Like some mammals, indoor plants also need to hibernate!
Here is how to ensure they rest at peace to wake up again from the dead as beautiful as ever!
During this rest phase that lasts up to spring, it is important to interrupt nourishment and reduce water intake.
However, don’t forget to also dust the leaves because even though they’ve slowed down, they’re still breathing!
Well deserved rest
In winter, your indoor plants require less light, fertilizer and water, but they’re more vulnerable to the cold and to drafts.
Transfer them to a less luminous room, where the temperature will stay somewhere between 57 to 65°F (13 to 18°C). Avoid setting them near windows, which might lead to sunburns on leaves.
Dust the leaves regularly to avoid the breathing pores getting clogged up. However, don’t use any shine-inducing sprays that would coat them and block their breathing.
Jump-start in spring
With spring comes the time to repot them into a pot with a slightly larger diameter, 2 inches (5 cm) larger at most. For that, soak the pot in water for half an hour. Drip-dry it, flip it over carefully and tap it on the bottom to unstick the soil mix. Try to not break the clump up to protect the roots.
Check that the drainage hole of the new pot isn’t clogged. Wedge a broken pot shard in it and cover with a thick layer of expanded clay pebbles or gravel for drainage.
Pour fresh, new soil mix up to mid-height. Sit the roots of the plant on this pile of soil mix. Backfill around the clump, turning the pot round and round. Press down well.
Leave some buffer space at the top to collect water when watering the plant.
The first watering must be abundant to flush out air bubbles that are trapped in the soil mix.
It isn’t necessary to repot every year if your plant is well fertilized.
Pierrick Le Jardinier
Image credits: Flower Council