Winter Plant Care: Watering & Pruning

As we move into winter, a time of deep rest and slow down of time, our plants become dormant and suspend growth. How we care for them during this time will help ensure they will be strong and ready to grow in spring.

This is a three part series as we dive into Winter Plant Care, and we are starting with Watering and Pruning.

Watering Plants During Winter

Although the winter season brings drier air, houseplants actually need less water during this time. Most houseplants experience a slow down in growth and others go completely dormant which leaves very little energy for plants to process watering. 

One of the most common problems houseplants experience during winter is excessive watering. The majority of houseplants need the soil to dry out completely before watering, therefore it’s important to refer to your plant guide to determine your plant’s watering needs and avoid overwatering. Overwatering can lead to weak roots and root rot. 

Tips on Watering:

Keep it Tepid: 

Just as a cold shower in the morning is a shock to us, so will cold water to your plant’s roots. Make sure the water is at room temperature and filtered if possible to not shock your plants. 

Check the Soil 

Plants really only need water if the root zone (area closest around you plant’s roots) is dry. Therefore, don’t just base watering needs on the surface of the soil, but poke your finger into the soil about 2 inches. If the soil is not sticking to your finger and it feels dry, then it’s time to water. 

Another great resource is having a moisture meter. Insert the moisture meter down to where the roots are to get a more accurate reading of your soil. 

Pour it Out: 

When watering, let the water soak to the bottom to roots and pour out any excess water after 10 minutes. Never allow plants to sit overnight in water.

Pruning & Cleaning 

Look over your plant and start by trimming off any dead leaves or stems from your plant using clean sharp scissors or gardening shears. As you go from houseplant to houseplant, clean your blades in between with a cleaning mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water and wipe dry. This helps prevent any potential disease from spreading plant to plant. 

When trimming dead leaves, be sure to cut the leaf stem so that there are no stumps left behind on the stem. 

After pruning and trimming your plants, the remaining leaves deserve a nice wipe down. Plants breathe and absorb energy through their leaves and with dust build up, plants are not able to absorb as much sunlight and can result in stunted growth or droopy plants. The best and easiest method to clean your leaves is using a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe down each leaf. Take care to hold each leaf as you wipe to prevent breakage. 

Once done, enjoy your beauties! 

Read the next post in our Winter Plant Care series for tips about Light and Sun