How Does Seasonal Change Effect Indoor Plants?
Whether you have low light plants, air-purifying plants, or any other kind if indoor houseplant, each type has its own varied caring requirements, but much like people, a plant’s needs change as the seasons change.
For people, sometimes it appears in winter with some being affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder or “winter blues” due to shorter days and more time indoors. Others can experience Sick Building Syndrome, which is seen in employees experiencing acute health or comfort-related symptoms due to prolonged time spent in an office building. However, in summertime people are more perked up due to the ability to spend more time outdoors and have more sun.
What is more interesting is that beyond the ability of indoor plants to purify and cleanse airborne toxins from your home’s air, houseplants can also improve your mood when spending a lot of time indoors. We also cover some of our favorite mood-boosting plants on our blog.
Some of the recommended houseplants that are effective in coping with the winter blues are:
With indoor plants providing benefits year-round it begs the question, just how do you give back and care for our favorite houseplants as the season changes?
Houseplants Have An Innate Awareness Of The Changing Seasons
Whether they are placed indoors or outdoors, houseplants have the innate ability to sense the changing of the seasons. The heat and moisture outdoors change with the season, and with that also comes changes within many indoor environments—affecting the growing conditions of indoor plants. Have you ever placed your plant too close to a drafty area of your home?
Known as Photoperiodism, indoor plants have their own response system that senses the natural changes in light, temperature, air quality, humidity, and overall environment.
As the season moves toward fall and winter, it is common for most plants to shed their leaves as they prepare to adjust to the shifting season. This is one of the frequent misconceptions about plants as we normally think this occurrence is due to dropping temperatures. However, the real explanation is because they can sense the reduced light presence alerting them of the changing seasons.
According to research, plants have their own receptors—a cell that reacts to light, heat, and other external stimuli—that gives them the ability to become aware of the shortening daylight hours and the growing long nights during fall and winter. Even without dropping temperatures, they already foresee the approaching colder weather and gives an indicator by losing their leaves.
How To Cope With Seasonal Changes
Caring for houseplants during winter means usually means you will be fussing less as your plant needs less watering and attention during this season. However, as the season swings back to spring and the weather starts to become warmer the needs of your indoor plants also require more hands-on care from you.
The coming of spring is also the best time to make any changes with your plant, such as repotting or moving into a new section of your home. Be sure to provide your plant the appropriate amount of watering and even light fertilizer ever 2 to 3 weeks depending on the needs of your plant. Doing so will ensure that your indoor plants continue to thrive as they start to adapt to warmer temperatures again.
One of the first crucial steps you should keep tabs on is the moisture level in your pots. Due to warmer temperatures and sunlight levels increasing, plants need more regular watering. Check for new indications of growth and make sure to water this part frequently but avoid overwatering.
While fertilizing is not needed during winter, the start of spring is the best time to fertilize again. Start by watering with plain water and then apply a light treatment of fertilizer every two to four weeks during spring, summer, and fall.
The spring season is also the ideal time to repot your houseplants, especially since during warmer seasons plants tend to dry out or begin growing roots in the pot’s drainage holes. By repotting with a larger pot and fresh planting mix, your houseplants can yield new growth and continue to flourish throughout the warmer seasons.
As the sunlight now comes through the windows, it’s also best to reposition your plants to a shadier spot a few times a week to ensure they receive some light but without getting their delicate leaves burnt due to extended sun exposure.
Finally, be conscious of using your air conditioner more than usual as most plants prefer some humidity in the air to avoid making their leaves curl up or dry.