How do you like your houseplants to survive all winter?
So how do we keep them during the cold months? Vermont edition I got the following plant care tips from Calista Boudreau, owner of GreenSpell Plant Shop in Rutland, and Deb Heleba and Judy Miro, staff at the University of Vermont’s Master Gardener Program.
If you have lemon or lime trees, make sure you water them adequately in the winter.
“They like a little moisture, and we tend to have very dry winters,” Judy Miro said. “Because it’s too hot, you know. So I’ll add a humidifier in the area where you grow it in the winter.”
And if your lemon tree isn’t self-fertile (like a Meyer lemon), Callista Boudreau said it’s a good idea to place it outside in a sunny spot during the warmer months so you have pollinators fertilizing the flowers for you.
Calista also says lemon trees take a long time to reach maturity, and trees that flower and fruit tend to be grafted onto a more mature tree. Well-drained, acidic soil also helps.
To prevent your cat from chewing your plants, give him some nice grass.
“If you can offer them an alternative and if your pet enjoys it, like oat grass or some rye grass… and you offer it in enough places around the house, that’s a great way to get them to focus on something they want.” “I’ll eat and stay away from the rest of your plants,” Judy said.
If you want to propagate a plant, wait.
“I generally wait until spring before propagating any of my house plants,” Judy said. “In the middle of winter, things go pretty slow.”
If you have north-facing windows and little sun, choose low-light plants.
Such as snake plants, ZZ plants, philodendrons, peace lilies, and pothos.
“You’ll just need to make sure you let them dry out between waterings, because with less light, they’ll use less water,” Calista said.
To avoid overwatering, touch up that soil!
“Plants don’t really need as much as you might think,” Callista said. “So you walk around and touch the soil. If it’s still wet, you probably won’t water it for a while, depending on what it is — there are a few plants that are the exception.”
A hygrometer can also be a worthwhile purchase, Deb Heleba said.
“It basically has a probe, you just stick it into the soil of the plant and it will tell you – you know how much moisture is in that soil,” Depp said.
The right amount of watering can also help prevent fungus gnats, if the soil has a chance to dry out, Judy said.
More questions? You can ask the UVM Extension Master Gardner Volunteer Helpline here.
It airs at noon on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, and rebroadcasts at 7 p.m
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