakes in swampy areas);
- species with a moderate need for moisture are watered when the soil dries to a depth of 2-3 cm (citrus, ficus, palm, tradescantia, monstera, fern, and many others);
- species with a low need for moisture are watered only after the soil in the pot has completely dried (cacti, jade, aloe, kalanchoe, pelargonium, euphorbia, agave, hoya).
NOTE: If with regular watering, the leaves wither and fall off, an unpleasant odor emanating from the soil is felt, and the plant has been waterlogged.
Let’s Sum Up
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that indoor plants are living things, just like any other living thing. They need to be provided with the proper amount of light, water, and nutrients. Follow the tips above and save your plants from intense weather conditions.