As the summer fades away and autumn takes its place, it’s time to start preparing your houseplants for the change in the climate. Here’s how to keep your houseplants happy as the days get cooler and shorter.
The first thing you want to do is bring your plants inside if you’ve been letting them vacation outside. Make sure to do so before the temperatures fall below 55F, and check them thoroughly to be sure that they are not bringing any hitchhikers along with them.
Next, repot your houseplants, if necessary. Spring is the best time to repot houseplants because that’s when they strive to grow, but if any of your babies have had an active summer and are too small for their pot, now is a good time as well.
After you do this, give them a shower. Autumn is the perfect time to “leach out any salt build-up by letting the water run freely out of the bottom of the pot.’ Once you’ve done that, spray some water onto the plant’s leaves to clean off any dust that might have collected on the foliage.
The fourth thing you should do is tuck them in with a snack. Houseplants won’t need any fertilizer during fall and winter, but they might appreciate one last snack—such as a liquid, all-purpose fertilizer at half the strength recommended.
You should also consider the light when preparing for the cooler months. On the equinox, the sun rose and set at exactly due east and due west … but as the season crawls along, our favorite giant star shifts across the sky and enters our homes in different ways. Note how light streams in and place plants accordingly. This is a good thing to check every few months.
The last two tips are ones you should keep in mind throughout the year: be mindful of extreme temperatures, and be careful with watering. Hot and cold extremes can stress plants out, so keep them in a relatively stable spot. As for the water in the colder months, less is needed as there is less light, meaning the plants won’t grow as much as in the spring.