Winter can be hard on plants, indoors and out, but gardening experts say there are simple ways to bundle up outdoor plants and healthy ways to care for indoor plants so they'll grow and bloom again for years to come.
-Don't fertilize or feed the plant unless it's growing vigorously or flowering.
-Reduce your watering schedule and let the soil dry out between waterings.
-Move plants into sunny areas during the day and away from cold drafts at night. Instead of lugging pots from room to room, or if pots are too heavy to be moved, invest in a few Down Under Plant Caddies. The wheeled devices come in several sizes, hold and easily move up to 500 pounds, and lock to keep the caddie securely in place.
-Keep indoor temperatures as even as possible. Winter air is dry air and plants need humidity. Grouping plants together can help increase humidity, as can placing pots on a tray of damp gravel or misting the leaves regularly.
-Give outdoor plants a layer of compost for food and add several layers of mulch to provide insulation against the cold. Great options for mulch include shredded leaves, grass clippings, wood chips or newspaper.
-If your winter temperatures tend to fall below freezing, don't leave your stoneware pots outside - the soil in them can freeze, and even empty pots can break. Pots do not provide insulation and, if left outside, the plants inside them will likely die. At the very least, pots should be elevated off the surface they rest on. Moisture can become trapped under the containers and damage and stain the surface. The Down Under Plant Stand lifts the pot and allows air to circulate under it preventing such damage.
-If you live in an area where the ground doesn't freeze, plant perennials that bloom when temperatures get warm again. Plant their roots deep and water once per week until the first frost.
-You can also leave plants in their pots and move them to a cool, dark place that stays between 40° and 50° F. Water once when you put them away then they'll go dormant. Leave them until the spring when they're ready to bask in the sun again.
For more information about the Down Under Plant Stand or Down Under Plant Caddie, or to purchase, visit www.downunderplantstand.com.