Indoor Plant Checkup

January 20, 2018

Indoor Plant Checkup

Well we are about half way through winter, we hope.  Which means that your plants have been inside for 2-3 months now depending on where you are in the US.  Don’t get me wrong, they are grateful to have a warm home to wait out the winter, but it’s time we give them a checkup. 

The truth is, most homes do not have the ideal environment for your plants.  And most us that are overwintering our plants indoors are often pushing the limits of what should be indoors.  For instance, “houseplants”, you know foliage, no flowers, “clean air” plants are mostly okay indoors.  But I know there are plenty of people out there trying to keep their tropical plants alive to bring back outdoors in the spring. 

 So let’s take some time and give our indoor plants a little checkup. 

Let’s start with a thorough pest check.  Bring your plants into some bright light and look for any signs of insects or disease.  In most cases, indoor plants will get an outbreak of insects every now and then.  Make sure you are not just looking for the insect itself, but also the signs of insects such as the sticky residue they leave behind.  Look on the tops of leaves as well as flipping them over and inspecting the underside.

Pest Check Mealybugs Pest Check Mealybugs

While inspecting your plants, you may notice some browning on the tips of the leaves.  This could be a nutritional issue but most times, with overwintering plants, it is an issue with the humidity of your house.  Many indoor atmospheres are too dry for plants, especially with winter heating.  If this is the case with you, set your plants on top of trays holding water and pebbles.  This will release the much needed moisture around your plants growing zone.  Or set up a humidifier in your house.  Remember though, do not set up the humidifier so close to your plants that their leaves stay damp, this could aid diseases.

Sometimes, your plants are healthy but just need to hit the showers.  Not so much a need, but a want.  Indoor plants never get washed with the rain so take some time and wash down your plants.  For big leafed plants take some luke warm water and a cloth and wipe down every leaf, front and back.  For those plants that have more leaves or tinier leaves, sit them in the shower and turn it on.  Give them that fresh rain feeling.

These tips will help your indoor plants survive the rest of the winter but in reality you should be doing a thorough indoor plant checkup about once a month, not just once a winter.  What we’ve outlined is just a basics to get you started.




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