You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Keep your houseplants going into spring

Around this time of winter our Ohio State University Extension offices begin to get questions related to houseplants. The common theme is that they aren’t “doing very well” and need some help.

Keep in mind that the plants that we use for houseplants are usually tropical plants that thrive in heat and humidity. We don’t have too much trouble growing them outside during the growing season but once we get them inside the home, they start to decline.

To be successful, you have to figure out the best place in your home to place a plant for the winter. Once you find a place that makes the plant happy, keep it there each winter for best success.

My dad, for instance, has a fairly old rubber tree that he puts on the patio in the summer and brings inside for the winter. He found a location in the house where the plant seems to be doing better than it has in years. This will be its indoor location from now on, right dad?

The lack of humidity is one problem for houseplants and tends to affect ferns more than any other plants. A trick to help ferns through the winter is to place them in the bathtub or shower periodically and run room temperature water over them.

Some recommend placing the potted fern on top of a shallow dish filled with gravel and water. The idea is that as the water evaporates it adds humidity to the air. This is really more trouble than the actual benefit. A house or room humidifier would be better.

The biggest issue that I see with houseplants in the winter has to do with watering. It’s not always easy to figure out how much water the plant really needs.

Keep in mind that when the plant is outside, it’s actively growing, using water and nutrients on a regular basis. When it’s inside the house, growth slows dramatically and therefore, the amount of water and nutrients needed decrease as well.

Over watering houseplants is easy to do. Giving you the exact formula for watering your plant is not easy.

All plants have different needs. In addition, the soil in the pot and the environment where the plant is situated also determines the amount of water.

A philodendron in a sunny solarium or sun room may need more water than the philodendron sitting on the corner of a credenza in a room that has minimal light.

Therefore, it’s up to you to figure out how often to water. A good rule of thumb is “don’t let the plant dry out completely.” Some plants drop several leaves in protest if this occurs.

Check the soil with your fingers, sticking them down into the soil and not just on the surface. The surface dries out quicker. If the soil still feels damp, go another day or two.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Coupon deals of week
Coupon deals of week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Blink RevitaLens This week at Rite-Aid, Blink RevitaLens, is one sale for $7.99. Use the $3 off one Blink RevitaLens coupon found in most of today’s SmartSource inserts. When you check out, you will also get 200 PlentiPoints, which is equivalent to $2 good...
In search of an indestructible dog toy
In search of an indestructible dog toy

If my family was ever in an accident and the “Jaws of Life” were required, we’re all set. Teddy, our sweet, tummy-rub-loving Lab could handle the job. His jaws seem to be made of steel. RELATED » Teddy finds his voice The pooch can shred most toys in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t matter if the toy is soft and squishy...
This ‘Hunger Games’ exhibit is SO worth the drive
This ‘Hunger Games’ exhibit is SO worth the drive

If you were looking for an excuse for a mini-getaway that’s less than 3 hours away, your moment has come. “Hunger Games: The Exhibition” is on display now at The Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky through September 10, 2017. Louisville is about 2.5 hours from Dayton’s center, so it can easily be a day or weekend...
Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day
Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day

Given that yesterday was Arbor Day, why not plant a tree this weekend? Garden centers are stock-full of great selections for your landscape and have lots of people on hand to help you pick out the perfect tree. If you decide to plant a tree, make sure you plant it properly for longevity. One of the biggest mistakes that I see is that people plant trees...
Humane society, Dayton firefighters rescue cat stuck in pipe
Humane society, Dayton firefighters rescue cat stuck in pipe

It took hours and special equipment for rescuers to free a cat today with its head stuck in a pipe embedded in a cement block in Dayton. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton responded to a report the cat had been stuck for hours. When they arrived, the cat had worn down its nails clenching at the ground trying to escape. The pipe was too thick to easily...
More Stories