As the seasons change, so do we. The days are shorter, the nights are colder. The humidity that once made us feel like we were walking through water seems to evaporate in an instant and gets replaced by the cold, brisk winds of fall.
Some embrace it, while others deny it but one thing that doesn't change is Mother Nature's commitment to the changing of the seasons. As the days grow shorter and colder, we bundle up in our most fashionable garb to make sure we're comfortable in the harsh conditions. The sun that once radiated on our face as we left home from work is slowly fading as each day passes, and we do our best to retreat to our homes, eat a hot meal, watch Netflix, and go to bed early.
But what about our plants?
As covered in another post; the reason leaves turn all sorts of beautiful colours and eventually fall off trees is a direct result of the sun tipping past the summer solstice, resulting in a decreased amount of chlorophyll (food) for the plant to eat.
So how do we take care of plants in the winter? Here are 5 things you can do to make sure your plant survives fall.
If you work in an office, you know the feeling of finishing work as summer ends to be greeted by the night. It's often hard for metropolitan people to get that much needed Vitamin D that the suns radiation gives us. We accommodate by getting it on weekends and through tanning beds. Plants need the same kind of care. As the sun sets earlier, it also takes a different path in the sky. What once worked having your plants in the back corner of your room won't work as fall continues. Make sure to position your plants to get as much sunlight as possible, rotating them once a week.
2. Reorganize & Humidify
Remember that humid air that once met us as soon as we walked outside? It's gone. And while that may be good for our hair, it's not good for plants. If you didn't mist your plants much during the spring or summer, now is the time to start. Mist your tropical plants once every 1-3 days in the morning while the sun is still coming up. This will give the plant plenty of time to have the water absorbed before the sun sets.
If you have tropical plants, try placing them close amongst each other. Plants are really good at self-care, and communal care, so if you group them together, there's a higher liklihood they'll be happy and share the humidity amongst one another.
3. Water Less Often
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but often times a routine can make us blind to proper care. Whatever you're currently watering your plants, cut it back a bit. Because the sun has less time with the plants, it means less energy can go in to turning that water in to energy. Avoid killing your plants by overwatering in the fall.
4. Don't Fertilize
Fertilization is great in the spring, and even summer when plants are in their growth phase, but they are now going in to a similar type of energy conservation that humans do. Plants know when the days are getting shorter and act accordingly. After the Summer Solstice, plants slow (and sometimes stop) their growth which means they don't require the nutrients found in fertilizer.
5. Use Artificial Light Sources
Plants can be incredibly adaptive. Much like our body gets Vitamin D from artificial light like tanning beds, plants can have similiar effects even from just house lights or LEDs. If you really want your plant to thrive you can get them a LED Full Spectrum Growth Light which will simulate the sun. Keep it on them as the sun begins to set for a few hours and your plant will thank you.
Sometimes you can take care of your plant perfectly and it will still die as the seasons change. It's unfortunate but it is Mother Earth's way of naturally recycling it's nutrients and life-source. The compost from those plants can bring life to a new plant and live on through it.
At Sharebloom, we curate 2 plants every month for our members to choose from. We pride ourselves in curating long lasting, easy to care for plants that will thrive during each season. If you're interested in getting some plants this fall that can survive the reduced light but don't know where to start, consider becoming a member. We take care of that for you so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery.