Words and images: Jason Chongue
Now is the perfect time to prepare your indoor tropical plants for their dormancy period and evolve your indoor gardening throughout winter. Whether transitioning from warm to cool weather, or the reverse, it’s always important to alter your plant maintenance as the climate around you changes.
My tip is to always go back to the fundamentals of water, light and nutrition.
Adjust your watering frequency to accommodate for the change in temperature. Cooler weather will mean the moisture in the soil will take longer to evaporate. Remember to check the moisture in the soil with your finger – if it’s moist or feels cold, hold off on watering.
As the days become shorter from the sun setting earlier, our indoor plants can often receive less natural light. If you’re finding your plants becoming unhappy with the season change, they may need to be moved to a brighter winter location.
As your indoor plants go into their winter dormancy make sure to give them a slow release or organic feed in autumn. Stop fertilising with liquid fertiliser until the warmer weather comes back.
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Once you have prepared your indoor plants for the winter it’s time to challenge yourself and get your hands dirty in your outdoor spaces. You can never have enough greenery, so try introducing a simple potted cluster on your balcony or courtyard. This will help build your gardening skillset through the winter. Transfer the knowledge you have built from indoor gardening and take it outside by experimenting with hardier plants such as Citrus, Rosemary, Ficus elastica, Salvia and Australian natives.
When curating small urban spaces, I recommend working with odd numbers. Start with three planters and two to three plant species. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge plant range and focus on keeping your outdoor additions simple and straightforward when it comes to plant care.