Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques
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In light of houseplant week this week, Angela Slater, Gardening Expert at Hayes Garden World has shared four tips to ensure that your houseplants aren’t feeling the chill this January. The expert recommended moving houseplants around as well as grouping them together so they can keep each other warm at night.
Despite being inside, houseplants are still vulnerable to drastic temperature changes throughout the day such as draughts and central heating.
According to experts, this can cause the soil to freeze and thaw. This process could result in heaving, which is where the roots become exposed, which puts them at risk of disease, withering and even dying.
1. Don’t leave your houseplants on the windowsill at night
The gardening expert explained: “Don’t leave your houseplants between the curtains and the window at night but rather bring them into the room.
“Leaving them on the windowsill could expose your plants to cold draughts which can make your houseplants weaker.
“In the case you do keep your houseplants on the windowsill, be sure to open your curtains. This will prevent cold air from being trapped which will cause your houseplant to droop.”
During the daylight hours, putting houseplants on windowsills will benefit them immensely, especially because winter days are a lot shorter.
While this job may be hard to remember every evening, it will allow houseplants to thrive as they will be growing in the correct conditions.
2. Group your houseplants together
Angela continued: “If your house is really cold, bring all your houseplants together in one big group as they will keep each other warm.
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“If temperatures are going to drop below freezing, throw an old net curtain over the whole group. Alternatively, place canes into the plant pots and throw an old sheet over them to keep them warm.
“Another option is to make a tent with an old sheet, or something similar, and place a hot water bottle near your houseplants.
“If you don’t have a spare hot water bottle, use a soft drink bottle, wrapped in a towel, so that it slowly releases heat.”
For a more permanent arrangement, use a plastic sheet so that the plants receive some needed light during the winter.
Angela said if using plastic sheets, make sure the plants have some ventilation to prevent condensation.
3. Invest in a heat mat
The gardening pro said: “If you have some particularly precious plants, it might be worthwhile investing in a heat mat, such as those used to propagate cuttings and germinate seeds.
“The heat mat will do a great job at gently warming the soil, preventing it from freezing and thawing which will damage your houseplant.”
4. Move houseplants to the warmest room
If you live in a particularly cold home, bring all of your houseplants into one room which you keep heated, this could be the living room or kitchen.
Angela said: “Be sure to group them all together and insulate the windows with some bubble wrap to help retain the heat.”
Indoor plants are susceptible to over-watering during the winter months, since they do not need nearly as much water as they do during the spring and summer.
They do still need watering so it is important to try and avoid watering them too much. To combat this, houseplant owners could spray water mist over the plants to help them grow.
For outdoor plants, gardeners can protect their plants from the weather by using bed sheets as well as mulch.
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