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How to Care for Succulents and Cacti in Winter

Succulents and cacti are great low-maintenance plants that brighten up the indoors, even during winter’s darkest days. Their unusual shapes and textures add visual interest to any table or windowsill, and with the right care, they’ll stay just fine throughout the long, cold season.

Succulents and cacti make for good houseplants year-round. In winter, plants only need a little light and occasional watering to keep them going. Most cacti and succulents go dormant by the time fall comes around, meaning they will stop growing when temperatures and daylight drop.

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5 Ways to Care for Cacti and Succulents during Winter:

1. Make your cacti or succulent happy by placing the dormant plant in an area where it will thrive. Succulents need less light during the winter and will survive when given indirect light, too. For the best results, make sure your plant receives at least three to four hours of bright light a day. Place are happiest near a south or east facing window.

2. Succulents typically grow in sandy, well-drained soil. Use Espoma’s cacti and succulent mix to give your plant what it needs. Succulents can’t stand overly moist soil, so make sure containers have drainage holes to allow excess water to exit.

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3. Control the temperature. Succulents won’t mind temperatures as low as 50 to 55 degrees, but few will tolerate colder.

4. Succulents need deep watering, but will not use as much water as when they’re experiencing active growth. Water sparingly and from the top, allowing water to trickle through to the bottom. Do not let plants sit in water for a long time. Make sure to keep water off the body of the cactus, it can contribute to rot.

5. Check for pests. Look at leaves monthly for aphids and mealy bugs. If found, move the infested plant away from others and mist with a mixture of 3 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water.

 

No green thumb? No worries? Learn more about caring for cacti and succulents.

Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week

Indoor plants are the superheroes of the plant world. They have the power to aid in concentration, increase productivity and even boost well-being.

To honor these green heroes, the third week of September is recognized as National Indoor Plant Week. So let’s celebrate!

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top threats to public health. We spend as much as 90 percent of our lives indoors — so it’s time to add some greenery.

Houseplants are surprisingly easy to take care of with these six tips.

1. Bring them indoors. Many people place their houseplants outside in the summer, but when temperatures start to drop below 50º at night, it’s time to bring them in! Check houseplants for pests before moving them. Help houseplants to adjust by bringing them in at night and returning them outdoors during the day. Over the course of two weeks, gradually increase the amount of time plants spend indoors.

houseplant2. New space. Repot houseplants if they’re in need of some additional space. Select a pot that is at least 2” larger than your current container and transfer. Use Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix to fill the rest of the container.

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3. Pick the right spot. A houseplant lets you know the spot is right by maintaining healthy leaves. If there’s enough light for you to read by, there’s probably enough for a low-light houseplant. Avoid placing plants near heat or air conditioning ducts, on TVs, or between the curtains and a chilly window.

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4. Give them a drink. If the soil is dry about an inch below the surface, add water. But don’t overwater! It’s the number one cause of houseplant death. Collect excess water in a tray or saucer and never allow plants to sit in water.

houseplant

5. Stay Comfortable. Houseplants are happiest when temperatures are between 70 and 80ºF during the day and 10-15º cooler at night.

potting soil

6. Feed houseplants. Fertilize houseplants with an organic fertilizer such as Indoor! during active periods of growth. This is usually during the spring and summer.

With these tips, your houseplants will be looking their best in no time! Tell us about your favorite houseplant in the comments!