Has the leaves on your Calathea Orbifolia started to brown on the edges? Maybe your Caladium has started to wilt? Or your favourite Alocasia isn't producing any more leaves?
Cold weather outside, particularly overnight, can also be detrimental to our favourite indoor plants - most of which originate from tropical areas.
With winter fast approaching, it’s time to get your favourite plant babies prepared for the colder temperatures!
Keeping them out of the cold:
If you do have tropical 'house' plants outside, try to either bring them inside or invest in a greenhouse. Water the plants in the greenhouse each morning then close it up and allow the water to evaporate and humidify.
If you keep your plants next to a window, move them away from the glass. Even 30cm can help prevent cold damage they would otherwise get from touching the chilly glass. Alternatively, pull down your blinds or curtains at night, and open them as soon as the sun starts to warm the glass back up in the day.
Also check that there is no cold air seeping in around your windows or doors.
Winter also brings cold, dry air, which is the opposite of what most of your tropical house plants want. To counteract this, mist your plants with a spray bottle a few times a week, and try standing them on top of a tray of water that’s filled with pebbles. The pebble layer keeps the pot, soil and plant from sitting in the water (=root rot) but allows them to be surrounded by a little extra humidity. Top up the water as it evaporates.
Also, try bringing a few of your fussy plants (Calatheas I’m looking at you) into the bathroom with you each night, close the door and let the hot water steam up the room. The increased humidity and heat will make them very happy!
Changes in routine:
You will notice your plants won’t be actively growing during winter, with some moving into complete dormancy (Alocasias) or even dying back completely (Caladiums) so you will need to change up your routine.
Minimise fertilising: As they are not actively growing, they won’t need regular fertilising.
Reduce watering: Always check the moisture of the soil before watering, especially if you are misting often.
Increase cleaning: Wipe down the leaves of your plants once a week or more. While this is always important, it's vital in winter for the leaves to absorb as much light as possible.