As autumn starts to make her appearance this week I have been getting my own houseplants ready for this seasonal shift. The changing of the seasons can affect plants the same way it affects us humans. So, now is the perfect time to give your houseplants the extra attention they need to help them thrive over the next few months.
Here are the things I focused on this week to help keep my plants looking and feeling good.
The Last Supper? - I have to admit that with my own houseplants I am not the greatest at keeping a consistent feeding schedule. I tend to forget or I am too busy taking care of all our stock here. However, my own plants still seem super happy so I try not to feel too guilty about it, and nor should you. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend giving all your own plants a good feed over the next few weeks to help keep them happy over these winter months. Why I hear you ask? This is because as the days get shorter, and the heating goes on, most indoor plants begin to change their growing habits, notably slowing down. Autumn’s low light and cooler temperatures can make plants go dormant, into a sort of winter hibernation if you like. So, by the end of October, I tend to stop fertilising until the end of March/April. So now is the perfect time to make sure all your lovely house plants are all fed!
Pokon Plant Feed
It's Moving Time - I just love moving my houseplants about! It can change the feel and look of a room in an instance! It's quite easy for me to do as I don't have a lot of furniture in my flat (more room for plants lol) so at this time of year, I tend to shuffle them all about.
Here are a few thoughts I consider when moving my houseplants.
Let Their Be Light - I have quite a few plants (especially the rarer ones) that I know will benefit from some extra light as these darker days creep upon us all - I move these particular ones closer to the light source wherein the summer months I could not place them due to it being far too hot. Also adding some yellow LED grow lights will definitely be appreciated by your plants. I like to use warm yellow lights as they give the room a more cozy feel which boosts my mood, anything to help with those dreary dark days ahead.
Hot or Not? - It's a good time to move your plants away from any radiators and off any draughty windowsills. Most houseplants don't really do too well being near too much heat or cold draught. So its best to move them around before the heating is turned on. I have lost a few plants in the past due to not moving them which have mostly been Calathea and Ficus family.
Humidity - This can also be a little concern for some, as once the heating is turned up the humidity in most homes will decrease making the air drier. This could cause some crispy leaves in some houseplants.
What I find best for me is grouping my plants closer together and making sure that the fussy ones are placed on a tray of Leca/clay pebbles balls. I keep the Leca moist all the time. This helps raise the humidity around the plants as the water evaporate. If you wanted to spend a little money investing in humidity will certainly help too.
To Mist Or Not To Mist?
Over my many years of owning houseplants, I have actually relaxed with this I used to mist wayyy too much and I actually found I ran into a few problems with my plants getting bacteria issues. I later found out this was due to not have good airflow in the home in the winter month. So personally, I don't do this now. But if you love to mist your houseplant maybe do it on a day where you can have a window open to help with the airflow in your home this will make sure your plants do not have water just sitting on the leaves for too long.
Time For That Autumn Clean
The Deep Clean - As always, its good to check over your plants weekly as part of a healthy plant care routine. Personally, I love doing this and I make sure to do this every Sunday morning. I find it a great way to de-stress and have some much-needed me-time. If anything it’s an act of self-love. Plus it keeps your plant happy and pest-free, which is an important plant-parent duty.
Dusting - Yes this can be quite time-consuming. However, keeping your plant's leaves free of dust will help them photosynthesise. And let’s face it - who doesn't like a shiny leaf! Its simple to do: Just gently wipe the leaves individually with a soft microfibre cloth, I like to use springs leaf shine spray which is harmless, non-toxic, and ozone-safe.
Spring® leaf shine is the top quality leafshine. The only leafshine made from an original recipe. It is harmless, non-toxic and ozone-safe. It is extremely economical because it works immediately. The regular application renders plants free of dust, water, and oxidation spots.
Time to Aerate - In the wild, worms and insects are constantly shifting and breaking apart soil particles. In a home environment over time the soil becomes too compacted which makes it a lot harder for your plant's roots to breathe. Overly compact soil will increase the risk of your plants getting root rot because it's a lot harder for the water to drain through efficiently. Simply get a chopstick or stick of a similar size, poke the stick deep into the soil all the way down a few times (don't worry if you accidentally catch a few roots). When you water your plants you will see how much more quickly the water now travels through the soil, and trust me this is very satisfying.
Re-pot - Admittedly, this is still on my autumn to do list, and I am conscious not to leave it any longer. So, if you have any last-minute plants you feel need a re-pot now is a perfect time, otherwise its best to wait until spring.
Lastly - Whilst I am in 'the deep clean mode' I like to remove any dead leaves, and personally, I quite like to take some cuttings to grow over the winter months. Yes, these cuttings will grow a lot slower than spring cuttings, but I still enjoy watching them develop over the winter month.