Ask a Question forum: Winter Watering tips

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Name: Jacob Fuentes
los angeles (Zone 10b)
jacfue
Nov 19, 2017 9:37 PM CST
Hello I live in Los Angeles zone 10b and i have a variety of plants most of which i think are dormant (understandably). I have looked at how-to-care blogs and others for recommended watering habits and most all say ( in winter water less) so for the most part I've been watering as they recommend in the posts, ei when the top of the soil is dry or whatnot, but sometimes i can see some effects of overwatering like brown spots that mean some of the cells that store water ruptured cause it was too much or some brown tips in some of them. i just want to know how much less do i water less (pardon the redundancy) now in winter time since they don't have to be watered as often. I also bought them relatively recent so is it shock? should i add a couple extra days to what they require regularly?

just so you guys have an idea ill list the plant. Most are very similar in watering habits i think.

Pothos, peperomias (watermelon, caperata), Arrow head, Dracaena Marginata, English ivy, rubber plant, maranta.

Hopefully you guys can help me out, this is my first time having so many plants and they seem ok but i know winter time is different and all the care info i find does not specify for winter.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 19, 2017 9:50 PM CST
Most of the plants you listed are house plants (except Ivy). Are you growing them outside or inside?
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Name: Jacob Fuentes
los angeles (Zone 10b)
jacfue
Nov 19, 2017 9:58 PM CST
Yes they are all inside. all are in a north facing window in my room and ivy is in the bathroom in a north facing window as well
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 19, 2017 11:58 PM CST
In a controled environment, house plants don't necessarily go dormant. Our house plants are from areas of the world were temperatures and day length don't change that much. That's why they make such good house plants. Instead of watering on a winter schedule, water when your plants need to be watered.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Nov 20, 2017 8:00 AM CST
The best watering tip someone passed on to me was to use a chop stick, I insert it down into the pot and if it comes out dry I water, thats worked for me a lot of years. I'm in NY so my plants get drier easier because the heat goes on.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 21, 2017 6:02 PM CST
Daisy is right. Indoor plants don't care what Zone you are in and very few (and none of yours) have dormant periods. Because the hours of daylight are reduced in winter, indoor plants do grow a bit more slowly and use a bit less water. But it is a gradual change and not a particularly big change.

How you water depends on the size of the pot. If you moved your plants into larger pots, then the extra soil will retain water longer than if you kept them in their nursery pots. Not knowing that, it is hard to give good water instructions. In general, most potted indoor plants should be watered thoroughly as soon as the top quarter of the soil feels dry. But there are many exceptions to that. And water as needed, not by the calendar.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Jacob Fuentes
los angeles (Zone 10b)
jacfue
Nov 21, 2017 7:26 PM CST
All the plants are still in their original nursery pots. i haven't transplanted any of them because i wanted to wait till spring to do it. I wanted to give them time to get used to the new home before give them another shock. most are in a tiny pot of like 4" i believe, so when they need to be watered i thoroughly water them till i see water come out the bottom. all are in plastic nursery pot except the pile that is in a terracota pot. So i guess mostly if some leave turn yellow they are just adjusting to the new climate? not take it too seriously?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 22, 2017 1:41 PM CST
Jacob - Brown leaf spots are a generic symptom and can be caused by over or under watering, too much or too little water, and extreme temperatures. So be careful about drawing any conclusions from those symptoms.

If your plants are in small nursery pots and are getting adequate light, then it is safe to water them as soon as the surface of the soil feels just barely dry. Water thoroughly as you described.

Yellow leaves are also generic symptoms and may be quite benign unless you are getting a lot of them.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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