University of Maryland Extension

November & December Houseplant Tips


(More tips from HGIC)

  • To keep holiday plants looking good longer, keep them away from dry, drafty locations. Do not place near heat vents, doorways or drafty windows. Increase humidity around plants by placing them on a tray lined with pebbles, shallowly filled with water. Make sure the water does not enter the drainage holes. For information on caring for Poinsettias refer to (PDF) HG 30 Poinsettias.
  • Winter is a challenging time for most houseplants because of the lower natural light and susceptibility to being over watered.  Growing media should be allowed to dry out between watering.
  • Unless your indoor plants are growing under optimum, high light conditions do not fertilize them during the winter months.
  • If your African violet has become leggy cut the rosette off, leaving a 2-3 inch stem. Repot into clean, moist potting soil, cover with a plastic bag sealed at the top and place the pot in diffused light. In about six weeks, new roots will form. A fluorescent shop light with ‘cool white’ tubes is excellent for growing African violets if you do not have good natural light.
  • Amaryllis (a.k.a hippeastrum) is a popular holiday gift. For more information see our article on Care of Amaryllis
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