Indoor Gardening Article
Winter Indoor Gardening
Indoor gardeners who live in regions that have cold winters must keep in mind that although their houseplants are protected from the snow and the icy winds, there are still precautions they must take and adjustments they must make for winter indoor gardening. There is much more involved than just turning up the thermostat.
First, if you buy any new plants during the cold months, make sure they are well wrapped in paper bags or newspaper for that short trip from the store to the car, and from the car to your home. Even a brief exposure to the cold can damage or even kill some indoor plants. Do not put them in the trunk of your car. Put them in the front of the car, and turn on the heater.
You control the climate in your home to a considerable degree, but your home is still going to have warm spots and cool spots, and dry rooms and humid rooms. In winter indoor gardening, different plants will respond in different ways to these conditions. Remember, during the winter, indoor heating often causes the air in the home to be dry. Some plants, like the baby rubber plant, the baby cast iron plant, the heartleaf philodendron and most cacti tolerate dry air quite well. Many other winter indoor gardening plants do not like dry air at all. You can tell if a plant is undergoing stress due to dry air by several symptoms. The leaves become brown or curled, the edges turn yellow, leaves drop off prematurely, flower buds become "blasted", and the plant needs more than the usual amount of water. You can move the plant to a more humid part of the house, like the basement. But here you will have to compensate for the loss of sunlight. You could also leave the plant in its original location, and install a humidifier. If that option is too costly, try making your own humidity tray.
To make a humidity tray, line a shallow, waterproof tray with stones and pebbles. Pour enough water into the tray to cover the bottom half of the layer of pebbles. Place your potted plants on the tray. The pebbles draw the water up, and a tiny humidity zone is created as the water evaporates. Be sure to maintain the water level in the tray.
During winter indoor gardening, keep plants away from cold drafts. Some plants might even have to be placed near a heat register. Always remember about providing artificial light if necessary. Make sure there is good air circulation in your home. If your winter indoor gardening involves bringing outdoor plants into the house, do not leave it until the last minute. The first frost might kill them. If you do your winter indoor gardening with care, you will have your own little Eden in the house, even while the storms rage outside.