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Caring for Your Indoor Plants This Winter

With winter comes harsh winds, cold weather and heavy snow, which is why winterizing your garden is so important. But what about your indoor plants? Many people don't know that, due to changes in humidity, temperature and sunshine, indoor potted-plant care should also be different during the colder months. If you aren't sure where to start, take a look at this guide for caring for indoor plants over winter:

Many people water their plants as frequently over winter as they do during summer, but that's not the way to go. In fact, over-watering is the No. 1 reason house plants die. Less is more when watering over the winter, since dry soil gives oxygen time to reach the plants' roots. Instead of just checking if the top layer of soil is dry before re-watering, stick your finger about 2 or 3 inches into the soil. If you can still feel moisture, wait a little bit to water. You can also test if plants are ready to be watered by picking them up. If they're heavy, the soil is likely still wet. If they feel lighter, it's probably time to water. 

Since many indoor potted plants are actually tropical, they flourish in direct sunshine, which they probably won't be getting much of during winter. Rearrange your plants so they're all next to south-facing windows, which will get the most sunlight. Also, considering washing the windows periodically in order to let the most natural sunlight through. For plants that need more sun than even south-facing windows can provide during winter, use fluorescent light bulbs to shine artificial sunlight on them, and they'll be happy until spring. 

Most potted plants need to be in temperatures at least over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, if not between 60 and 70. This shouldn't be a problem indoors during the day, but when it gets colder at night, temperature can be an issue. If your plants are located right next to a window, try shutting the curtains or otherwise insulating them from drafts and frost. Also remember that plants shouldn't be overwarm, so try to avoid keeping them too close to heaters. 

Winter dryness can greatly affect many indoor plants that prefer environments with plenty of humidity. If you have tropical potted plants, try keeping them in the bathroom, kitchen or a room where you use a humidifier in order to give them enough moisture in the air. You can also try spritzing the leaves with water every so often if they're starting to turn brown or lifeless. 

Don't forget to keep your plants clean over the winter. Dusting your plants frequently can help them absorb moisture and sunlight, and it's a good way to keep plants healthy and pests and bugs away. 

Keep your plants blossoming over the winter by pinching dead leaves and growths off at the root. This will not only remove the dead growth, but it will encourage the plant to produce new buds and keep it thriving despite the climate.

Most plants in cold climates will not need extra fertilization over the winter, and too much fertilizer can cause damaging salt buildup. If you live in a more temperate climate, though, continue fertilizing plants throughout the year.

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