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Here are 5 Mistakes that may Kill Your Plants in Winters

Mistakes that kill your plants in winter

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Plants in winters
It is your duty to take care of your plants during winters as some careless mistakes might kill them. Pixabay

As winter approaches, humans go into power-saving mode and do all that it takes to make the cold season as cosy as possible. Considering that plants can’t do so by themselves, we need to take care of them during these few months.

For some plants, winters are a time when they go into hibernation. That means they can slow down their growth or even go completely dormant. The severely cold temperatures can sometimes send them into shock. So we need to give them some extra love and care during these possibly distressing months. Here’s a look at some things that could cause harm to your plants and what you can do to prevent it. Vinayak Garg, Founder of LazyGardener, underlines key points to be kept in mind.

1.Relocation

Now plants that are in the ground, cannot be moved of course, but potted plants should be moved to a place where they will get as much sunlight as possible. In winters, the days slowly become shorter, which means less sun exposure, so if possible move the plants according to the sun, allowing them to soak up as much as they can.

They should also be kept in a location where they don’t get too much of a cold breeze of drafts.

Make sure that the plant’s foliage does not have dew on it, if it does, you can wipe it off. Plants like succulents are sensitive and water deposits on the plant can kill them.

Overwatering winters
Overwatering plants during winters is not a good idea. Lifetime Stock

You can move your outdoor potted plants indoors, next to a window that has the most sun exposure. Also, make sure the window is clean so it allows more sun to shine through as opposed to a dusty one which would make the sunlight diffused. Small things can help the plant withstand the cold temperatures.

2.Water Temperature

Have you ever gotten up on a cold winter morning and walked to your bathroom in a half-asleep state and turned the tap on and jumped up in shock? Yes, sometimes the tap water can get so extremely cold that your hands might start hurting after washing them with the cold water. This extremely cold water can harm your plants as well.

The cold water will force the sensitive roots into shock. A good habit would be to fill up a bucket of water in the morning when you wake up, let it sit and reach at least room temperature and then you can water all your plants.

3.Overwatering

It is very easy to overwater a plant during the winters. It may seem to be counter-intuitive to not water your plants in winter, with the air being very dry, but plants are the most susceptible to root rot during winters. Because of the minimum sun exposure, the evaporation rate also drops down a lot. This causes the water in the pot to accumulate for a longer period of time, giving the roots more opportunity to rot. It might be hard, but avoid watering your plants until the dire need arises, or the soil is dry completely. You should also take care of when you water the plants. Watering in the evening and night may be detrimental to plant because the temperatures drop severely at night and the water that the soil holds will also get very very cold, which will, in turn, harm the sensitive roots of the plant. The best time would be in the late morning when the sun is just beginning to warm the soil.

4. Cleaning the plants

Cleaning winters
Cleaning your plants even during winters is very important. Pixabay

We need to make sure that in winter, the plant is at its optimum capacity to soak up as much sunlight as possible. When dust accumulates on the leaves of the plants, it prevents them from performing photosynthesis as well as they can. Cleaning the surface of the leaves with a soft damp cloth is the best way to get your plants looking pretty and giving them the best chance to take in all the sun that they can!

Cleaning your plants also includes getting rid of any dead leaves or stems. Dead, rotten leaves and stems can cause infections in healthy ones. So it is necessary to get rid of the dead parts promptly.

Any weeds should also be taken out of the pot. Sometimes small vegetation grows in the pot without you even planting anything, but these weeds take up resources from the soil.

Also Read- Here are Ways to Make Your Office Eco-Friendly

5. Repotting

Repotting of plants should be avoided in winters. Plants are at their dormant phase in winters and repotting can disturb the root system easily, leading plant into a state of shock. Repotting should be resumed in early springs which starts from February. (IANS)

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NASA Satellite Reveals More Plants are Growing Around Everest

According to the researchers, snow falls and melts here seasonally, and they don't know what impact changing subnival vegetation will have on this aspect of the water cycle - which is vital because this region (known as 'Asia's water towers') feeds the ten largest rivers in Asia

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Mount Everest
FILE - Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, is seen in this aerial view March 25, 2008. VOA

Researchers have found that plant life is growing and expanding around Mount Everest and across the Himalayan region as the area continues to experience the consequences of global warming.

According to the study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, the research team from University of Exeter in UK, used satellite data to measure the extent of subnival vegetation – plants growing between the treeline and snowline – in this vast area.

Little is known about these remote, hard-to-reach ecosystems, made up of short-stature plants (predominantly grasses and shrubs) and seasonal snow, but the study revealed they cover between five and 15 times the area of permanent glaciers and snow.

Using data from 1993 to 2018 from NASA’s Landsat satellites, researchers measured small but significant increases in subnival vegetation cover across four height brackets from 4,150-6,000 metres above sea level.

“These large-scale studies using decades of satellite data are computationally intensive because the file sizes are huge. We can now do this relatively easily on the cloud by using Google Earth Engine, a new and powerful tool freely available to anyone, anywhere,” said study researcher Dominic Fawcett, who coded the image processing.

The Hindu Kush Himalayan region extends across all or part of eight countries, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. More than 1.4 billion people depend on water from catchments emanating here.

According to the study, results varied at different heights and locations, with the strongest trend in increased vegetation cover in the bracket 5,000-5,500m.

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Around Mount Everest, the team found a significant increase in vegetation in all four height brackets. Conditions at the top of this height range have generally been considered to be close to the limit of where plants can grow.

Though the study doesn’t examine the causes of the change, the findings are consistent with modelling that shows a decline in “temperature-limited areas” (where temperatures are too low for plants to grow) across the Himalayan region due to global warming.

Other research has suggested Himalayan ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate-induced vegetation shifts.

“A lot of research has been done on ice melting in the Himalayan region, including a study that showed how the rate of ice loss doubled between 2000 and 2016,” said researcher Karen Anderson.

“It’s important to monitor and understand ice loss in major mountain systems, but subnival ecosystems cover a much larger area than permanent snow and ice and we know very little about them and how they moderate water supply,” Anderson added.

According to the researchers, snow falls and melts here seasonally, and they don’t know what impact changing subnival vegetation will have on this aspect of the water cycle – which is vital because this region (known as ‘Asia’s water towers’) feeds the ten largest rivers in Asia.

Researcher Anderson said “some really detailed fieldwork” and further validation of these findings is now required to understand how plants in this high-altitude zone interact with soil and snow. (IANS)