Overnight temperatures are now consistently dropping into the cold zone – a key indicator for this that my husband has switched our reverse-cycle airconditioning to the warm setting. If it is too cold for us, it is way too cold for our indoor (typically tropical) plants to stay outside. If we hope to keep those plants alive over winter, they need to be put some where a bit more consistently warm until mid-spring when the temperatures rise again.
Whilst many indoor plants can survive well outdoors in Tasmania with the right micro-climate, there are a whole bunch more that need to be inside. When they do come inside, be mindful of the light – it rapidly drops away the further you get from a window. Watering will also need to be reconsidered as our homes tend to have dry air and plants like a bit of humidity.
Bringing plants indoors also creates a bit of a haven for insect pests due to the close quarters and more predictable conditions. Yesterday, I found spidermites on my calathea! I despise spidermites! Needless to say, my plants got a quick bath and will be monitored a bit more intensly over the next few days.
A north or north-west facing room is excellent for most indoor plants. Some prefer to be near the windows – a fiddle-leaf fig, for example, whilst others like a bit more shadow – mother-in-law’s tongue/snake plant, is great in a darker space.
If you are beginning to feel the cold, you can bet your plants are too – especially if they are classified as indoor plants. Most of the indoor plants we are able to purchase in Tasmania are naturally adapted to the understory or canopy of a sub-tropical or tropical rainforest. So, if you would like to keep the alive, embrace your inner naturalist and mirror their natural conditions indoors. The added bonus, your air will be purified of all those nasty VOCs off-gassing from your furniture, your well-being will improve, and your indoor space will look great!