Autumn is definitely here and this has some important consequences for your indoor plants! With low light levels and more humidity, it’s critical you get things right over the colder months! On this page, you’ll find all you need to know about how to get the most out of your houseplants.
Autumn Plant Care: How Do Conditions Change?
“Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness”, Keats said in his Ode to Autumn. Well, he certainly wasn’t wrong. Autumn brings a whole host of changes to the UK climate, meaning there are some important consequences for your houseplants.
During Autumn, the light levels in the UK change. The days get shorter and the nights get longer, meaning there is less natural light for your houseplants. Although this shouldn’t affect the majority of houseplants too much, you may want to keep an eye on your succulents and full-sun-loving plants (like the Bird of Paradise and the Yucca).
As well as light, Autumn brings cooler temperatures than Spring and Summer. This may seem obvious, but it can affect your houseplants in some quite peculiar ways!
Although your plants live indoors and the weather seems to get cold outside, the cooler months see the UK turn on their heating more, meaning radiators and central heating can heat our homes quite drastically.
Whilst many houseplants seem to thrive in temperatures between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius, it can often be difficult to reach that sweet spot during Autumn and Winter months. Without the heating on, our homes can be well into the single figures. Correspondingly, with the heating on, our homes can reach the likes of 21-13 degrees Celsius.
So, the change in temperature during this time of year may have some knock-on effects on the houseplants in your home!
Humidity also seems to change from Summer to Autumn. The increased chance of rain in the new season can affect humidity levels both indoors and out. With more water vapour in the air, you may find that your indoor plants require less water to survive.
Equally, if you’re prone to putting your heating and radiators on full blast over Autumn and Winter, then this can lower the humidity in your home. As such, you may find yourself needing to increase humidity in some of the downstairs rooms and bedrooms. But more on that later…
Autumn Houseplant Care: What Should I Change?
So, Autumn does seem to affect the humidity, light levels, and temperature of your home. As such, maintaining the healthy growth of your plants over Autumn can be a bit of a struggle at times. However, that’s why we have devised this list of top care tips to keep your Autumn plants in top-notch condition!
Perhaps the most important thing to keep at the top of your “Autumn houseplant care list” is your watering regime. As the temperatures begin to fall and humidity begins to increase, most plants will stop attempting new growth and go into a state of hibernation until the next growing season.
With this in mind, your houseplants do tend to need less water to survive. So, what you want to avoid during Autumn is over-watering your houseplants. As a general rule of thumb, if the soil looks damp, then there’s no need to water.
What you can also do is almost double the length of time between waterings that you employed on your Summer Watering Plan. So, if you were watering your houseplants weekly, try extending this to fortnightly and see how you get on.
Misting: More or Less?
Misting can be a difficult thing to get the hang of during Autumn. If you keep your windows open, then you may not need to mist. If you keep your windows closed and put your heating on, then misting is a must!
With this in mind, your plants’ leaves are going to be the best indicator of whether you need to mist your plants or not! The condition of the leaves are going to dictate the health of your plant and how much water they may need.
The sign of a houseplant in need of misting is one with visible dust and, in some cases, leaves that look dry and shrivelled.
If you see dust on your plants’ leaves, use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue From here, you can use a plant mister to spray water on the leaves gently. The key is to not overdo it
Lower Your Fertiliser Use
As your plants stop actively growing over this period, no amount of fertiliser is going to fix this. The main aim of your plant care is going to be keeping those plants alive! So, in order to avoid any mishaps, don’t be tempted to fertilise your houseplants.
One of the things we want to avoid is death by anything other than the more difficult conditions brought by Autumn. It would be silly to kill any houseplants by scorching those roots.
Is it Time to Rehome Your Houseplants?
As there is less light as the season changes, you may need to move some of your plants to sunnier spots with more light. Plants such as the Bird of Paradise, Areca Palm, and Dracaena Fragrans love as much sun as possible. So be sure to place them in full sunlight over Autumn and Winter.
One top tip for the plant care pros is to keep your plants away from any draughts or radiators. What we want to avoid at all costs is any major fluctuations in temperature for your plant.
Prune Your Yellow and Brown Leaves
Pruning is a great measure you can take to make sure your plants are in tip-top condition over Autumn and Winter. By pruning away any dead or dying leaves, you’re really going to be helping out your plant.
Your plants are always going to prioritise keeping living stems and leaves alive rather than dead or dying ones. By getting rid of some leaves that look a little worse for wear, you’re giving your plants less to worry about and increasing their chances of survival into Spring.
To prune your houseplants, you should invest in a pair of high-quality pruning shears, However, if you’re a little strapped for cash, the clean kitchen scissors should be fine!
Repotting: Is It Needed?
Although this last point isn’t essential, treating any root-bound plants over Autumn is going to give you one less thing to worry about in Spring. Making sure that your plants’ roots have space to grow is going to keep them happy, healthy, and (most crucially) alive during the colder months.
If it’s time to repot, it’s important to make sure that you have compost at the ready as well as other elements to put in your substrate. Potting bark, vermiculite, and perlite, will be essential in maintaining soil structure and increasing water retention.
So, there you have it. The definitive list of things to do to help you keep on top of Autumn houseplant care! Reduce watering, give your plants enough water and light, and remove any damaged leaves. They are the essentials during this period.
If you have any other suggestions about the information we can add to this article, then don’t hesitate to send us an email to email@example.com. We’re always happy to hear your suggestions and pro plant tips!