Apartment Plants: Winter Care
We may not possess the greenest of thumbs, but we definitely do enjoy having some living, breathing (even flowering!) apartment plants, especially as we hunker down a bit at home, waiting out the non-festive freezingness of January… and February… and March.
Caring for houseplants in the winter is generally a low maintenance proposition, as most houseplants do some hibernating themselves. Slow growth or no growth is common in the winter, so your apartment plants will need much less water and pretty much zero fertilizer. In fact, some of the most popular species of houseplants, such as ficus and Norfolk pines, will actually drown if they are over-watered in the winter. To avoid over-watering in the winter you'll need to come up with a new schedule. The best way to determine if a plant in the apartment needs watering is to check the soil; if it's still damp up to an inch beneath the surface, hold off for a few days and check again.
That said, the air in NYC apartments is considerably drier in the winter, so if you don't have a humidifier running it's a good idea to give most apartment plants a "sponge bath" on their leaves every now and then, or spray them with a mister. Note: we say "most plants" because some of our favorite indoor growers, such as African Violets, can actually be harmed by moisture on their leaves. If you have any doubts, double check before rinsing or misting. Giving the plants in your apartment some sunlight is always a good idea, even in the winter (sunlight will also help them "wake up" in the spring), except for those bamboo-looking plants that have become so popular. These so-called "Lucky Bamboo" plants aren't, in fact, bamboo at all, but rather a type of the tropical plant Dracaena, and direct sunlight can actually kill it.
Deciduous apartment plants aren't terribly common, though several types of orchids, for example, do fall into this category. As you probably know, deciduous plants will lose all of their leaves in the winter and become completely dormant. Just give a tiny splash of water a couple times over the next few months, until your deciduous plant "wakes up" in the spring.
Apartment plants provide oxygen and give life to your living space. So keep your luxury apartment rental in New York City looking happy and healthy with a variety of houseplants.