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Winter Sunshine Smiles on Colorado Houseplants

From Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

Most houseplants are tropical in origin and accustomed to moderate temperatures and humidity levels year-round. Unlike cloudy winter locales, Colorado's bright winter sunshine improves the winter appearance of houseplants.

This is particularly good news for flowering plants, such as gloxinias and amaryllis, that require bright light for bloom.

As in cloudy Northern areas, however, the winter heating season brings dry air that is hard on plants. It is helpful to group plants and place them on pebble trays filled with water. Misting lasts only a few minutes and is not very helpful.

Winter can also be a dusty time for plants, and an occasional rinse with water helps leaves function better.

Uneven central heating is another problem. Rooms far from the thermostat can be considerably cooler, as can areas near drafty windows and doors. Relocating plants within the home may solve these problems.

Another temperature factor in very cold weather is cold tap water. Cold water can shock or even kill root hairs. Allowing water to reach room temperature before watering plants eliminates this concern.

Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010