How To Keep your House Plants Happy In Winter

As the Melbourne Winter starts to approach we need to start to thinking about keeping our plants happy and healthy.Here are horticulturalist David Clark’s top 10 tips to keep them smiling ( Images and words courtesy of Gardenista)!

 

  How to keep a houseplant happy in winter cut back on water l Gardenista

Above: Photograph by Mieke Verbijlen.

But whether you’re nursing something finicky like an African violet or a hardy Mother in Law’s tongue, your houseplants are going to have a harder time in winter. Here’s how to make them happier:

  1. Cut back on water.
  2. Give them sunshine.
  3.  Add moisture to indoor air.
  4.  Stop fertilizing until spring.
  5.  Dust your plants.
  6.  And give them a bath once in a while.
  7. Crank up the heat, then turn it way down (every day).
  8.  Avoid re-potting if possible.
  9. Conduct a weekly bug inspection.
  10.  Give sick plants a natural tonic.
  11.  Sing them lullabies (could it hurt? plants love music).

how to keep houseplants happy in winter l Gardenista

Above: Photograph by Michelle Slatalla.

Water: “Most plants only need water once a week in winter,” says Clark. “They will kind of go dormant, especially if they’re plants that grow outdoors in summer and they’ve come from that bright light into a home with lower lighting and lower temperatures.”

How to keep houseplants happy in winter l Gardenista

Above: Photograph by John Merkl.

Sunshine: Put them in the sunniest spot in the house; most them to follow the sun if necessary. “Most plants will not thrive in a north-facing window because they need more sun,” says Clark. The best? A window facing east; you will get sun from 7 am to 11 am and “it’s not harsh, like what you’ll get in a western facing window,” he says.

How to keep houseplants happy in winter l Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Design Sponge.

Humidity: Most plants thrive with levels of from 50 to 60 percent humidity; in a house the humidity level can go below 35 percent. “In a situation like that, make them a little miniature greenhouse by tenting them under a big plastic bag,” says Clark. “Or take a shallow tray, fill it with 2 inches of water and gravel, and set your potted plant in it.” As the water evaporates, it will create humidity around the plant.

How to keep houseplants happy in winter on a radiator l Gardenista

Above: Photograph by Electronomo via Flickr. 

Keep plants clean: “When they get dusty, that causes plants not to breathe. It plugs their leaves, which have little pores called stomata,” says Clark. “If you cover a leaf surface with dirt, it won’t get the full effect of sunlight and photosynthesis will be slowed.”

Solution? For smaller plants, give them a bath in a sink with a sprayer. Larger plants can go into the shower. Wipe leaves with a damp sponge. Then off their leaves so they don’t drip all over the floor.

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Melbourne Summer. (photo sourced from the Herald Sun)

Melbourne Summer.  (photo sourced from the Herald Sun)

Melbourne’s beaches are where we all should be today!

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Howdy Summer!

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World Landscape of the Year 2013 – in our own backyard!

 

 

We were very excited to read in Dezeen Daily that this beautiful Australian garden has won a very prestigious design award!

World Architecture Festival 2013: this year’s award for the best landscape project at the World Architecture Festival has gone to a botanical garden at a former quarry in Australia.

The Australian Garden

Situated in a former sand quarry in Cranbourne, outside Melbourne, The Australian Garden was designed by landscape studio Taylor Cullity Lethleanand plant expert Paul Thompson.

The Australian Garden

The garden is laid out as a journey through Australian fauna, from the desert to the coast, set among buildings and beside artificial lakes.

The Australian Garden

The garden showcases 170,000 plants across 1700 species, and is used by both researchers and the public.

The Australian Garden

“This garden brilliantly summarises the great variety of Australian flora as well as the large part of the country which is arid desert,” said the panel of judges. “Like a botanic garden, it is a collection of difference, but with a strong unifying set of journeys through the various landscapes.

The Australian Garden

“This landscape stood out with its originality and strong evocation of Australian identity without having to use any signs or words – just the beautiful flora of Australia’s countryside.”

The Australian Garden

If you would like more info on this fantastic showcase of Australian talent, jump on the website of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne – http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne. 

Thanks to Dezeen Daily for sharing these great images.

 

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Balcony desk is the best!

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While some of us require a complete desk setup with multiple monitors for work, there are many of you out there who need nothing more than a small space to put a laptop. For those of you, this balcony railing mounted Balkonzept desk is a match made in heaven.

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Designed by product innovator Michael Hilgers, the Balkonzept is extremely lightweight and versatile – making it perfect for outdoor workstations or just extra shelving in a small space. The desk is constructed from a durable recyclable plastic that has more than enough room for a laptop and other essentials, and even comes with a built in planter to really drive home the outdoor feeling. [via Inthralld]

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This really could be the way to enjoy working and get some much needed Vitamin D that we all seem to be deficient of these days!

Unfortunately, they are only available for sale in Europe at the moment. Might be time to plan that European holiday?

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