Just like gardeners who have been kept indoors during the cold winter months and cannot wait to get back outside our houseplants also feel the strain of long periods of dry heat. Now would be a good time to give them some extra attention or tuneup in readiness for the year ahead. This is how Margaret Roach restores her houseplants as she explains in her article which I found on her A Way To Garden website.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL (and look!) if you hadn?t showered since October? Well, my houseplants have been cursing me lately because like patients confined to a hospital bed?which is how the heated house must feel to them in winter?they want out, or at least some rain. Everyone lined up yesterday for a turn in the shower, some grooming, and yes, even a haircut in some cases. Winter houseplant care time!
As days very gradually grow longer from mid- or late January on, the houseplants signal it little by little, with hints of new growth or at least perkiness. By March sometime, they tell me that they are really awake, and I need to pay even stricter attention, adding a proper meal to the winter tuneup regimen of shower-and-shave. I resume fertilizing March onward, but skip November through February, while there just isn?t enough light to support active growth.
Most of my charges get groomed and have a quick shower about monthly from December to April, in my Victorian clawfoot tub. I put a bit of screen over the drain to catch particles from washing down.
To rehydrate and/or lightly feed, I use a plastic dishpan. I fill it part of the way with water and seaweed-fish emulsion concentrate diluted to label directions. Each plant stands in there to ?bottom-water? itself, percolating up moisture and hydrating better than it can when watered from up top.
Once the bubbling stops and the pot feels ?full,? which can take some time and a refill of the reservoir with biggest pots, I set it to drain in a second dishpan. Then it goes back onto its saucer, one after another until everyone is happy.
See more at A Way To Garden