Member Spotlight: This is a guest blog with GrowIt! member Ben Thorton. He has some great tips on how to keep your plants healthy and growing through the fall and winter months. Connect with Ben (tap from mobile) on GrowIt!.
Fall months are quickly creeping up on us and soon the temperatures outside will start dropping and we will be inching towards the long and dark winter months. Luckily for gardeners, fall and winter doesn’t mean they have to halt their gardening hobby. Indoors gardening can offer us as good if not better results than gardening outside. If you want to try your hand at indoors plant growing, here are some fall specific tips on how to properly take care of indoors plants.
Spring and summer months are the time when plants thrive, especially houseplants, so it tends to be a bit more challenging to make sure your plants survive the dark fall and winter months. One of the main things that plants miss in the colder seasons is light. You can combat the loss of light by using artificial lighting over your plants. There are many different grow lights on the market from LED and T5 lamps to cfl grow lights, but no matter which you chose, your houseplants will thank you.
The second thing that is crucial to houseplant care in the fall is the temperature, since most plants cannot survive in cold temperatures. For this reason many gardeners transfer their outdoors plants inside once the temperatures at night dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, achieving the perfect temperature indoors isn’t as simple when it comes to and plant growing as it might seem. Although indoors space does provide warmer temperatures, for some plants these temperatures might be too high, so you need to makes sure to do your research before bringing any plants in your home. Additionally, the higher temperatures indoors often leads to dry air. This can also pose a problem to your indoors garden because there are many plants that just aren’t meant for dry conditions. It might be wise to purchase a humidifier and place it near the plants that thrive in humidity or at least place a bowl filled with water in the space where you are growing your humidity loving plants. This will make sure that the conditions are more favorable for your plants.
Watering is also a concern in the fall and winter because plant water consumption habits can change a great deal in the colder seasons. Plant water consumption usually depends on two main things: what type of plant we are talking about and the conditions in the room where the plant is growing.
When it comes to plant types, do a little homework and figure out if the plants you have in your indoors garden grow better in dry or moist soil and air, then tailor the watering routine to those terms. Simply apply these details to your indoors planting room. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil of your plants regularly and base your watering decision on the condition the soil. This way you are less likely to over-water or underwater your plants.
And finally when it comes to plant care indoor nutrients are important. In an indoors setting you are responsible for every aspect of the plants’ life, including the nutrients your plants get. During fall and winter additional nutrients will help compensate for the light loss or condition change and help your plants to adjust to their surroundings. My recommendation is to choose a potting soil when you are planting that already has a built in nutrient mix or purchase a special house plant fertilizer and apply it according to the instructions. Either of these methods will provide the necessary nutrients for your plants, so they will survive the long fall and winter months and be in their best shape come spring.
If you’re looking for even more information on T5 grow lights, check out this blog post from our friends at epicgardening.com.