What to do in winter
Has anybody else noticed how dark the early mornings have suddenly become? Prising myself out of bed in a morning is hard enough as it is without the bedroom being pitch black as well. OK, moan over, back to our houseplants.
It isn't just us humans that suffer from lack of light during the winter, our indoor plants can start to look very sorry for themselves as well unless we help them along.
I have just moved all of my streptocarpus plants back into the house for the winter out of my unheated conservatory. This will provide them with the warmth they need to see them through the winter and because they are right in the windows, they will also receive plenty of light.
Some of your indoor plants may just need moving around a little as well. Most foliage plants will benefit from a well-lit location now and in the case of Ficus Benjamins, the ornamental figs, the lighter the better as these plants have a tendency to shed their foliage in poor light conditions. Don't worry if you get a bit of leaf-drop with these plants as they will soon recover in spring when light levels increase again.
Another point to help your plants extract as much light as they can from their surroundings is to keep the surface of the leaves as dust-free as possible. On smooth-leaved plants wipe the surface very lightly with a soft cloth. Spraying with a leaf shine afterwards is down to personal preference but it will help to keep the leaves dust-free for a little longer.
Most indoor plants will not be growing so fast during the shorter days so be careful not to over-water now.