Saturday, October 16

How to keep your plants happy during the winter


Taking care of your plants now, and preparing them for winter, may not be as exciting as that display of color and lushness they exhibit in spring. But winterizing your plants – that is, protecting them before the cold sets in – can make a difference, and will keep them away from pests, disease, and frost damage.

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Also, not everything is protecting: now is the best time to plant some potted garlic cloves, and get fresh garlic to enjoy next summer. If you are worried about your greener roommates, here are some tricks to take care of them this winter, and those to come.

1. Plants in winter: less is more

It is important not to force your plants during the cold months. That means, don’t transplant them or switch them pot until spring approaches. In the same way that we tend to water them too much (and there are more plants that die from excess than from lack of water), we also tend to spend with the change of flowerpot.

If it is already late: we will tell you how to rescue a plant that you have drowned due to excess water. The problem: when we place them in containers that are too large, we leave them floating in an amount of soil that their roots are unable to fill.

This excess soil tends to puddle, especially in winter, which will prevent your plant from breathing or feeding normally. As if it wasn’t enough to survive the winter where it already is. [Aprende qué tamaño de maceta es el adecuado para tu planta.]

2. Give your fertilizer a break

At least, until the weather warms up again and there is more light: this way, you will give your plants the rest they deserve. Fertilizing your plants at the end of their growing season encourages their aerial development: new leaves and stems appear that are precisely the most sensitive to frost and diseases. Forget about fertilizer during the winter, and let your plants enjoy this natural growth stop that they so much need.

3. Be careful with the water (and how you water)

When you water your pots, aim for the soil; and only to the earth. The key is do not wet the leaves, since the vast majority of plants prefer to keep their foliage dry.

And how often do I water? The general rule, and one that works for most of the plants that we have at home, is to wait for the soil to dry before taking the watering can again. When in doubt, use the finger trick: stick it into the ground up to the second joint. If it’s completely dry, your plant is ready for another drink.

4. Quilt, quilt, quilt

The best thing you can do for any plant during the winter is to add a layer of mulch to your planter: can be dry leaves or wood shavings on the top layer of soil. But compost or organic compost is my preferred option: it will not only protect the roots from temperature changes, it will also provide them with quality food, but very little by little.

Try adding a layer of about three centimeters: think that it is a kind of insulating blanket, which will help minimize temperature fluctuations, and retain moisture. Yes: compost (or compost) has nutrients, and we started by saying to avoid fertilizers.

But mulching with compost is kind to the plant; In addition, it releases nutrients in a balanced way (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium); And above all, very slowly: slow enough that you don’t have to worry. Of course: when you apply it, make sure you keep a few centimeters of margin with the stem, to prevent it from rotting.

5. And check them out from time to time

The best advice? Try to get to know your plants a little better. The more familiar they are, the easier it will seem to identify any problems. A stressed plant lets you know in a number of ways: it leans toward the window, turns pale, or its leaves wither faster than they used to. Change the light and the waterings, and keep in mind these five simple tricks to make your plants happier.

6. Protect them from the cold

The cold can be dangerous, especially for the plants on your terrace. If it rains a lot, the land can be permanently flooded; and crush the roots. In addition, the soil increases in volume when it freezes, breaking the terracotta pots, and leaving the roots exposed, and without protection.

A trick: try slightly lift your pots off the ground (serves a pallet or similar) to allow them to drain. In addition, some plants will appreciate that you make a temporary space for them in the living room. And you can cover those that remain on the terrace with a plant blanket or frost blanket, a fabric that protects them from the cold but allows the entry of water, light and air.

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