Prepare your plants for colder days.
We have officially entered Autumn! Routines are back and you feel like being at home listening to good music, reading a good book and drinking good wine or a cup of tea. It's time to prepare your plants for colder days with less light. Let's do it!
Just because our plants are inside our homes doesn't mean they aren't sensitive to the changing seasons. Our green plants grow actively during spring and summer and “rest” conserving nutrients during winter.
At this time of year, temperature fluctuations are more common, with rooms in your home becoming more humid and others becoming hotter and drier (due to turning on the heating). These temperature fluctuations combined with shorter days (and therefore less light available for your plants to grow) can be critical for some members of your jungle.
Autumn is a transitional phase, so it is very important to pay extra attention to some issues when caring for your plants.
The first tip we can give you is to water your plants less frequently.
Less light and cooler temperatures mean your plants will grow less, so they won't need as much water as in the summer. Always ensure they need to be watered, using your “finger meter” (use your finger to check if the potting soil is damp or dry on the inside, before watering), and when in doubt, give your plants a few extra days between waterings.
Less light. Less growth.
With shorter days, your plants may not be getting enough light. Plants that might do well in a certain room in your home may not be as happy in the same space all year round. Take advantage of the moment to redecorate your home and unleash your creativity! But always pay attention to the needs of your plants.
At this time of year, some yellow leaves may appear on your plants. It is normal (if there are few leaves and, most frequently, the older ones) as it is a natural adaptation to new light conditions.
Another sign of low light is when plants lean towards the light source (window) or send out shoots that are longer than normal. If you suspect your plants need more light, move them closer to a window, add some artificial light, or rotate them periodically so all their leaves can get the light they need.
To feed or not to feed.
When it comes to fertilising house plants in the Autumn, the general rule is to only do it when the plants are actively growing. Most plants experience growth during the spring and summer months, so it is recommended to fertilise them 1-2 times a month between March and September. However, there are some plants that continue to show new growth in the Autumn, especially in areas with mild, sunny Autumns. For these plants, it is beneficial to fertilise them to support the new growth and promote fuller and more beautiful foliage.
You should use our Plant Food organic liquid fertiliser all year round, as it helps plants resist temperature fluctuations, a typical scenario in Autumn.
Cold days. Warm houses.
It's normal to start to feel the nights get colder and start turning on the heating. But be careful! Sudden temperature differences are not what your plants like most. Don't forget that most of them come from tropical climates where the temperature is quite stable. Make sure they don't get drafts and that the room doesn't become too cold.
On the other hand, if you turn on the heating, the air will be drier so you will have to increase the relative humidity of the indoor environment. And remember: the plant's substrate may be moist, but the air around its leaves may be too dry. A common sign of a lack of humidity in the air is that your plants have brown and brittle leaf tips.
To try to minimize this dry environment, try grouping your plants together, creating a “microclimate” favorable to increased humidity between them. You can also choose to spread some bowls of water near them, or place pebbles or expanded clay in a dish of water below the plant's pot (but without it being submerged). This way, you increase evaporation around the plant without constantly wetting its roots (to prevent them from rotting).
Last chance to repot.
If you didn't do it in the Spring or your plants grew so much during the Summer that they no longer fit in their pot, then this is your last chance to repot them.
You can use our Soil Freshener potting soil for plants, a peat-free mix to repot outgrowing house plants or to refresh aged potting soils of heavier large plants.