Do plants sleep? While the bear plunges into lethargy to escape the rigors of winter, we read a good book by the fire, with herbal tea to warm up. Outside, the icy winds persist. However, if we are satisfied with an herbal tea, and do not go so far as to hibernate, it is necessary to know that the plants, too, pause during the severe cold.
Question of survival: it is a question of setting back to better push back when the beautiful days return and, with them, the light and the water essential to their development.
However, in one corner, your favorite plants have endured the winter and are slowly waking up. It’s up to you to accompany them gently.
Why do plants sleep? Low temperature, frozen water in the ground, dry weather, low humidity, short days, nothing is going well for our friends and the plants. What’s the point of exposing yourself and trying to grow in such conditions?
So the plants adapt: no question of striving to grow, rather waiting for the return of fine weather and favorable weather since water and light provide the plant with most of its needs. To face the rigors of winter, the plant suspends its growth and is patient. This phenomenon is called “dormancy”.
It’s up to you to support your plants during this complicated period. A few basic recommendations will allow you to get out of it without damage. First, interrupt the repotting. It is not justified and upsets the plant unnecessarily. Leave it in its pot. For the same reason, don’t fertilize her, she wouldn’t need a supplement and it might even disrupt her natural growth cycle. Considerably reduce watering and interrupt it in case of frost. Moist soil is sufficient, possibly reinforced with mulch to retain moisture while protecting the roots from cold damage.
Avoid temperature contrasts. Keep the plant away from radiators and drafts, as well as windows. To create a humid microclimate, bring them together, sheltered from the wind.
They will keep each other warm. Finally, take a look at pests, which swarm when the humidity is lower. Aphids, spider mites and scales hide under the leaves. Wipe them down or spray them with neem oil.
Not necessarily easy to distinguish at a glance if your indoor plants are sleeping or dying. To determine the state of dormancy of plants, three simple tests exist.
The first test is to bend the end of a branch or stem. If it is dead, it breaks easily and its inner part is dry. If it is alive, the branch remains flexible and the inner part is green and moist. You can also scrape the bark off the stem. If the inner part is green, the live plant is dormant. If you only come across dry, brown parts, the plant is dead.
Another test, you can remove the plants from their pot and examine the roots to check if they are healthy or rotten. Because appearances are deceiving: a dormant plant can appear dull and dead on the surface while still having completely healthy roots.
With the return of spring, plants wake up and begin new growth. They have lost their luster in the winter, but don’t worry, it’s a vital strategy to minimize risk. They are just waiting to grow back as soon as possible and splash your interior with bright colors.
It is up to you to accompany them in this revival and gradually bring them back to the splendor they shed during the cold months. To do this, approach them from an indirect source of sunlight, water them generously, and provide them with fertilizers to stimulate their growth. Also you should know about What is sexual reproduction in plants?
For bulb plants , place the bulbs in the sun at room temperature and water moderately first, so that the roots can appear. Once the roots are deployed, water so that the soil is completely waterlogged. The regularity here matters so that the plant can grow in good conditions.
Don’t worry about the scowl, dark and dry look of the bulbs. Beneath their angry looks hides a strong desire to blossom again. The bulb, a concentrate of food storage for the dormant plant, is just waiting to be solicited by water and light!
If the bulb has been kept as it is, pot it in barely damp soil, with 2 or 3 cm of soil around the bulb, the only constraint for the size of the pot. Depending on the volume of the pots, you can also consider putting several bulbs in them. Some bulbs (flowers) are satisfied with 1 cm of soil sprinkled above them. In general, allow 2 to 5 cm.
Soon the roots will grow and with it the need for water will increase. It’s up to you to adjust the frequency of watering by closely monitoring the soil to ensure that it remains constantly moist. Taste the wonder of nature’s miracles: the grumpy, shriveled bulb now grows exuberantly, and soon stems unfurl, then magnificent flowers express their joyful colors in your interior.
So, accompany the awakening of your plants gently, they will be grateful to you and will offer you the best of themselves. It’s your turn !