lifestyle

Five things you can do to save your dying houseplants


In the words of the great Kate Bush, don’t give up (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Being a plant parent can be hugely rewarding, what with their ability to purify the air and boost your wellbeing as well as simply look cute in a room.

But it’s not always smooth sailing, with the winter months liable to cause your plants to struggle and die more easily.

Before you give up on your unhappy potted friend(s), experts at Conservatory Insulations have put together five things you can do to try and get them healthy again.

Less is more

Yes, even when it comes to plants and water, there can be too much of a good thing.

‘The leading cause of death in houseplants is overwatering,’ the team says, ‘Due to the common misconception that they need watering every few days.

‘If your plant is wilting or its leaves are turning brown, this could be a sign that it’s having too much to drink.

‘The soil should be fully soaked, with excess water drainage removed, and it shouldn’t be watered again until the top inch of soil is dry. If you’ve gone too far, place your plant in a shaded area and try to create additional airspace at the roots.’

When it comes to water, sometimes less is more (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Let there be light

Getting your plants enough sunlight in winter can be pretty tricky, but you can help them get through the tougher months with a grow light.

‘It’s no secret that plants need lots of sunlight, but when the winter weather hits, our houseplants are uncontrollably deprived of that factor,’ say the experts.

‘Yellow leaves or stunted leaf growth are both signs that your plant needs some extra vitamin D.

‘Ideally most plants need around six hours of direct sunlight every day, however, if the weather is letting you down you could invest in some LED grow lights which mimic sun rays. Not only will they help you become a better plant mum, they’ll provide some Instagrammable room lighting too – win-win!’

Expect your plants to outgrow their pots every 12-18 months (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Up your repotting game

If the roots of your plant are starting to show, it’s a sign they’ve outgrown their pot.

‘If your plant just doesn’t seem to be growing,’ the Conservatory Insulations experts explain, ‘It may have outgrown its pot. Other tell-tale signs that you need to consider repotting are roots growing out of the drainage holes or pushing the plant up and out of the planter.

‘This one’s an easy fix – buy a slightly bigger planter and add in houseplant potting mix. Your plant should have more room to grow and start displaying new shoots and leaves fairly quickly. On average, you’ll need to repot your plant again every 12- 18 months.’

Plants, like people, don’t like to be too cold (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Temperature check

Plants are sensitive to temperature just like people are, and they won’t be happy if they’re too cold.

The team explains: ‘Plants are much more likely to die in cold environments. Anything below 15 degrees Celsius is considered too cold. If your plant is wilting or displaying split stems or bark it may be in need of a temperature increase.

‘Look for areas in the home that naturally offer an ideal environment such as conservatories or outhouses.’

They add: ‘Don’t be afraid to move your plants around during the day to ensure they’re getting the warmth and light they need.’

Richard Pawson, director at Conservatory Insulations advises: ‘Conservatories are positioned to receive full sun and can replicate a greenhouse effect by trapping the sunlight they receive during the day.

‘Good insulation will ensure the temperature is regulated even throughout the winter months, making them the perfect place for plants to thrive for an indoor jungle feel.’

Prune it

It might sound like something for the more advanced plant-owners, but pruning is good for your plant, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

‘Pruning isn’t just for those with green fingers,’ say the experts, ‘It’s part of your responsibility as a plant parent now too! If your plant is looking worse for wear or is getting a little unruly, it’s time for a prune.

‘You should generally prune your houseplant at the end of winter or beginning of spring.

‘Start by taking off any dead or dying foliage, then use some kitchen scissors or pruning shears, depending on the thickness of branches, and trim off any unruly areas that upset the uniform structure of your plant. This will instantly give your houseplant a lift and stimulate growth.’

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk


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