Well, it's that time of year again. Days are getting shorter, temperatures are getting lower, and it's almost time to start planning Christmas … yikes. But before all that we need to prepare our foliage friends for the big freeze as we head into autumn and winter.
How can you prepare your houseplants for Autumn?
Well, apart from the obvious slowing down on the watering there are a few other quick wins we can do to help us get the best out of our houseplants, without them stressing and showing it.
Back to basics for Autumn
Bring plants back inside
Some houseplants such asPhoenix canariensiscan withstand temperatures as low as –5 degrees, but the majority of foliage plants in the modern home originate from the warmer tropics, meaning the cold UK winter climate will kill them if left out too long. You should start moving any houseplants that you have kept outside during the summer back indoors when night time temperatures start to fall below 13 degrees.
As heaters, fires and radiators start to get switched on, the humidity in the air will naturally start to dry, along with your plants leaves. This is a good time to start thinking about increasing moisture levels around the home. There are several simple steps to do this without the need of buying a humidifier, see ourincreasing humidity levels the easy wayblog, for hints and tips.
As we move out of the hot summer months, the lighting conditions and temperatures in certain areas of the home are going to change. That once hot and sunny conservatory will now become a darker, cooler room not suitable for temperature fussy foliage. Look at plant placement around the home, giving the brightest spots to light lovers, warmer locations to the fussy, and cooler areas to the robust; remembering to keep clear of heat sources and cold drafts.
Shop our INDOOR PLANT POTS if it's time for a refresh or if you need something that's perfect for your plant's new location.
Beware of bugs
Autumn is the prime time for pests and bugs to start reproducing. If you are moving any houseplants back indoors after a summer staycation, these should be treated for bugs as a courtesy before bringing them in and letting them mingle with other indoor plants. It is also good practice to treat all your houseplants for bugs and pests too as eggs can lay dormant for months at a time.
Shop our HOUSEPLANT TREATMENTSif you're running low. It's always best to have it on hand for pre-emptive treatments or at the first sign of trouble than to panic later.
You can start weaning your houseplants off fertiliser during August, aiming for the last feed to be around the middle of the month. The majority of houseplants will go into a state of dormancy over winter, no longer needing the feed to grow.
Start to reduce watering
As temperatures drop, light levels reduce and growth comes to a halt, so does the rate of evaporation, meaning your houseplants won't be as thirsty. Stick to the same tactics you have all year round – when the top 2 inches of soil has dried out, give them a gentle water. You should be aiming to water once every 2 to 3 weeks, with some houseplants such as cacti not needing watering at all. If you're unsure what's happening below the surface, use a moisture meter as a guide to when to water.
Dead head and dust
This time of year is great for a bit of trimming and TLC. Any spent flower heads on houseplants can be cut back. Dead and damaged leaves can be pruned, and some cluttered, overgrown growth can be thinned slightly ready for a fresh start in spring. You should also spend some time dusting the leaves, so your plant can make the most of the short winter sunlight.
Enjoy the wellbeing benefits of indoor plants
While outdoor foliage fades and the daylight hours shorten, take the time to simply be in the company of your indoor plants this autumn. We're confident your admiration and appreciation will be thoroughly rewarded with feelings of contentment, tranquility and happiness.