Fall brings with it shorter days, crisper evenings, and new needs for your house plants. Many assume that since house plants are indoors, they aren’t affected by the seasons. But plants, indoors or out, are still susceptible to changes in sunlight and air temperature. Not to worry! We’ve got you covered with these fall plant care tips that will keep your indoor plants thriving through the season.
The delicate beauty of the peace lily plant is deceptive, as this pretty plant is remarkably resilient. As a matter of fact, it’s known as a relatively low-maintenance houseplant, provided it gets the right amount of water. In fall and winter, water these lovely houseplants less frequently (about once every 7-10 days). The best way to find out if your peace lily needs water? Wait until your peace lily plant starts to droop a little, and then water it. This will prevent overwatering and root rot. And since it prefers humid climates, be sure to spray it with water every so often, especially if the fall climate you live in is particularly dry. Keep it away from heating and cooling vents and direct drafts, as this will dry your peace lily out quickly.
Known as a somewhat fickle plant, an indoor gardenia plant is most happy in bright, indirect light—something that is often more difficult to find in the fall and winter seasons. With the shorter days and less sunlight available, moving a gardenia close to a sunny window (but without putting it in direct sunlight) will keep it thriving through the colder season. Most gardenia plants will not bloom again until the spring, so lack of buds is normal and doesn’t mean your plant is in trouble. Problems may arise in the form of yellowing and browning leaves and leaf drop, which is a sign of inconsistent watering. Though plants, including the gardenia plant, require less watering in fall and winter, they still do require regular watering in order to thrive. Wait until the top two inches of soil are dry before watering.
Considered more of a warm-weather plant, it’s important to keep money tree plants inside during the colder months, even if it started out as an outdoor plant in the spring or summer. Bring or keep them inside, preferably next to a bright window out of direct sunlight. These balmy beauties love humidity, so mist them with water every few days or keep them in a room with a humidifier, especially if you’re turning the heat on a lot. Since money trees require less water even in warmer months, wait until the top two inches of soil are dry and then wait 2-3 more days before watering. Fertilize the soil using an organic fertilizer, and repeat again in the spring, for optimal results.
Known for their hardiness in both extreme desert heat and cold desert nights, succulents are the toughies of the plant world. These plants in particular require less water the colder it gets: in fact, watering your succulents deeply once about every two weeks (and up to a month in winter) is more than enough water. And since indoor succulents are more susceptible to mealy bugs, keep your eye out for them (they look like little white pieces of lint) and use an insecticide to remove them. To prevent them in the first place, keep air flow in the room by keeping a fan running on low to dry out excess moisture.
A tropical native, the croton plant thrives in warm, humid climates. Though it does best when it’s well watered and misted regularly, the “water less in the cold weather” rule of thumb applies to this hardy little plant as well. This means waiting until the top layer of soil is dry to the touch (it will take longer between waterings in the fall and winter) and then watering the plant until water runs out from the bottom of the pot. Mist it a couple of times a week (and more if you live in a dry climate) and keep it away from cold drafts, as this balmy beauty doesn’t handle temperatures below 60 degrees very well.
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