The season of sweaters, pumpkin spice, and falling leaves is fast approaching and some of our little plant friends aren’t designed to thrive in our chilly falls. It’s no secret that ‘winterizing’ your plants for winter is important, but have you ever considered the need to prep your plants for fall?
Caring for houseplants in the fall can be challenging as the temperature fluctuates up and down. Some plants handle the changing of the seasons better than others. Here are some tips on how to make sure your plants make it to spring.
Get back to a watering schedule: Despite your plants being inside, most houseplants undergo dormancy in the fall, which is why you might notice there are fewer new leaves on your plants. With fall comes less light and less light translates to less growth. Less growth means your plants do not need as much water and fertilizer. If you were watering your plants every few days in the summer, try to fall back to only watering when the soil has dried out a lot more than you are used to. Remember it is always worse to overwater than underwater.
Bring them indoors: If your plants have been vacationing outside in your yard, steps or patio, it’s time to bring them inside before overnight temperatures get too low. Take a good look on and around the stem, soil and leaves to ensure your plant hasn’t picked up any bugs that could damage or spread to your plants that stay inside all season. Also, keep in mind some plants are toxic to pets and children. Keep them out of reach.
Snip snip: treehugger.com says a season change is a good time to give your houseplants a much-needed trim if you haven’t been doing so all summer. Trimming healthy plants can encourage new growth. The site also says if you want to be extra nice to your plants, wipe the blades of your garden shears with rubbing alcohol between each snip.
Monitor sunlight: Keep an eye out over the next few weeks to see how sunlight comes in through your windows differently. The change may not be drastic but even a subtle change in light could have a negative impact on your plants’ light levels.
Give them a shower: Throughout the summer some of your plants may have some salt build-up in the soil and a good shower can help get the soil back to a healthy state. The spray of the shower head can also knock loose any dust or debris on the leaves. Plants absorb light through their leaves and since there is less light in the fall already, why not give your plants the best shot they can get at extra light?
Keep plants away from windows: bioadvanced.com says you shouldn’t keep plants near cold drafts and in the fall it’s important to keep them several inches away from exterior windows. The site suggests moving plants even farther away from windows if you know a frost is coming. Or, you can install a heavy shade or other insulating material between your plants and glass.