Houseplants’ spotlight time is winter

Winter weather adversely affects growing conditions for houseplants. Proper care during the winter months can help insure the health of houseplants. Most houseplants grow well with daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees F and night temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees F. Temperatures below 50 degrees F or rapid temperature fluctuations may damage some plants. Keep houseplants away from cold drafts, radiators, and hot air vents. Also make sure houseplant foliage doesn’t touch cold windows. Many houseplants prefer a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent. Unfortunately, the relative humidity found in many homes during the winter months may be only 10 to 20 percent — a level too low for many houseplants. Humidifiers are an excellent way to increase the relative humidity in a single room or throughout the entire home. Simple cultural procedures can also increase the relative humidity around houseplants. Group plants together. The water evaporating from the potting soil, plus water lost through the foliage’s transpiration will increase the relative humidity in the immediate vicinity of the houseplants. Another method is to place the houseplants on trays or saucers filled with pebbles or gravel and water. The bottoms of the pots should be above the water level. Misting houseplants is not an effective method to raise relative humidity. Misting would have to be done several times daily to appreciably raise the humidity level and...

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