Most common houseplant killer to avoid in winter to keep them thriving next year

Most common houseplant killer to avoid in winter to keep them thriving next year


Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

Chris Bonnett from said: “While heating keeps us warm and cosy, it can cause harm to our precious houseplants.

“The dry, heated air can parch your plants, leaving them stressed and vulnerable. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid using heating, it’s just important to be more vigilant with plant care and create a comfortable environment for houseplants to thrive during winter.

“Make sure to find the right spots in your home where the plants are away from heat sources, yet maintain a safe distance from windows to shield them from chilly draughts.”

To maintain the humid conditions that houseplants thrive in, the expert recommended using a humidifier or bringing the plants into the bathroom while showering or bathing.

Houseplants lie dormant during the winter months, but they can still suffer immensely if they are not looked after properly, with heating being one of the main killers.

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The gardening expert recommended carefully positioning plants away from direct heat sources like radiators, heaters or fireplaces.

According to the pro, this prevents overheating and stops plants from drying out. Most houseplants need a temperature of between 12C and 18C to thrive.

The expert added: “Grouping your plants fosters a microenvironment with higher humidity. The plants mutually benefit from the moisture they release through transpiration.

“To counteract the drying impact of heating systems, use a humidifier to increase indoor humidity levels.

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“Alternatively, you can bring the plants to the bathroom and use the humidity from the hot showers or baths, or place water trays near plants.”

Britons can also mist their plants with tepid water regularly to boost the humidity around them.

Make sure not to overdo this though as excessive moisture can lead to fungal issues, according to Chris.

He continued: “You may need to adjust your watering schedule, as indoor heating can dry out plants quicker. Check soil moisture regularly and only water when the top inch feels dry.

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“While shielding your plants from direct heat is crucial, you also need to protect them from cold drafts from windows or doors.

“The cold air can stress your plants and cause damage.” Ideal locations include ones which get enough indirect sunlight but have little to no fluctuations in temperature.

As well as all of the above, the expert recommended trimming back leggy growth and removing any damaged leaves from the plants.

This promotes vigorous, healthier growth and encourages plants to direct their energy towards thriving areas, according to Chris.

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