Tips to Keep Your Indoor Houseplants Healthy

“Tips to Keep Your Indoor Houseplants Healthy”

Article Written by: Beth Hall

Originally posted on

Even though it is winter outside, plants that are inside still need care and attention. Gardening enthusiasts who have indoor houseplants are sure to appreciate these winter care tips from Jason Reeves, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture research horticulturist and garden curator at the UT Gardens, Jackson.

Houseplants growing near windows should be rotated regularly to keep them from leaning toward the light source. It’s also important to watch for insect outbreaks and quarantine infested plants to keep pests under control. With plants like dumbcane or rubber plant that have large leaves, Reeves says it’s important to wipe dust off them or even place them in the bathtub for a shower.

The gardening expert also reminds enthusiasts to continue to water succulents. “Just because they like it on the dry side doesn’t mean they don’t need water. The lack of humidly in your home during the winter months can dry them out more than you think,” Reeves says.

The months of January and February can be bleak, and Reeves suggests checking out your local garden center for leftover paperwhite and amaryllis bulbs for added color. Look for bulbs that are firm and have not sprouted.

Keep a check on tropical plants like elephant ears, bananas, cannas, ginger, agaves, and Boston and Kimberly Queen ferns that you may have stored in an enclosed garage, basement or crawl space. Carefully check them for water. Reeves says they don’t need to totally dry out, but they can easily be overwatered, causing them to rot. Any rotting foliage should be removed to prevent further decay.

Check stored garden produce such as potatoes, turnips, winter squash, apples and pears for bad spots that may lead to decay. Use those right away. Be sure the remaining produce is spaced to allow for good airflow.

When the cold days of winter seem unrelenting, Reeves suggests you study seed catalogs, plan your spring garden and dream of warmer days ahead.

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