Winter is here, and most of us are spending more and more time indoors dreaming about gardening weather. But just because you can’t garden outdoors, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to exercise your green thumb inside this winter.
Add House Plants
Keeping house plants in your home has a number of benefits. They are natural air-purifiers, which means they will reduce the amount of toxins in the air as well as virus and bacterial particles. A number of studies show house plants can boost your immune system and improve your overall health and well-being.
- Ferns, Palms and ZZ Plants can reduce the number of flu virus particles in the air.
- Snake Plants release oxygen at night, making them great for aiding sleep.
- Gerbera Daisies, Snake Plants and English Ivy remove allergens from the air improving air quality.
Winter house plant care does vary slightly from summer and spring care. Plants go into a rest period during the colder months, which means their growth slows down. They do not stop growing completely; so they still need proper water and sunlight to remain happy, but you will notice their water needs may be less during the colder months. Monitor them closely to avoid overwatering.
The biggest challenge plant parents face in the winter is maintaining proper humidity in their homes to keep plants thriving. Just like people, plants enjoy comfortable air moisture. We go from roughly 80% humidity in the summer months, down to 30% in the winter. You can create a humidity tray to place under your plants to help keep them happy.
Fill the tray under your plant with water. Then add rocks to keep the plant out of the water. Place your plant in the center of the rocks. Keep the pot out of the water. You are essentially creating a moat around your plant. This will keep your plant healthy and happy all winter.
Add Flowering Plants
Spruce up your home with winter-blooming plants. Plants like Bromeliads, Amaryllis, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Peace Lilies, Anthuriums and more are a great way to add some color to your home and also care for growing things during the winter. Many varieties will have blooms for months at a time.
Remember plants with flowers usually need more light than their all-green counterparts. Keep your flowering plants in a bright sunny area, away from drafts will keep them looking their best all season long.
Start Seeds Indoors
If the gardener in you is itching to play in the dirt, you can try seed starting indoor this winter. Find a nice sunny spot and get started. If you choose things like micro greens and sprouts, you’ll be enjoying your harvest all winter long.
Select containers with proper drainage. Be cautious when using terra cotta, they tend to absorb water more quickly than other materials, so your plants will have to be watered more often. Place your containers on a saucer to prevent your seeds from getting water-logged.
Choose a well-draining potting soil like Espoma Seed Starting Mix. Then, place the seeds in an area where they’ll receive bottom heat, either from a seed starting mat, or on top of the refrigerator or water heater.
Once your seeds have sprouted move them to a cool, sunny location. Seeds need a lot of light to grow, so consider supplementing with a grow light to keep them happy.
Note: Keep the grow light roughly 6-8 inches above the plant. You don’t want your plant to get leggy reaching for the light. Continue to adjust the light height as your plants grow.
Water regularly, allowing the soil to stay moist, but not saturated.
For more winter gardening tips visit any English Gardens location and talk with an expert.